US warns SL on investment, military ties after army chief promotion
Posted on August 21st, 2019

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

A senior U.S. State Department official warned on Tuesday that Sri Lanka’s appointment of a war veteran accused of serious human rights violations as head of its army could affect U.S. military cooperation and investment in the island nation.

On Monday, Sri Lanka named Shavendra Silva, 55, as the country’s new army chief despite United Nations accusations that he was involved in human rights abuses during the country’s 26-year-long civil war.

The Washington official, speaking to reporters on background, said the appointment would have lasting implications for reconciliation following the brutal conflict, which ended in 2009.

“It is a highly charged political environment in which some political factions feel there is much to be gained by playing the nationalist card,” the official said.

“It is unfortunate that this card is being played through the promotion of a general about whom vivid and well documented human rights violations are on the record. We are deeply troubled.”

Silva is credited with successfully leading an army division against dissident Tamil Tigers in the final phases of the war. Thousands of civilians were killed in the last phases of the armed conflict, including in areas declared by the government to be ‘no fire zones’ that came under sustained army shelling, including hospitals.

Silva, who joined the army in 1984 and was its chief of staff from January, has denied the accusations.

The U.S. official said there would be “limits to what we can do as we develop a stronger military relationship with Sri Lanka if the army chief is a known human rights violator.”

The official also warned of a possible impact on foreign investment.

“There are limits to what foreign investors are willing to take as far as a risk if they see a situation that is leading to greater polarisation,” the official added.

The official suggested Silva’s new role could also affect a $480 million grant through the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation, aimed at modernising Sri Lanka’s urban transport system and infrastructure. The agreement is awaiting approval by Sri Lanka’s cabinet.

Asked whether Silva’s promotion could affect the MCC investment, under which a country is assessed on its commitment to democracy, the official said: “It will be one factor that will be looked at.” (Reuters – Washington)

5 Responses to “US warns SL on investment, military ties after army chief promotion”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    What is the value of MCC investment… just USD 480m. We are wasting more money in corruption in public funds by politicians.

    This is a welcome decision to all patriots of SL declared by US and they want to give its credit to Shavendra… Lucky you. You deserve it Honourable Shavendra

    You should be our commander for the next five years while Gota is ruling the land and provide necessary assistance to develop this nation.

    We have a lot to do!!

    Thank you US. Keep away from interfering into our internal matters and while serving as diplomats, enjoy our food and hospitality of the kind people. But don’t stab them from behind.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    I am with Hiranthe!

    Briefly, Take the MCC money and SHOVE IT where the SUN DOESN’T SHINE!

    We will be WELL RID of this money designed to create a foreign owned, foreign administered “Panama Canal Zone” within Sri Lanka in PERPETUITY!

    DEMISE of the MCC project will be a BLESSING IN DISGUISE for Sri Lanka! PLEASE DO CANCEL IT! Jayawewa!

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Absolutely!

    Take the money but don’t meet the commitments. A good lesson for USA.

  4. Nimal Says:

    We have lost the respect of the international community because of the dirty ways of our politicans,showing no respect to law and order,good governance,devide and rule policies which is obvious in the country where these crooks are more equal than the others.
    We have created a such a sad situation losing any respect and they the ic are not willing to consider the good work of this general who commanded the division that systematically over ran the terrorists, terrorists that murdered the President,that murdered the Foreign minister. Western countries would be more severe with such terrorists if the same occurred in their countries.
    Our Para Sinhala ambuda politicians with their primitive and disorderly culture that they have created since 1948 have open our people and our country to be abused.
    We have to live with this for generations to come.Our two bit leaders abuse powers given to them by the people and once in power couldn’t careless for the people.Today my high taxpaying friend is sleeping on the floor of the hospital with no beds with high fever from degu while the Mahanayake is bribed or gifted with an expensive bullet proof car.Our citizens are mere prisoners in their country with severe visa restrictions to travel abroad. What is our government doing about it and I know what to do to get some respect to our country if I am in power, which will be very painful.
    So our heroic general is a victim of our balu culture created by our leaders since 1948.
    So we are open to abuse and SL must learn to live and suffer with it.
    Any way we don’t need any help from outsiders and we have enough in the country, provided our crooks wan’t rob it.When our crooks and murderers get caught the system is so flawed that they are released to hide in a hospitals and even go abroad and what impression we give it to outsiders?
    Genral Sharavinda is a victim of our stupid system.
    To start with I will recall our Ambassador and show our displeasure, will we do that, no? We have no self respect and he is a victim and we mustn’t blame USA as they won’t do that to their general who boomed paddy farmers in Vietnam,must blame our stupid lawless primitive culture prevailing at present. You have seen nothing yet.
    Too busy to correct any errors.

  5. Nimal Says:

    We have lost the respect of the international community because of the dirty ways of our politicans,showing no respect to law and order,good governance,devide and rule policies which is obvious in the country where these crooks are more equal than the others.
    We have created a such a sad situation losing any respect and they the ic are not willing to consider the good work of this general who commanded the division that systematically over ran the terrorists, terrorists that murdered the President,that murdered the Foreign minister. Western countries would be more severe with such terrorists if the same occurred in their countries.
    Our Para Sinhala ambuda politicians with their primitive and disorderly culture that they have created since 1948 have open our people and our country to be abused.
    We have to live with this for generations to come.Our two bit leaders abuse powers given to them by the people and once in power couldn’t careless for the people.Today my high taxpaying friend is sleeping on the floor of the hospital with no beds with high fever from degu while the Mahanayake is bribed or gifted with an expensive bullet proof car.Our citizens are mere prisoners in their country with severe visa restrictions to travel abroad. What is our government doing about it and I know what to do to get some respect to our country if I am in power, which will be very painful.
    So our heroic general is a victim of our balu culture created by our leaders since 1948.
    So we are open to abuse and SL must learn to live and suffer with it.
    Any way we don’t need any help from outsiders and we have enough in the country, provided our crooks wan’t rob it.When our crooks and murderers get caught the system is so flawed that they are released to hide in a hospitals and even go abroad and what impression we give it to outsiders?
    Genral Sharavinda is a victim of our stupid system.
    To start with I will recall our Ambassador and show our displeasure, will we do that, no? We have no self respect and he is a victim and we mustn’t blame USA as they won’t do that to their general who bombed paddy farmers in Vietnam,must blame our stupid lawless primitive culture prevailing at present. You have seen nothing yet.
    Too busy to correct any errors.

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