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Shavendra assumes duties as ITJP calls for his arrest 

Major General Shavendra Silva assumed duties as the Army’s Chief of Staff today. He was appointed to the position by President Maithripala Sirisena this week. 

However, the appointment has drawn tahe criticism of human rights activists. Following the controversial appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva as the Sri Lanka Army’s Chief of Staff the International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has called for Silva to be arrested if he attempts to travel abroad. 

Releasing a statement, Director of the ITJP Yasmin Sooka labelled the appointment of Silva as a ‘new low’ for Sri Lanka. Accusations of war crimes have been tailing Shavendra Silva since the end of the war in 2009. She noted that the unit under the direct supervision of Silva had been involved in enforced disappearances. 

“Sri Lanka now has a chief of army staff who risks arrest every time he travels abroad,” Sooka said in the statement adding that the ITJP has prepared a substantial dossier on Major General Silva which will be released shortly. According to Sooka, the ITJP believes there is more than enough evidence to charge Silva for international crimes should the opportunity arise. She also said the appointment is a threat to reconciliation attempts in the country.

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