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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2340

Sri Lankan Army Ended Unpleasant Diplomatic Furore Recalling Defence Attache

London, 24 February, (Asiantribune.com):

: An unpleasant diplomatic drama in London brought to an end when the Sri Lankan Military Attache in the Sri Lankan Embassy was recalled back to the country.

While the issue of Sri Lankan Military Attache Brigadier Priyanka Fernando attached to the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, who displayed his shoulder flash bearing the national emblem to pro-LTTE protestors in London on February 4, was heating up in the United Kingdom, Sri Lankan Army has recalled him to Sri Lanka.

Accordingly Sri Lankan Military Attache Brigadier Priyanka Fernando has been summoned to the country before the completion of his time of service, said Senanayake.

Brigadier Priyanka Fernando arrived in the country on February 22 after being recalled by the government.

A video appeared on social media depicting Brigadier Priyanka Fernando making certain gestures aimed at members from the Tamil community who were engaging in a protest outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on Sunday (4), as Sri Lanka marked the 70th anniversary of independence.

In this connection, instructions were sent to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London on Tuesday (6), to suspend the Minister Counsellor (Defence) from work, with immediate effect, the release said, adding that authorities in Sri Lanka including the Sri Lanka Army will initiate inquiries on the incident immediately.

On February 07 President Maithripala Sirisena revoked the suspension of Brigadier Priyanka Fernando from duties as the Minister Counsellor (Defence) attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London.

However, a number of accusations were levied against the reinstatement of Brigadier Priyanka Fernando in diplomatic level.

Subsequently, Sri Lanka Army (SLA) sent a letter to the Brigadier seeking justification for his actions during the incident.

Accordingly, the SLA decided to summon Brigadier Priyanka Fernando for an inquiry on his behavior, said Army Spokesman during the weekly cabinet media briefing this week.

According to reports, a minister of the United Kingdom has spoken to Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana regarding the incident involving The Brigadier displayed this as a warning,

Against the backdrop, Spokesman of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Suren Surendiran wrote to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson asking for the naming of the Brigadier ‘Persona Non-Grata’ (A person not allowed to stay in that country).

The Foreign Office, in response to the GTF, assured that the UK government was taking the incident seriously.
Subsequently, the Foreign Office made immediate representations to the Sri Lankan government, and the Minister for South Asia has personally spoken to Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana in this regard.

“We have been left in no doubt that the Government of Sri Lanka also takes this incident very seriously. As the Minister explained to the House on February 20, the Government of Sri Lanka has ordered their Defence Attache to return to Colombo, while the incident is being thoroughly investigated,” the UK Foreign Office wrote to Mr Surendiran.

In the meantime, Army Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake said. That the Minister Counsellor (Defence) attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London was recalled to Sri Lanka due to security concerns.

Army Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, made this statement while participating in the opening of a new building complex at Wanni Security Force Headquarters 56 Division.

- Asian Tribune -

Brigadier Priyanka Fernando making certain gestures aimed at members from the Tamil community who were engaging in a protest outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on Sunday (4)
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