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US is ‘number one war criminal’ says Sri Lankan MP

A Sri Lankan parliamentarian and leader of the extremist Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) has lashed out at the United States, calling the country “the number one war criminal in the world” in response to travel sanctions placed on the commander of Sri Lanka’s army for his involvement in mass atrocities last week.

PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila told reporters that the US “slaughtered thousands of innocent people,” according to the Daily Mirror.

“The US dropped an atom bomb on Hiroshima, killing 80,000 innocent people and injuring another 70,000. Besides, at least 40,000 were killed and 60,000 wounded in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki,” the MP said. “At the end of World War II, the bombs were also dropped by the US into the air in Dresden, Germany, killing 25,000 people as the remaining bombs were expensive to transport to the US”.

However, the MP then went on to claim that Sri Lankan army commander Shavendra Silva, who headed the notorious  58 Division during a military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamils, was being subjected to “groundless” claims.

“I would like to ask the US as to how and why they called Shavendra Silva a war criminal,” he told journalists.

On Friday, the United States barred Silva and his immediate family from entering the USA “due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights”.

“The allegations of gross human rights violations against Shavendra Silva, documented by the United Nations and other organizations, are serious and credible,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.