Sri Lanka has appointed a former army commander accused of war crimes against Tamils during the civil war in 2009 as its next deputy high commissioner to South Africa.
The country’s high commissioner , Winithkumar Shehan Rantavale, confirmed that General Shavendra Silva’s appointment to Pretoria was “in the pipeline”.
He said the appointment was “not 100 percent confirmed”as the SA government still had to approve it.
But Clayson Monyela, spokesman for the Department of International Relations, suggested that the appointment would go ahead, saying it was only in exceptional circumstances that a country rejected another’s choice of a diplomat. He noted that Silva had not been convicted of any war crime.
Silva commanded the Sri Lankan Army’s 58th division, which was one of the key divisions fighting during the final stages of the civil war against the LTTE “Tamil Tigers”.
Independent Foreign Service