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Sri Lankan army chief says no inquiry into Brigadier Fernando

The Sri Lankan army commander on Wednesday rejected the possibility of an inquiry into the country's Defence Attache, Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, after he was filmed making a throat slitting gesture to Tamil protesters, claiming that he had only been explaining that the LTTE leader had been 'taken care of' by the military. 

"On the day of the incident the protesters who were carrying LTTE flags had shouted slogans against the Sri Lankan government and sung songs in praise of Prabhakaran," Commander Mahesh Senananayake said. 

"The Brigadier who was standing inside the premises of the Sri Lankan HC had pointed to the Sri Lankan flag on the shoulder of his uniform and gestured that the Sri Lankan government had already 'taken care' of Prabhakaran," he was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying. 

Commander Senananayake denied the gesture by Brigadier Fernando was made in a threatening way. 

Brigadier Fernando on Sunday was seen gesturing the slitting of one's throat to Tamils protesting against Independence Day celebrations outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London.  

Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was posted to London as the Sri Lankan High Commission’s defence attache last year said a briefing note by journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) & the International Truth and Justice Project (IJTP).

As part of the military offensive in 2009, Brigadier Fernando fought in Weli Oya and Janakapura for the 11 Gemunu Watch Battalion as part of the 59 Division of the Sri Lankan Army.

The United Nations OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka detailed multiple incidents, implicating the 59 Division in the shelling of hospitals south of Mullaitivu.

“Brigadier Fernando was clearly active in the final offensive in the north of Sri Lanka from at least April 2008 – and on those grounds alone should have been subjected to a scrupulous vetting process by both the Government of Sri Lanka and the UK which should have precluded his diplomatic appointment to London,” said the briefing note. 

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