May 22, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has granted a diplomatic promotion to Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Major General Shavendra Silva.
The government has decided to grant Major General Silva ambassadorial status in order to enable him to deal with senior UN officials. The appointment has received Cabinet approval and has now come into effect.
External Affairs Ministry sources told ColomboPage that Silva has been granted an upgrade to the rank of ambassador.
“For a career diplomat, ambassadorial status would result in the official’s next appointment being that of ambassador. However, in this instance, General Silva is on a contract and his appointment would grant him similar status and perks enjoyed by the ambassador while holding the post of a deputy head of mission,” the official explained.
The External Affairs Ministry says that the government has decided to get Silva to play an active role when dealing with UN officials since he was a key player in the final stages of the war against the LTTE where the government is now being accused of committing war crimes.
Following the government’s move to grant Silva an ambassadorial position in the diplomatic service, he will now enjoy the same status, salary and other perks enjoyed by the head of the mission.
However, Silva will remain as the Deputy of the Sri Lankan mission.
Sri Lanka’s mission in New York is headed by Permanent Representative, Dr. Palitha Kohona.
Silva took up office as the Deputy Permanent Representative to the Mission in New York last year after performing the role of Commander of the Sri Lanka Army’s 58th Division during the final war against the LTTE.
Major General Silva was instrumental in the military capturing several former LTTE strongholds including the Mannar Rice Bowl, Nachchikudha, Devils Point, Pooneryn, Kilinochchi, Elephant Pass, Vishvamadu and Puthukkudyiruppu.