British Police investigating incident involving Sri Lankan military officer - reports

The Metropolitan Police special branch is currently investigating the incident involving a Sri Lankan military officer gesturing a death threat to Tamils protesting in London, sources close to the UK government told the Tamil Guardian. "The Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police are interviewing complainants on an ongoing basis against Fernando with a view laying charges. If they succeed in laying charges ahead of Fernando's withdrawal, he faces the risk of being stripped of any diplomatic protection he has been afforded in the United Kingdom," the source, speaking on condition of...

'Cannot remove officer due to social media video' - Sri Lankan army

The Sri Lankan army commander today rejected the calls for the military officer, filmed making a throat slitting gesture to Tamils protesting in London, to be suspended, stating "they could not remove officials merely because of a social media video". "He is back to work but there will be an inquiry," Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake was quoted by Sri Lankan papers as saying. He went on to defend the military officer, Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, describing the then Colonol "as an officia who rendered an immense service as the commanding officer of the 11th Gemunu Watch to rescue villagers in...

Sri Lanka's president revokes suspension of military official at London embassy

A Sri Lankan military official who was suspended by the state's Ministry of External Affairs, has been ordered by President Sirisena to resume his duties at the Sri Lankan High Commission in London. Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was suspended by the MEA yesterday after being filmed making a throat slitting gesture to Tamils protesting on Sunday. Sri Lanka’s army spokesperson announced this morning however that President Sirisena had intervened to revoke the suspension, instructing Brigadier Priyanka Fernando to resume duties, report sources from Reuters. The news comes amid mounting calls for...

Chair of cross-party UK MPs urges govt to expel Sri Lankan military official

The chair of the UK All Parliamentary Group for Tamils, MP Paul Scully, urged the government to expel the Sri Lankan military official who was captured on video motioning a death threat to Tamils protesting outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on Sunday. "I urge you to take immediate action and to withdraw the Brigadier Fernando's diplomatic papers and expel him from the United Kingdom," Mr Scully wrote in a letter to the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. "Records show that Brigadier Fernando was a commanding officer of the 59th Division of the Sri Lankan army during 2008/2009 which stands accused by the OHCHR of repeatedly attacking civilian hospitals in the region causing large scale death and destruction. Brigadier Fernando was clearly active in the final stages of the war with command responsibility in which his division and the Sri Lankan military stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Sri Lankan president reiterates denial of secret detention centres

Sri Lanka’s president has once again declared that there were no secret detention centers on the island, contradicting reports by non-governmental organisations and a UN body which confirmed their existence. Speaking at an election rally in Jaffna Maithripala Sirisena said that he had met with the relatives of the disappeared and was “concerned about their problem of the missing relatives”. Protests led by women have been ongoing for almost a year, demanding the Sri Lankan government reveal the whereabouts of the disappeared, release a list of all those who surrendered to the military and for...

Suspension ordered as Sri Lanka seeks to defuse outcry over death threat by military official

The Sri Lankan military official who motioned a death threat to Tamils protesting in London on Sunday is to be suspended the country's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement today as the government sought to stem rising international outcry at the incident. "Authorities in Sri Lanka have taken serious note of videos being circulated on social and web-based media of an alleged incident involving 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...

British MPs call for expulsion of Sri Lankan military official

British parliamentarians from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils have called for the expulsion of a Sri Lankan military official who motioned a death threat to Tamil protestors in London this week. Joan Ryan and Siobhain McDonagh wrote a letter to the British Foreign Secretary stating that the official, identified as the Sri Lankan High Commission’s defence attaché Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, was filmed “repeatedly running a finger across his throat – signaling the slitting of one’s neck – in an obvious attempt to intimidate the Tamil people who were present”. “This is...

Sri Lankan court further remands Tamils over Facebook post

A court in Sri Lanka has ordered that two Tamils accused of sharing a Facebook post containing 'LTTE symbols'. The two men, named as Dinesh Kumar and Vijaya Kumar by Ceylon Today, have now been remanded until 7th of February. They were arrested by Sri Lanka’s Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) for the social media post.

Sri Lankan officer that threatened Tamil protestors implicated in war crimes

A Sri Lankan military officer who motioned a death threat to Tamil protestors in London yesterday has been identified as a commander who led troops in a military offensive in 2009, that massacred tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.

Massive military parade marks Independence Day in Colombo

A military parade was held in Colombo to mark Sri Lanka’s 70 th Independence Day yesterday, with thousands of soldiers marching alongside heavy weaponry.