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UN silent on appointment of Jagath Dias

On Sunday Human Rights Watch said Sri Lanka’s promotion of Jagath Dias, whose division was implicated in serious human rights abuses, casts doubt on government pledges to credibly investigate alleged war crimes. The United Nations (UN) refused to comment on the appointment of Major General Jagath C Dias as the new Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army.Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was asked at a press conference if the UN had any comments on the post given to Jagath Dias despite some human rights allegations against him and since he may get listed in a UN Human Rights Council report on Sri Lanka. “I think first we’ll allow for the Human Rights Council itself to review the matter and pronounce themselves on that,” Farhan Haq said in response to the question. Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias, who led the Army’s 57th Division during the last two years of the civil war with the LTTE, was appointed army chief of staff, one of the armed forces’ highest post. Although effective May 7, 2015, the appointment was only made public on May 15.“Sri Lanka’s new government has promised genuine accountability for wartime abuses, but naming the general of an abusive unit the army chief of staff is a slap in the face for victims,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Members of the UN Human Rights Council expecting genuine accountability in Sri Lanka need to closely scrutinize the government’s actions.” (Colombo Gazette) read more