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Sri Lanka’s president opens new army complex with accused war criminal

Sri Lanka’s president declared open a new military complex this morning, speaking at a grand opening ceremony alongside accused war criminal Shavendra Silva.

Maithripala Sirisena opened the new ten-storied Rs. 53.3 billion Army Headquarters at Akuregoda, Pelawatta earlier today, with a 21-gun salute and military parade held in his honour.

The complex is reportedly the largest construction project in Sri Lanka.

“The government spent a colossal expenditure on this construction in spite of all administrative challenges,” declared Silva.

Speaking alongside him, Sirisena reportedly “expressed high appreciation to the armed forces, the police and the intelligence services for their absolute commitment to national security and regional security”.

Silva headed Sri Lanka's 58 Division, an army unit which has been accused of mass atrocities and violations of international law during the 2009 military offensive that saw the killing of tens of thousands of Tamils. The 58 Division has been accused of repeatedly bombing hospitals, widespread sexual violence, torture and the execution of surrendering Tamils. His appointment as head of the Sri Lankan army sparked international condemnation earlier this year.