Brig. Priyanka fiasco: UK says taking the incident very seriously

24 February 2018 09:25 am - 84     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A minister of the United Kingdom has spoken to Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana regarding the incident involving Sri Lankan Military Attache Brigadier Priyanka Fernando who displayed his shoulder flash bearing the national emblem to pro-LTTE protestors in London on February 4.

The Brigadier displayed this as a warning, during a demonstration on February 4 by LTTE activists in front of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London. The incident led to controversy, with pressure for removal of the Brigadier from office.

Against the backdrop, Spokesman of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) Suren Surendiran wrote to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson asking for the naming of the Brigadier ‘Persona Non-Grata’ (A person not allowed to stay in that country).

The Foreign Office, in response to the GTF, assured that the UK government was taking the incident seriously.

Subsequently, the Foreign Office made immediate representations to the Sri Lankan government, and the Minister for South Asia has personally spoken to Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana in this regard.

“We have been left in no doubt that the Government of Sri Lanka also takes this incident very seriously. As the Minister explained to the House on February 20, the Government of Sri Lanka has ordered their Defence Attache to return to Colombo, while the incident is being thoroughly investigated,” the UK Foreign Office wrote to Mr Surendiran. (Kelum Bandara)

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  Comments - 84

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  • Jude Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:38 AM

    Some of the UK politicians under GTF payroll ,!!!, let me ask you this, the 21st Century biggest human catastrophe AKA Syrian Refugee Crisis, now no British politicians worries about that!! Why !?? No one pays money to any of these politicians to take necessary action to solve that Crisis!!!

    Saman Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:12 PM

    What goes around comes around UK.. Count down...

    abc Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:21 PM

    With clueless fellows like this officer, I am not surprised we are being investigated for war crimes

    ANTON Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:53 AM


    Lawry Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:05 PM

    If English is a great language why do you talk only to your dog in English??

    Jude Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:55 AM

    This is the Same British, the country that allowed Former PM Tony Blair to Dodge any War Crime Changes, after their own government appointed inquiry known as Chilcot Inquiry found PM Blair misled the government and got into unnecessary war !!!

    Yahiya Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:58 AM

    Very serious issue. He must well behave premises of Embassy. He discriminate the country. He may paid by diaspora or local bankrupt politicians.

    Unchikun Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:58 AM

    This was just want happened in UK on British soil. Just imagine what would happened in the North and East in the years of the war.

    jena Saturday, 24 February 2018 06:34 PM

    Nothing would have happened. Yes, We can imagine, because we lived there and you didn't.

    Raza Sunday, 25 February 2018 03:44 PM

    Priyanka is a Sri Lankan Diplomat. The Diaspora are not Sri Lankan Citizens, But British Citizens. That is the core issue. There is no question for emotions here.Priyanka is a true patriot, but his sign language is against British citizens. He has got the admiration of Sri Lankans. But is it correct in Diplomatic parlance. This cannot be not connected to Election issues.Have We Sri Lankans ever being threatened by any Diplomatic staff, when protests being done.

    BornFree Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:00 AM

    Thanks DM for repeating that photograph in your news alerts.

    Jude Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:05 AM

    The British government failed under 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, to protect The SL Embassy from illegal banned outfit protesting with placards and illegal banned flags!!!

    Haramanis Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:23 AM

    Apparently the UK Govt and Foreign Office do not take the open display of LTTE terrorist flags seriously at all. The Yahapalana Govt of course kowtows to all and sundry western govt demands.The Lion Prez in the meantime has his tail between his legs.Poor show all round!!

    sensible Saturday, 24 February 2018 06:22 PM

    Waving a flag, although we don't like it, is poles apart from a throat cutting gesture by a person attached to an embassy.

    Lord Wolfstein Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:26 AM

    An officer who can not control his feelings has no place in the diplomatic service. It is irrelevant who his counterpart was and under what circumstances his action has been happened. This man severely damaged Sri Lanka's international reputation, even though some racists see things differently in this country. This man should be disciplined and demoted. An apology to the UK is indispensable.

    Haramanis Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:49 PM

    Dear Lord W - suggest you get at your friends in the diaspora and get them to tender an apology for displaying the LTTE flag and trampling the Sri Lanka flag. An apology to the people of Sri Lanka is indispensable!!

