Sri Lanka spurns external influence on Shavendra’s appointment

Sri Lanka spurns external influence on Shavendra’s appointment

September 12, 2019   09:40 am


Sri Lanka has told the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the appointment of Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva as the new Commander of Army is a ‘sovereign decision taken by the Head of State’.

Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva stressed this in his statement at the 42nd Session of the UNHRC yesterday (11).

He stated that the attempts by external forces to influence decisions and internal administrative processes of public service promotions in Sri Lanka are unwarranted and unacceptable.

He told the UNHRC that Sri Lanka is disappointed with the concerns raised by certain bilateral partners and international entities over the Army Commander’s appointment, pointing out that it is regrettable and contrary to the principles of natural justice, he added. 

Addressing the UNHRC further, Mr Azeez stated that Sri Lanka was put to test subsequent to the terror attacks on Easter Sunday over four months ago.

“However, we witnessed the continued resilience of Sri Lanka’s security forces to protect the country and its people, while ensuring fundamental rights, consistent with the pledges it has made before this Council,” Mr Azeez continued.

These range from the speedy restoration of security which has minimized the impact on the country’s socio-economic fabric and upheld its international reputation, the lifting of the State of Emergency within 4 months, providing the ICRC full access to individuals detained, engaging in an informed debate on seeking to upgrade the new counter-terrorism legislation, and in deference to the sensitivities of the Muslim community, adjustment of the regulation banning full facial cover attire, he said further.

The government remains committed to combating hate speech and all forms of crimes directed against ethnic and religious communities and are taking steps to counter religious radicalization and violent extremism, Mr Azeez told the UNHRC.

UK’s International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, on behalf of the Human Rights Council core group on Sri Lanka, recently raised concerns over the appointment of new Sri Lankan Army Commander.”

She said the core group shares the concern expressed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that the appointing Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva as the Army Chief “severely compromises” Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote justice and accountability and undermines reconciliation efforts.

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