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TNA hail decision to bar Sri Lankan army chief US entry

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) welcomed the decision to impose a travel ban against Shavendra Silva and his family into entering the US, in a press release issued earlier today.

Shavendra Silva’s appointment, among others in the currently formed government, has been opposed by the TNA for their involvement in alleged war crimes against Tamils, particularly in the latter stages of the civil war. Many civilians surrendered themselves during the final stages of the war to Silva's division but have not been seen since then. 

The press release issued today by TNA stated:

“Shavendra Silva, the Commander-in-Chief of the 58th Division, should be held accountable for the crimes committed against humanity by the war crimes committed during the latter stages of the war and condemn his previous actions.

"We see this as a small breakthrough that has resulted from years of commitment to fighting for the justice of the affected Tamil people. Our people have been waiting for justice for over a decade and such breakthrough that is finally beginning to be made by the international community is welcomed by the TNA.  The TNA has maintained that the Sri Lankan government should allow convicts to be punished as a result from a compilation of the testimony collected from further international investigations."

 “At least now we hope the government of Sri Lanka come out to support international investigations to be instigated and allow the alleged culprits responsible for killing thousands of civilians to face to justice”

The travel restriction enforced against the general is the first substantial sanction over a Sri Lankan official for their involvement in human rights violations and extrajudicial killings during the war against Tamils.

The move was also welcomed by Human Rights Watch who urged the European Union and Britain to follow the US and consider issuing similar penalties.

“Mr. Rajapaksa campaigned last year on a platform that dismissed all charges of war crimes and political killings by military personnel as politically motivated and promised to end the ongoing oversight by the U.N. Human Rights Council” to overlook accountability efforts, insisted Alan Keenan, Senior Consultant based in Sri Lanka, at the International Crisis Group.                                 

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