Tamils protest general’s posting

2012-11-09 00:00

TAMILS in South Africa are outraged at the appointment of Sri Lanka’s Major-General Shavendra Silva as Deputy Ambassador to South Africa.

A strongly worded protest has gone out from the the South African Tamil Federation (SATF) and its provincial bodies, as well as the local Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka (SGJP).

In a joint statement, the Tamil organisations noted that Silva led the 58th Division of the Sri Lankan Army, which according to a United Nations investigation stands accused of unlawful acts of extra­judicial killings and torture of Sri Lankan Tamils during the final stages of the war.

SGJP secretary Preggy Padayachee said that earlier this year, Silva was removed by Louise Frechette, former deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, from his post as advisor to the UN Special Advisory Group. This was in view of war crimes allegations which were levelled against him post 2009.

Padayachee said they were perturbed at South Africa’s continued support of the government of Sri Lanka, despite growing international sentiment for an independent investigation into credible allegations of war crimes against that government and its top leadership. SGJP recently protested against the visit of a South African trade delegation to Sri Lanka.

According to Padayachee, following the UN Universal Periodic Review on Thursday, November 1, 2012, Amnesty International’s expert on Sri Lanka, Yolanda Forster, said that Sri Lanka’s promises on human rights should no longer be accepted by the international community. “She said Sri Lanka had been making empty promises about human rights for decades. This was made clear by a number of countries which questioned its progress in ending human rights violations during the review,”

The local Tamil organisations said in a statement that Silva’s appointment constituted “an insult and an assault on our democratic foundation and principles … It is further a serious indictment on all peace loving South Africans if this appointment is not rescinded.”

The statement said the South African Tamil Organisations would continue to mobilise individuals concerned “to reject with contempt the appointment of Major General Silva”. It called on the government to declare Silva “persona non grata” and bar his entry to South Africa.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.