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Sri Lankan war criminal sends China his ‘sincere wishes and congratulations’

Shavendra Silva, Sri Lanka’s chief of defence staff who remains banned from entry to the United States over his role in war crimes, sent his “compliments” to China this week, as he called for the strengthening of relations between the two governments.

Marking the National Day of the People’s Republic of China, Silva sent a message claiming that “Sri Lanka and the People’s Republic of China have enjoyed a very friendly and cordial relationship since time immemorial”.

“I am confident that the existing, cordial relationship between our Nations will be further strengthened and diversified through a broader platform of understanding and co-operation,” he added.

His message to China comes as several US members of Congress wrote to the Secretary of State calling for sanctions to be placed on individuals accused of rights abuses, similar to those that in place against Silva.

File photograph: Shavendra Silva

In 2020, he was barred from entering the USA “due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights”. , Silva was the head of Sri Lanka’s notorious 58 Division, an army unit that committed grave violations of international law.

Despite the travel ban, the Sri Lankan state continued to promote and celebrate the accused war criminal.

Read more on the ban and Silva’s crimes below.

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