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Sri Lanka's 'death threat' brigadier rewarded once more

A Sri Lankan brigadier who was found guilty by a British court of threatening Tamil protestors in London, has once more been promoted in Sri Lanka, taking up the post of 15th General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 58 Division Headquarters this week.

A Buddhist religious ceremony was held at the military base in Puttalam, as Brigadier Priyanka Fernando took up the post.

In December last year the Westminster Magistrate’s Court found Fernando guilty of violating the Public Order Act, after he motioned death threats to Tamil protestors in London last year, upholding a previous ruling that stated he was not protected by diplomatic immunity.

Initially, an arrest warrant was produced for Fernando’s arrest, whilst in Sri Lanka he was received as a hero and praised by senior political leaders. Murals have even been spotted in the south capturing Fernando pointing to a Sri Lankan flag, a gesture that he made as he signalled the death threats.

As part of the military offensive in 2009, Brigadier Fernando also fought in Weli Oya and Janakapura for the 11 Gemunu Watch Battalion as part of the 59 Division of the Sri Lankan Army, implicating himself in war crimes.The United Nations OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka detailed multiple incidents, implicating the 59 Division in the shelling of hospitals south of Mullaitivu.

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