Politics & Current Affairs

Indian military academy welcomes war crime accused Sri Lankan commander

A senior commander of the Sri Lankan armed forces  accused of war crimes has been accepted by India to a leading defence academy in Delhi. Major General  Shavendra Silva who has been named for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity  by leading human rights organisations, has commenced  studies in at the National Defence College (NDC) Governed by the Indian Ministry of Defence. The NDC course has been accorded recognition by the University of Madras.

Major General Silva who commanded the  58 division accused of killing civilians and the execution of Tamil Tiger leaders who surrendered carrying white flags, has started following a course in Defence and Strategic Studies at the NDC in January. At the successful conclusion of the residential course in December, Silva will be eligible to receive an M Phil. He is one of the select few senior military officers from around the world to be accepted by India for the course. During the earlier stage in his military career, Silva has completed a course in the Parachute Regiment Training Centre in Agra. The recognition by a National Defence College is a major qualification to be appointed as the commander of the Sri Lankan military.

Counter-insurgency in South

Shavendra Silva has entered NDC following his stint in New York as Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations. A lawsuit filed against him in NY by affected Tamil victims was dismissed by courts due to the protection provided by diplomatic immunity. However, he was barred in taking part the UN Special Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations in January 2012.

Silva was a pioneer member of the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) that terrorised southern Sri Lanka during the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) youth insurrection in the late eighties. He was raised to the rank of captain while conducting counter-insurgency operations in central Sri Lanka under Colonel Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The former Ambassador Silva and the Former Defence Secretary Rajapaksa were comrades in arms in Matale District where a mass grave over 150 bodies of Sinhala youth have been found buried. 

©  JDS

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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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