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'We will not tolerate human rights abuses' - British MPs call for sanctions on Shavendra Silva

MP for Carshalton & Wallington and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, Elliot Colburn

British MPs Elliot Colburn and Theresa Villiers have called on the British foreign secretary to impose Magnitsky style sanctions on Sri Lanka's army commander, Shavendra Silva, who has been credibly accused of war crimes.

In their statement, both MPs stressed the need to follow the lead of the United States which has already imposed a travel ban on Silva over human rights abuses committed during his time as commander of the notorious 58th Division during the end of the armed conflict.

MP for  Chipping Barnet,Theresa Villiers

"The US government has sanctioned him and imposed a travel ban. It's time for the UK government to do the same and show that we will not tolerate human rights abuses" said  Villiers.

In a detailed dossier sent to the Foreign Office, the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) detail allegations against Shavendra which include:

- The violations of the right to life through bombardment (including the use of white phosphorus and cluster munitions)

- Summary executions of surrendees in May 2009, as well as violations of torture, (including allegations of rape and other forms of sexual violence);

- Deliberate attacks on civilians including women, children and the elderly, with many of the attacks also directed against specifically protected persons under international humanitarian law, such as medical and religious personnel and persons hors de combat.

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