Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Sajith Premadasa vows to protect accused war criminal Shavendra Silva

The presidential candidate for the United National Party (UNP) Sajith Premadasa has pledged to protect accused war criminal Shavendra Silva “no matter what”, at a rally in Homagama this weekend.

"No matter what pressures, I will protect Shavendra Silva and he will continue as the Army Commander,” declared Premadasa.

Silva, who currently heads Sri Lanka’s army, has been dubbed the “most wanted man” in Sri Lanka, due to his role in overseeing a military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamil civilians. He headed Sri Lanka’s notorious 58 Division, an army unit that committed grave violations of international law, including the execution of surrendering Tamils. Silva’s recent appointment led to the United Nations scaling back its use of Sri Lankan peacekeepers and the US warning that it would “significantly curtail bilateral cooperation”.

However, Premadasa seemed unperturbed in his defence of Silva, reportedly telling the crowd,

“There is no need to consult outside countries on what our country should do. Sajith Premadasa isn’t a person who submits to influences of anyone…  Many tried to influence me when I was nominated for candidacy. However, I told them to give me the candidacy unconditionally, or else to keep it with themselves. I will not subjugate to any influences. I am not a person who makes political deals with any group.”

See more from Adaderana here and Republic World here.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.