The Sri Lankan military confirmed that the government’s UK Defence Attache who was sent back to Colombo after he threatened Tamil protestors in London would not be facing any disciplinary action.
Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was filmed on February 4 making a throat slitting gesture at Tamils protesting outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London. He was reportedly back in Sri Lanka this week, however army spokesperson Brigadier Sumith Atapattu told journalists that “This is not for any disciplinary action, this is not (a) probe”.
“We need to take care of his security,” the spokesperson added. “We need to check whether he can carry on with his duties under this situation. We need to think about the embarrassment to the country.”
He also confirmed that there was no decision taken to replace Brigadier Fernando as Sri Lanka’s current defence attaché in London.
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The military’s remarks come after UK minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field told parliament that the British government was treating the incident “very seriously”. Several British parliamentarians have called for the brigadier’s expulsion.
Brigadier Fernando is also implicated in war crimes committed during the final stages of the armed conflict in 2009, where tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were massacred.