The US government has refused entry to Sri Lanka’s army chief over what it called credible evidence of human rights violations in the 2009 finale to the civil war.
The army chief, Shavendra Silva, and his immediate family members are now prohibited from travelling to the US in a ban that was quickly denounced by Sri Lanka’s government, which said “there were no substantiated or proven allegations of human rights violations” committed by Silva.
Silva in 2009 was in charge of the 58th Division which encircled the final stronghold of the Tamil Tiger rebels in the last stages of the civil war that killed at least 100,000 people.
Human rights groups have accused the division of violating international human rights laws, including using artillery to shell a hospital, an allegation he has denied.
The Sri Lankan government said it took “strong objection” to the travel ban on Silva and asked the United States to reconsider.