- Title: New Sri Lanka army chief denies human rights abuse allegations
- Date: 27th August 2019
- Summary: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (AUGUST 26, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL SHAVENDRA SILVA ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE SILVA AND MILITARY OFFICERS SEATED AT TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LIEUTENANT GENERAL, SHAVENDRA SILVA, SAYING: "Country's can have concerns, of course, due to various reasons. But his excellency the president has appointed me as the commander of the army. I am sure he would have considered the requirement of the nation. So, I respect and accepted the decision taken by the commander." VARIOUS OF MILITARY OFFICERS SEATED AT TABLE NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LIEUTENANT GENERAL SHAVENDRA SILVA SAYING: "So, those are allegations. Anyone can make any allegations. But we will go forward. This is not the very first time that they made these allegations" JOURNALISTS SEATED AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) LIEUTENANT GENERAL SHAVENDRA SILVA SAYING: "I am not army commander to any ethnicity. I am the commander of the Sri Lanka army to protect each and every Sri Lankan. I am the commander to protect all the entire community of this nation." SILVA AND MILITARY OFFICERS STANDING UP TO LEAVE NEWS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 10th September 2019 03:38
- Keywords: Sri Lanka army chief human rights abuse international criticism Tamil tigers civil war denial Shavendra Silva
- Location: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
- City: COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
- Country: Sri Lanka
- Topics: Defence,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001ATZRY2V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Sri Lanka's new army commander denied on Monday (August 26) that he or his troops violated human rights during the final phase of the war against Tamil Tiger rebels. His appointment sparked international and local criticism.
"This is not the very first time that they made these allegations", Shavendra Silva told reporters at the Colombo Defence Seminar 2019, emphasising that he respects the decision made by the president.
The appointment of Silva, 55, a key military leader during the final phase of the island nation's 26-year-long war drew flak from the United States, United Nations and local and international civil society groups.
A United Nations panel has accused Silva's army division of suspected extrajudicial executions of unarmed rebels in the final week of the war, which ended in 2009, and systematic torture of people in custody.
The government defended the appointment with the Foreign Ministry saying it was a sovereign decision taken by Sri Lanka's president.
(Production: Waruna Karunatilake, Lion Schellerer)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None