Sri Lanka’s army chief Shavendra Silva and his immediate family will not be permitted to enter the United States over the “credible” evidence of human rights violations in the civil war of 2009.
Silva was reportedly the leader of an army division of the military offensive, in the northern war-zone, in Sri Lanka, who fought against the militant organization of Tamil Tiger that in their attempt to reach independence had been killed more than 100, 000 people, VisaGuide.World reports.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said that United Nations and other organizations have found rights violations that were committed by Lieutenant General Shavender Silva, pointing out this is the main reason that pushed the United States to take this decision.
“The allegations of gross human rights violations against Shavendra Silva, documented by the United Nations and other organizations, are serious and credible,” Pompeo said in a statement.
He added that the government should promote human rights and hold accountable individuals responsible for war crimes and human rights violations.
“We urge the Sri Lankan government to promote human rights, hold accountable individuals responsible for war crimes and human rights violations, advance security sector reform, and uphold its other commitments to pursue justice and reconciliation,” US Secretary of State highlighted.
According to the United Nations report, Silva played a major role in war crimes, which according to some rights groups include the killing of over 40, 000 ethnic Tamils.
But the United States travel ban for Sri Lanka’s army chief has been objected by the Sri Lankan government, who asked the US to reconsider their latest decision.
The government of Sri Lanka said that there are no substantiated or proven allegations of human rights violations against Silva.
“It is disappointing that a foreign government should question the prerogative of the democratically elected president to call upon persons with proven expertise to hold key positions on national security-related matters,” Sri Lanka’s government protested in a statement.
However, US Secretary of State said that the United States will continue to maintain security cooperation with Sri Lanka.
He said that he values the partnership with the Sri Lankan government and the long-standing democratic tradition that they share with the Sri Lankan people.
The initiative for an investigation about the conduct of troops of Sri Lanka during the final months of the war with Tamils has been cancelled by Sri Lanka’s government.
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