    Jaliya Saturday, 24 February 2018 08:17 PM

    Many sri lankans are proud that they have a country with 85% literacy rate ... high standards of education that can be equivalent to foreign nations.... has natural beauty and being able to speak in English while ordering food at McDonald's... What they don't realize is the gravity of this incident and have no clue of international diplomatic relations or how a true democracy really works. Regretfully, we have a long ways to go.....

    Ceylon Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:29 AM

    Srilanka run by criminals.srilanka dont punish criminals.

    Ravi Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:10 PM

    A terrorists response

    malij Saturday, 24 February 2018 06:07 PM

    @ Ceylon: Just man.

    Dhanush Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:35 AM

    May be he has forgotten that was UK, he did like that because he thought that he can roam freely after a murder or insult like in sri lanka

    Daniel Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:20 PM

    Has he committed a serious crime by touching his own neck? Is it prohibited to touch your neck in UK? What a democracy!

    Jaffna Man Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:46 AM

    Britain built top schools in Jaffna, pre-dating the present day top schools in Colombo, and the Jaffna Tamils who came out the these schools filled the British Civil service in Singapore, Malaysia, and Burma. Hilariously the LTTE and its supporters in UK, decendents of the uneducated lower caste Tamils, are being mistakenly believed in London as the sons and daughters of the cultured Jaffna Tamils and getting all the support from the nostalgic British Government. This is the reason for the LTTE support in Uk.

    Native Vedda Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:02 PM

    Jaffna ManWhere did you learn that "decendents of the uneducated lower caste Tamils, are being mistakenly believed in London as the sons and daughters of the cultured Jaffna Tamils and getting all the support from the nostalgic British Government"Do you have evidence to support your thesis? Please let us see them.

    MW Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:09 PM

    Native Vedda is a LTTE plant .

    Lawry Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:12 PM

    Hi old man I speak your language and I see the lowly quality of your thinking. Sorry to say that this has been the down fall of many from your ilk

    Dr Raj Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:34 PM

    Lawry,are you blind or deaf to how the LTTE massacred the Tamil educated hindu professionals and intellectuals in the 70s,80s,90s.You must be a convert catholic who fed the LTTE.

    Sheri Sunday, 25 February 2018 02:53 AM

    @Native Vedda: You should be ashamed of yourself, you idiot! Using an indigenous Sinhala term to disguise yourself! Shame on you bigot!

    Real Peace Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:49 AM

    If the brigadier had offered hot tea and biscuits to the LTTE illiterates in the freezing temperature he would have been praised by the civilised world. It’s his foolishness made him to do what he did.

    Native Vedda Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:09 PM

    Please tell us what exactly is the Job Specification for a Defense Attache in foreign soil? Thanks

    Hiran Shanaka Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:50 AM

    The British government must take similar action against the LTTE living in the U.K. and creating all sort of troubles. Just wonder, if we have a foreign minister who could take up this issue to highest authority.

    Native Vedda Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:06 PM

    Hiran ShanakaWhat sort of action do you want the Brits to take against the LTTE living in the UK. How many of them do you recon living in the UK? What sort of trouble do you think the LTTE are creating and for whom?

    punchinilame Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:56 PM

    Not by Marapana, who claims that LG Votesdecreased by 50,000 atevery time the Anthem was sung in Tamil!!!!!

    RDF Saturday, 24 February 2018 11:54 AM

    Its unfortunate he reacted in this manner. I would have liked him to have held his head high and ignored the Pro LTTE rif-raf.As the Singhala syaing goes, would have been better if he remembered "Barking dogs can't bring down mountains".

    Native Vedda Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:28 PM

    RDF-The question is why did the Brigadier bark at the Barking dogs in the first place? -You should spend some time thinking about my question. Then let us have the summary of your analysis.

    TJ Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:04 PM

    Sri Lanka should train its diplomats on how to restrain their emotions in public.

    Sofia Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:04 PM

    Was it not someone from the High Commission staff who started this mess with the photo. Was it done on purpose to discredit the Brigadier.

    Vishwa Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:04 PM

    Lajjai Sirisena lajjai !!

