By Easwaran Rutnam
The United States (US) says it will continue to review the travel ban imposed on Army Commander Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told reporters in Colombo today that the ban on the Army Commander is part of a US legal process.
“We will also continue to review it and we want to make sure we get is factually and legally right,” he told reporters at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo.
The US Department of State had in February designated Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, current Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Acting Chief of Defense Staff, as required under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights, namely extrajudicial killings, by the 58th Division of the Sri Lanka Army during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s Civil War in 2009.
Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in a gross violation of human rights or significant corruption, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.
Sri Lanka had later requested the United States to review its decision to ban Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva.
The Government had reiterated that Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva was appointed as the Commander of the Army by the then Head of State, taking into account his seniority and that there were no substantiated or proven allegations of human rights violations against him. (Colombo Gazette)