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FeaturesNewsUN-Sri LankaAsks Asian group to review Shavendra’s appointment

Asks Asian group to review Shavendra’s appointment

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The Asian group, representing countries from Asia at the UN had come under pressure to withdraw their nominee to the Special Advisory Group on UN Peace Keeping.  Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Major General Shavendra Silva has been nominated to the Special Advisory Group on UN Peace Keeping by the Asian group as their nominee.

The US led Western Block, Human Rights Chief Navi Pillai, various human rights organizations and Tamil lobby groups had formally and informally requested Asian group of countries to reconsider their nominee.

India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and several Asian group members met last Friday in New York to discuss the situation and they in turn are likely going to request Sri Lanka to withdraw their controversial nominee.

Ceylon Today learns that Indian and Bangladeshi diplomats were disappointed over Sri Lanka’s move to nominate a controversial figure such as Major General Shavendra Silva for United Nations Secretary’s Special Advisory Group on UN Peace Keeping.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Kim- moon also came under fire over Major General Shavendra Silva’s controversial appointment to the Special Advisory Group on UN Peace Keeping. Many critics pointed out that Secretary General should fix his Special Advisory Group on UN Peace Keeping rather than turning a blind eye on this issue.

Spokesperson for the Secretary General reiterated that Major General Shavendra Silva was not selected by the Secretary General but by the Member States.

But UN human rights Chief Navi Pillay dispatched a strongly worded letter to Secretary General Ban Kim- moon expressing her concerns over Major General Shavendra Silva’s appointment. Navi Pillay’s confidential letter has been leaked to UN Press corps, last week.

 “I am seriously concerned that were Mr. Silva to assume this senior position related to U.N. peacekeeping the damage to the reputation and integrity of the organization will be serious and sustained…. His appointment runs directly counter to long-standing efforts … to move peacekeeping operations away from previous incidents of serious mismanagement and abusive conduct on a stronger, more professional and more respected footing”, UN human rights Chief stated in her letter.

She further said “I would this strongly encourage you and senior colleagues to convey as a matter of urgency the organization’s request to the Asian Group that this nomination be reviewed…. Should diplomatic engagement fail to bear fruit, further steps may need to be considered.”

Besides the war crime allegations and controversial selection, Sri Lankan government has highly rewarded their Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Major General Shavendra Silva on public expenditure. Major General Silva recently purchased a latest BMW seven series luxury car for his official use, which is priced as more than $100,000 in New York open market. Foreign Ministry approved funds for this purchase. Interestingly, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Palitha Kohona, doesn’t enjoy this type of luxuries.  Foreign Ministry also recently increased Deputy Permanent Representative’s housing allowance from $ 5000 to 11,500 per month.
MendakaAbeysekera reporting from New York

CT

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