Maj Gen Shavendra Silva who was appointed to the Special Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations in January 2012 was barred in taking part in its meeting on 22 February 2012 – because of the credible allegations that he committed war crimes.
He was chosen by Asian countries to sit on this United Nations (UN) committee which advises the UN Secretary General on payment to troops participating in UN peacekeeping operations. He is also the deputy permanent representative for Sri Lanka at the UN.
It is reported that Maj Gen Silva did attend the group's first meeting, but no members spoke to him and no documents were given to him. The group’s chair, Louise Frechette, said in a statement that this decision was made by consulting other members of the group and that she had advised Major General Shavendra Silva “that his participation is not appropriate or helpful.
More surprisingly UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navaneetham Pillai wrote to Ban Ki Moon
officially expressing concerns about Shavendra Silva’s appointment as he was on a UN black list of suspected violators of human rights. Human rights organisations have also urged the UN to suspend the diplomatic credentials of Maj Gen Silva as Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN. But the Government paid no heed
Shivendra Silva and his superior Palitha Kohona’s presence in the UN fits in with an established pattern whereby mid-level commanders against whom there are credible allegations of war crimes are pressed into diplomatic service so that they will have diplomatic immunity. Prassana de Silva serves as military attaché in the UK for the same reason, and Jagath Dias did in Switzerland and Germany until Swiss NGOs took action
This hasn’t just put these individuals beyond the reach of accountability and the law, but the militarisation of Sri Lankan diplomacy may well have contributed to the belligerence and intransigence of the Government’s foreign policy.