With news that the UN Development Program in Sri Lanka has found and confirmed via a leaked e-mail cluster sub-munitions, General Shavendra Silva as a UN Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping takes on an even more sinister hue.
As reported, Allan Poston, the technical adviser for UNDP’s mine action group in Sri Lanka, wrote that "after reviewing additional photographs from the investigation teams, I have determined that there are cluster sub-munitions in the area where the children were collecting scrap metal and in the house where the accident [the death of a child] occurred. This is the first time that there has been confirmed unexploded sub-munitions found in Sri Lanka."
Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Shavendra Silva, during this conflict commanded the 58th Division, depicted in Ban Ki-moon’s report as engaged in war crimes. Now, cluster munition. Still, Ban Ki-moon’s position remains that Silva being Ban’s adviser is "up to member states."
The Sri Lankan press on the same day as the cluster bomb revelation breathlessly reported that all 54 nations in the Asia and Pacific Group support Silva’s continued service. To Inner City Press’ knowledge this was not true even prior to the cluster bomb confirmation, and should be even less true now.
Earlier this month, the Permanent Representative of an Asia Group member told Inner City Press, of Silva,
"the gentleman’s appearance is not welcome. They have chosen to escalate, sending public letters, casting doubt on Frechette‘s integrity. It becomes a big story, and member states in the end will say it’s unacceptable… No one knew who Shavendra Silva was. Once you began to publish the stories, we came know. If we had known from the beginning of course it would never have happened. If they continue to push it, there would be enough delegates in the Asia group to say ‘enough.’"