Sri Lankan official in UK suspended over throat-cutting gesture

Authorities in Sri Lanka have taken serious note of videos being circulated on social and web-based media of an alleged incident involving  Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, the Minister Counsellor (Defence) attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London behaving in an offensive manner.

In this connection, instructions have been sent to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in London today, 6 February 2018, to suspend the Minister Counsellor (Defence) from work, with immediate effect, the Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry said that the authorities in Sri Lanka including the Sri Lanka Army will initiate inquiries on the incident immediately.

British Parliamentarians Joan Ryan and Siobhain McDonagh had called on the British Foreign Secretary to “withdraw Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s diplomatic papers and expel him” from the UK, after he was filmed making ‘throat-cutting gestures’ to Tamils protesting outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, on Sunday 4 February.

Ms Ryan and Ms McDonagh, the Vice Chair and Senior Vice Chair of the Tamil All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), also said in their letter to Boris Johnson MP that the conduct of Brigadier Fernando – Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché to the UK – was “inappropriate, unacceptable and threatening […] from someone who is serving in an official capacity as a guest of this country.”

Meanwhile, Sen Kandiah, Chair of Tamils for Labour in the UK said that Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s behaviour was despicable.

“His actions were clearly an attempt to intimidate and silence peaceful protests opposed to the on-going persecution of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Given the Sri Lankan military’s long history of committing human rights violations and alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity on Tamils, the Defence Attaché’s threats must be taken seriously by the UK Government,” Kandiah said.

Kandiah said he supported calls from Joan Ryan MP and Siobhain McDonagh MP saying that the Foreign Secretary must expel Brigadier Fernando from the UK without delay. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. He is suspended by doing this gesture??? But LTTE fans outside SriLankan Embassy stepping on SriLankan flag and showing no respect are ok? Nobody is arresting them? Why they talking about human rights ??? They have no respect for anybody and they behaviour is unacceptable!

  2. I’m so glad on seeing how supportive and understanding the tamil community of our country in this matter. To the British Parliamentarians, I would like to point out the Human Rights violations you committed by breaking into Iraq and destroying that country. Moreover, you seem to be very dissapointed about the way our brave soldier behaved, but look at the uneducated and useless diaspora imbeciles standing in front of a “diplomatic premises” and shouting! You people have no right to talk about any Human Rights violations of the things the tamil community of the country had to go through in our land by living a luxurious life over there and just watching how these people suffered. If you really care for the tamil community in Sri Lanka, come here and help them. Just sitting in AC rooms and shouting would not do anything or give you the right to represent them.

  3. Sivalingam (doubt thats your true name-), LTTE is a terror group. SL Army is a professional army, and the men and women in SL armed forces made tremendous sacrifices in defeating the terrorist group. This idiot Brig., by his stupid, ignorant actions bring bad name for Sri Lanka. He should be stripped of his credentials and sent home. As for EELAM protesters, they are exercising their democratic rights, allowed in UK. If you want, do a counter protest next time.

  4. The behaviour of this individual is shocking. These are not the soldiers we need in our country.
    The behaviour of this idiot May be due to no education what so ever.please find out what sort of a education back ground this individual has.
    He should be court marshal and must be kicked out of the Sri Lankan army.
    He has disgraced the country and the defence force as a whole.

    • If you are calling our brave soldiers idots sir i doubt the education background you have! This is not an act of an idiot this is as you can see an act of the moment incident. He knows how our soldiers suffered from LTTE he has face the war he gas suffered from the lost of his fellow brothers and sisiters of the army. When british government is allowing the tamil Elam to protest like that loosing the temper of a person who love our nation is natural because we sri lankas are naturally agressive people and when there’s a threat or insult happening to our country we sri lankas act agaisnt it no matter what the circumstances are. Sir before you trying to learn about this brave mans education background think twice before insulting a man who was acting on his instincts for the love of his nation!

      • very well said man, proud to have people like you with us to back him up , again really well said

    • Mama hithanawa oba me ratata adaraya karana amma kenekta dawa ipaduna kenek newei kiyala..
      Mechchara kapa kirimak karana kenekta oya wani pahath widihata katha karanne naha…
      Mulinma thamunge education paththa balagaththoth hondai….

  5. You are taking the throat-cutting gestures seriously…but we still remember the time time LTTE came to the bordering villages and actually cut throats of women, children and even toddlers. We still remember how suicide bombers blew up tons of innocent civilian lives. Well talk about those as well. U dont allow pro ISIS protests in how come pro EELAM protects are allowed? Such an hypocritic country.

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