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Sri Lankan war criminal admits troops ‘succumbed to seductive promises’ in Russia

Sri Lankan war criminal Shavendra Silva called on his troops not to “succumb to the seductive promises of riches and adventure” in Russia as mercenaries, after officials confirmed that at least 83 Sri Lankan soldiers were participating in the Ukraine-Russia war . 

Silva, who is currently barred from entry to the United States over his role in executing Tamils, made the remarks in his blog post on the Office of Chief of Defence Staff website, telling troops they should “resist the appeal of easy money and fleeting fame, that true valour lies not in the size of one's paycheck.”

“It is with a heavy heart that we address the recent reports of several Sri Lankan veterans venturing into foreign lands to join the ranks of mercenary forces,” he said. “These veterans, once the pride of our nation, have succumbed to the seductive promises of riches and adventure, forsaking the values that define us as warriors and patriots.”

His remarks come as Sri Lankan police confirmed at least 83 soldiers are currently participating in the Ukraine-Russia war, though the true number may be much higher. At least 8 have been killed so far. Footage obtained by the Tamil Guardian shows dozens of Sri Lankan soldiers, dressed in Russian military uniform, on active duty in the war zone. 

Silva’s remarks came just days after he met with a military delegation from Russia to discuss training opportunities for security forces.

During the meeting, they discussed military training matters, with Silva thanking the Russian Federation for their support during the armed conflict where tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were massacred. The Sri Lankan military stands accused of committing widespread abuses including rape, executions and repeatedly shelling hospitals. 

Despite his appeal, reports suggest that there are hundreds of Sri Lankans serving in the front lines in the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Russian Embassy in Colombo  rejected allegations was involved in sending Sri Lankans to the war front, stating that the diplomatic mission “possessed neither information about the participation of Sri Lankan nationals on the Russian side, nor any data regarding possible numbers of them”.

“Neither we are aware of a local recruiting agency which ostensibly hires people to join such activities while deceiving about their true nature,” it added.

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