Sri Lanka takes strong objection to US travel restrictions on army chief

WION Web Team New Delhi Feb 15, 2020, 02.22 PM(IST)

File photo of Sri Lanka's new army chief Shavendra Silva. Photograph:( AFP )

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In a statement on Friday night, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said: "The government of Sri Lanka takes strong objection to the imposition of travel restrictions on Lt. Gen. Silva and his immediate family members by the Us, based on independently unverified information."

The Sri Lankan government has reacted strongly to the travel restrictions imposed by the US on the island nation`s Army chief Lt. General Shavendra Silva and his family over "credible" evidence of human rights violations in decades-long civil war, media reports said on Saturday.

In a statement on Friday night, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said: "The government of Sri Lanka takes strong objection to the imposition of travel restrictions on Lt. Gen. Silva and his immediate family members by the Us, based on independently unverified information."

The government reiterates that Lt. Gen. Silva was appointed as the Commander of the Army taking into account his seniority and that there were no substantiated or proven allegations of human rights violations against him, the Daily Financial Times quoted the statement as saying.

"His elevation as the Acting Chief of Defence Staff by the current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was on account of his being the most senior serving military officer.

"The Sri Lankan government requests the US to verify the authenticity of the sources of information and to review its decision," the statement added.


The Us said on Friday it would refuse entry to Sri Lanka's army chief over "credible" evidence of human rights violations in the bloody 2009 finale to the civil war.

Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, whose appointment last year drew wide international criticism, will be ineligible to visit the United States, as will his immediate family, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.