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AFP
February 17, 2020

Barring army chief: Lanka calls on US to reconsider decision

World

AFP
February 17, 2020

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Sunday said the US should reconsider its decision to refuse entry to the island´s army chief over his alleged war crimes and warned that relations were being "unnecessarily complicated".

The US Friday said the travel ban for Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and his family was imposed over what it called credible evidence of human rights violations in the 2009 finale to the civil war.

US ambassador Alaina Teplitz was summoned by Sri Lanka´s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Sunday, officials said. He said Colombo was "disappointed" with the decision, the first against a Sri Lankan military officer. "The minister said this action unnecessarily complicates the US-Sri Lanka relationship," his office said in a statement shortly after the closed-door meeting.

Silva was unfairly barred on unverified allegations, Gunawardena added. The foreign ministry quoted Teplitz as saying the US would continue its cooperation with Sri Lanka, including in defence, despite the ban on