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US court dissmisses war crimes case against Shavendra silva
The District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a lawsuit filed by relatives of alleged Tamil victims in Sri Lanka against Shavendra Silva, a former Sri Lanka Army general.

Leading LTTE fighter Ramesh in captivity
Leading Tamil Tiger commander Rameshe's wife is one of the plaintiffs. (Photo of Ramesh allegedly in military captivity)

General Silva successfully claimed diplomatic immunity against the proceedings.

"Claiming diplomatic immunity is the prevailing precedence, I did not want to change it”, he told the BBC Sinhala Service.

General Silva, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York has recently been selected as an advisor for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations.

Last days of the battle

Silva led the 58th Division of the Sri Lanka Army that took part in the final battle with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The plaintiffs claimed that he had committed unlawful acts of extrajudicial killing and torture during the final stages of the war.

US law

The lawsuit has been brought under US law, Alien Tort Claims Act which allows non US citizen to bring a civil lawsuit against somebody for the conduct that occurred outside USA.

Government of Sri Lanka had denied that the government forces had taken part in any unlawful acts during the last stages of the final battle against the rebels.

Any time, any court

When asked if he is willing to face simillar allegations in a situation where he is not in a position to claim immunity, Silva said that he is confident about the conduct of his command.

"We are not going to be diplomats all our lives. I will be happy to defend the conduct of the forces at any court at any time". Shavendra Silva told the BBC Sinhala Service.

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