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Rights group demands trial of new Sri Lanka army chief for alleged war crimes

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

A global rights group has demanded the international prosecution of Sri Lanka's new over allegations of war crimes during the final military battle with the militant group in 2009.

The Johannesburg-based International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) said Silva was named by a UN investigation for his part in commanding the 58 Division of the "which was the unit responsible for repeated and deliberate attacks on hospitals, and displacement camps resulting in tens of thousands of civilian deaths" towards the end of the three-decade civil war when the was finally crushed.

"now has a of staff who risks arrest every time he travels abroad, if any country is foolish enough to give him a visa," an ITJP release said.

The ITJP said that in 2011, a war crimes lawsuit was filed against Silva in but had failed because he enjoyed diplomatic immunity at the time.

Silva was appointed as by on Wednesday. Considered an outstanding military officer, Silva was the youngest in the to become a

The resolutions have called for accountability over alleged war crimes in the final 2009 battle blamed on both the and the military. The military has denied the allegations.

The war crimes accusations include bombing of hospitals, blocking humanitarian aid convoys, bombing civilians and murdering those who had surrendered.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 17:35 IST