The Sri Lankan government takes strong objection to the imposition of travel restrictions on Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva and his immediate family members by the United States government, based on independently unverified information, Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry said.
“The Government reiterates that Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva was appointed as the Commander of the Army by the then Head of State, taking into account his seniority and that there were no substantiated or proven allegations of human rights violations against him. His elevation as the Acting Chief of Defence Staff by the current Head of State President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was on account of his being the senior most serving military officer,” the ministry said in a statement.
“While the timing of the imposition of this travel restriction 6 months after Lt. Gen. Silva’s appointment as Army Commander is concerning, it is disappointing that a foreign government should question the prerogative of the democratically elected President to call upon persons with proven expertise to hold key positions on national security related matters.”
“The Government of Sri Lanka requests the United States to verify the authenticity of the sources of information and to review its decision,” the statement added.