    Pramod Fernando Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:11 PM

    Over to you UK, how about punishing those who were tearing off a country's national flag and praising the most ruthless terrorist leader in the world? Would you let Muslim demonstrators to praise Osama on your soil in the same manner as LTTE supporters do? Why double standards?

    Native Vedda Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:16 PM

    Pramod FernandoIs it illegal in the UK to tear off a country's national flag and praise a ruthless terrorist leader?But then Sri Lanka has not banned praising the ruthless JVP's terrorist leader. We are used to seeing double standards are being practiced in the island. Will you urge the government to ban praising another ruthless leader Rohana Wijeweera.Have you forgotten him so soon?

    Little Man Saturday, 24 February 2018 09:38 PM

    Over to you Native Vedda, When did you hear someone praising Rohana Wijeweera? Not even his followers. If Prabha was a tiger Rohana was an ant.

    Native Vedda Sunday, 25 February 2018 02:25 AM

    Little Man-Very good question. What else do the former JVP terrorists do to help the people?Feeding them with long and tedious dated sermons? Look little Man Sri Lankan history is replete with psychopaths. In recent history two (RW and VP) had gone and one is still alive and kicking and dying to start new fleets of white vans.

    Smart Aleck Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:11 PM

    Will Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson also give us a dose of "British Justice" by holding an impartial inquiry as to why the Global Tamil Forum LTTE sympathizers were permitted to hold a demonstration opposite the Sri Lankan High Commission in support of the banned LTTE world condemned worst Terrorist Organization and display LTTE flags and banners and even pictures of LTTE leader Prabhakaran? Shame on you Johnson ! Shame on you "British Justice"!

    Helagama Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:21 PM

    Niwata karanawaamiya dutuwama eluwath rawula panawa

    abeyrohan Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:38 PM

    Our officers in diplomatic mission should have brains.They should not act emotionally but intelligently. This type of act will not take us anywhere and embarrassment to the government.Remember the Libyan diplomat who shot at their own citizens protesting in front of the embassy. Soon after Libya caught up in an uprising.

    Bule Saturday, 24 February 2018 12:45 PM

    Will there be action against for insulting ( laying the flag in street and destroying by their legs as shown in media ) the a national fag of a country by terrorist group ??Will the British government accept it ??

    Aruna Saturday, 24 February 2018 01:08 PM

    But activities such as protests and many more in the land of UK from of a group of brutal terrorists as recognized by whole world is accepted by UK.

    Dr Edward Perera Saturday, 24 February 2018 01:20 PM

    The British have forgotten their past for their sake but we still remember atrocities done by British invaders during colonial period. In the meantime, we all thought that the British have learnt a lesson from the past, but they will never learn it. The British cannot have their own definition for terrorism. It is already well defined universally. As we consider, the terrorism on British soil is also terrorism in Sri Lanka because we strongly believe that the terrorism must be eradicated from whole world. Unfortunately, this ethical format based on solidarity and mutual understanding seems to be absent on British soil. It is evident that not the individual governments but different religious institutions govern the World. In the context of LTTE terrorism, it is evident that the Catholic Church was behind this menace as the Church used LTTE terrorist to divide Sri Lanka and to establish a Christian State for Northern Tamils.

    Native Vedda Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:18 PM

    Dr Edward PereraIsn't there a limit to paranoia?

    Jaliya Saturday, 24 February 2018 08:33 PM

    Dr. Please be thankful to those whom you called invaders ... without them we would have not had the General hospital ... eye hospital the Colombo harbor railway transit system and a legal system that you don't follow.

    Manick Saturday, 24 February 2018 01:23 PM

    This shows that Sri Lankan Goverment should follow India to train proper Diplomats to represent our Country, not retired Army Generals and Journalists, Bankers etc.If Sinhala people are going to support his action, only thing I can say is "God Save our COuntry"

    Native Vedda Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:23 PM

    ManickIt is unfair to ask "God to Save our COuntry" when humans mess up the country. Please leave the god alone.

    Leo Saturday, 24 February 2018 01:27 PM

    Great. Please keep those pro-LTTE groups in your country as we have no use of individuals who want to support the uprising of the once defeated terrorist outfit. Keep them in the UK please.

