Court Dismisses Alien Tort Act Claims Against Sri Lankan Diplomat

Skadden obtained the dismissal of a series of putative class action claims brought against Gen. Shavendra Silva, currently the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and former head of Sri Lanka’s armed forces. Plaintiffs filed claims against Silva in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under the Alien Tort Act and Torture Victims Prevention Act, alleging human rights violations in connection with the Sri Lankan civil war. On February 8, Judge Paul Oetken granted Skadden’s motion seeking dismissal of all claims pursuant to the Diplomatic Relations Act on the grounds that Silva is a currently accredited diplomat covered by the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.