‘War Criminal gets a UN job’ – Sri Lanka refutes NY Post

‘War Criminal gets a UN job’ – Sri Lanka refutes NY Post

November 25, 2010   03:55 pm


Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations has refuted allegations against Major General Shavendra Silva, the new Deputy Permanent Representative to UN by New York Post in an article titled ‘War criminal gets a UN job’.

In a letter to the Editor of the newspaper, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Dr. Palitha Kohona stated that the report is ‘not based on fact and is highly defamatory’.

‘This piece is extremely unbalanced and does not portray Major General Shavendra Silva in the correct light’.

Sri Lanka requests these misrepresentations be corrected for the sake of accuracy and impartiality.

Following is the letter:

Dear Editor

Article titled “War criminal gets a UN job” dated 21 November 2010- Response by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

It is regrettable to note that a senior army officer, who defeated one of the most barbaric terrorist groups in the world, the LTTE, which is still proscribed in the USA, is defamed in this manner in your news paper.

Major General Silva commanded the Sri Lanka Army’s 58 Division and was instrumental in capturing the terrorist LTTE strongholds, including the Mannar rice Bowl, Nachchikuda, Devils Point, Pooneryn, Kilinochchi, Elephant Pass, Vishvamadu and Puthukudirippu in Sri Lanka. Until the LTTE was on the verge of defeat, there were no accusations of excesses leveled against the forces under his command at which point it may have been considered expedient by the LTTE propaganda machine to refer to the emotional issue of civilian casualties to rouse international opinion against Sri Lanka. There is no substantiation of the story that the Sri Lanka forces killed 40,000 civilians except in an allegation leveled by an disenchanted Australian working for the UN. Even the UN never stood by an internal document that alleged the deaths of 7000 civilians and said that these figures had never been verified. There is no credible substantiation that Sri Lankan troops shelled civilians concentrations contrary to the clear policy of the Government despite the clear evidence that the LTTE located their heavy guns amidst the civilians held against their will. The canard that surrendering LTTE leaders were killed stands in sharp contrast to the evidence provided before a Court of Law in Sri Lanka last week. In fact, the Sri Lankan Army rescued over 300,000 Tamil civilians who were held as hostages and as bargaining chips by the retreating LTTE, many of them were rescued by General Silva’s 58th Division. It is a fact that the rescued civilians were provided shelter, fed, cared for and 95% of them are back in their own villages in less than 18 months since the defeat of the terrorist LTTE.

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