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Monday, January 31, 2011 - 6.20 GMT
Military will take action against HR violators – Maj Gen Silva


If there had been any human rights violations during the last phase of the war against LTTE it will surface one day, Permanent Deputy United Nations Representative Major Gen. Shavendra Silva said.

“Then the military will take action against those responsible,” the MetroWest Daily News reported quoting Major General Silva at a Church in Framingham, USA on Saturday.

In his speech, Major General Silva cautioned Sri Lankans in the crowd about the various eyewitness reports about the last days of the conflict, in which critics of the government allege the military killed innocent Tamil civilians while it attempted to wipe out the Tigers.

He said the operation was actually a humanitarian effort, with his forces rescuing civilian Tamils "from the jaws of terrorists."

He said Tiger fighters took hundreds of thousands of civilians hostage during their final stand, placing them in a circle around their ranks as a "human shield" against military bullets.

Silva said the government succeeded in freeing the civilians, and that the only civilians killed were shot by Tamils as they fled from their captors.

"I am glad that you have the courage to ask that question," Silva told one listener, who raised the issue of alleged killings that took place during the last stage of war. "I'm so proud we have Sri Lankans of your nature," Major General Silva said.

He said that although some military officers have been arrested and accused of killing innocent civilians, the military as a whole acted in the best interest of the Tamil "hostages."

"If I am a war criminal as you say, one day I'll be investigated ... and punished," he added.

Major General Silva encouraged those concerned about human rights to "be patient" and wait for the results of a government committee's investigation of the conflict.

In May 2010, President Rajapaksa appointed the eight-member Commission to report on the lessons to be learnt from the events in the period, Feb 2002 to May 2009, their attendant concerns and to recommend measures to ensure that there will be no recurrence of such a situation. The Commission is chaired by the former Attorney General Chitta Ranjan de Silva.







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Last modified: January 31, 2011.

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