UK says it raised concerns over conduct of Lankan officer with FM

The British Minister for Asia, Mark Field has spoken to Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana with regards to the incident involving the Defense Attaché to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London, Brigadier Priyanka Fernando.

The UK Foreign Office, in response to an email sent by Global Tamil Forum spokesman Suren Surendiran, said that the UK Government is taking the incident very seriously.

“I can confirm that the FCO made immediate representations to the Government of Sri Lanka following the incident on 4 February and the Minister for South Asia personally spoke to Foreign Minister Marapana about the issue,” the Desk Officer for Sri Lanka in the UK Foreign Office said.

The officer said that the UK has been left in no doubt that the Government of Sri Lanka also takes the incident very seriously.

“As the Minister explained to the House on 20 February, the Government of Sri Lanka has ordered their Defence Attaché to return to Colombo while the incident is thoroughly investigated,” the UK Foreign Office said.

Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, who returned to Sri Lanka this week, was seen gesticulating to slit throats of a group of pro-LTTE demonstrators opposite the High Commission office in London on February 4 when the embassy was celebrating the 70th independence day.

He was immediately suspended from work following a video, which showed him behaving in an offensive manner.

However, he was later allowed to resume duties on a Presidential directive only to be recalled this week. (Colombo Gazette)