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Sanctioned Sri Lankan war criminal given service extension

Sri Lankan war criminal Shavendra Silva, a man who remains barred from entering the USA due to his role in executing Tamils, has had his term as Chief of Defence Staff renewed by president Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Silva, who is barred from entering the USA “due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights”, was given a service extension for six months until December 31.

Silva led the notorious 58 Division as the government launched a massive military assault. That culminated in the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils during the 2009 genocide. They oversaw the repeated bombing of hospitals, widespread sexual violence, torture and the execution of surrendering Tamils.

Read more here: US bans Sri Lanka’s army chief from entry over war crimes

The extension comes as targeted sanctions on individuals such as Silva continue to be discussed around the world.

In Britain, Gareth Thomas, Shadow Minister for International Trade, said “it is almost incomprehensible as to why Magnitsky Sanctions haven't been used against General Shavendra Silva, for example”.

“If the US and Canada can do it, why can't we do it here in the UK? We should be doing that.”

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