    Native Vedda Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:20 PM

    LeoWell would you like to exchange your share of LTTE terrorist (Karuna, KP, Pillayan, ....) UK's share of LTTE groups?

    Damien Perera Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:09 PM

    I refer to the comment by unchikun ( should read one chicken)-says 'UK on British soil'.This joker doesn't know the basic fact ( which even a child would know ) that the premises of the Sri Lanka Embassy is Sri Lanka soil.Cheers to this Brigadier a true patriot.Some of these comments show that some Sri lankans still like to suck the white man! I 100% endorse the actions of the brigadier.

    Citizen Saturday, 24 February 2018 10:19 PM

    Hi Damien has any one in your life threatened to slit your throat? I is it part of your gangland culture.If this man has diplomatic immunity he has responsibility to behave like a diplomat representing Sri Lanka. Don't pretend to be knowledgeable

    Native Vedda Sunday, 25 February 2018 04:48 PM

    Damien Perera-I admire your wisdom. You are really streetwise too. I saw the High Commission is housed in a building and the protest was taking place on the street opposite. Please tell me whether the street also belongs to Sri Lankan High Commission. Thanks in advance.

    Sand Man Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:17 PM

    All of a sudden mushroom global peace carers from Sri Lanka pops up with their unfit philosophies.

    Anula Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:20 PM

    Jathyanthara sammana dinu ape lokkata meka jathyatharayenma labunu loku tokkak!

    karthik Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:27 PM

    You may be serious but we got to take it lightly becasue of people like Wimal Sahodraraya.

    vithura Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:28 PM

    I foresaw this action by the UK the moment I read about this incident, for no democratic government in the West especially the UK could turn a blind eye to such a crass act albeit gesture, that was unbecoming of a diplomat. I blame the previous SL regime for its misguided callous attitude to diplomatic issues and appointments, which has brought disrepute to the country and its other 'decent' diplomats!

    Don Juan Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:41 PM

    It appears that the sign language of Brigadier , understood by British and Sri Lankan voters too.

    AYATOLLAH Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:42 PM

    Sri Lankans also should demonstrate in front of the British Embassy praising Jihadi John of Iraq who publicly stated that he will kill British citizens by cutting their necks. Over to you the British Labor MP.s who are desperate for diaspora votes

    Sri Lankan Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:46 PM

    Can see how all the LTTE terrorists and bone lickers barking here now. Dogs can only bark at Lions! don't worry Brigadier Priyanka has already become a hero in millions of Sri Lankan hearts. We need more like him who can show the Lion flag to the cowards!

    Londener Sunday, 25 February 2018 08:56 AM

    You are so funny Mr frog in the well.

    Native Vedda Sunday, 25 February 2018 04:43 PM

    Sri Lankan-Do you think lions ever existed in this island except caged in zoo?I love your imagination. Let us have more of your stories. -By the way I would not advise you to share a fence with the Brigadier.

    Kumar Saturday, 24 February 2018 05:48 PM

    Let’s cut to the chase. Put your hand on your heart and answer these questions truthfully with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ reply and in silence:Brigadier Priyanka Fernando made a throat slitting gesture in public whilst serving in an official capacity as a diplomat to, and guest of, a foreign country. By his behaviour did Brigadier Priyanka Fernando: 1. Enhance the image of the Sri Lankan Army?2. Enhance the image of Sri Lanka?3. Achieve anything good at all?If we can’t tell the difference between what is right and what is wrong when it’s plainly obvious, we then not only fail in our moral duty to uphold high standards but also weaken our legitimate right to criticise others (when they fall short in their behaviour).

    True Lankan Saturday, 24 February 2018 06:36 PM

    Bravo, an excellent summery of events and its repercussions.

    Raveendran Saturday, 24 February 2018 07:45 PM

    Please don’t be foolish like the British and split hair.Compared to War Crimes and Mass massacres of Tamils by Sri Lankan and Indian Army,this action by an officer in peace time is nothing so big to talk about.

    S.P.RAMKUMAR Saturday, 24 February 2018 06:25 PM

    As a Tamil born in Sri Lanka and Living in Sri Lanka, My view is Military Personals representing Sri Lankan foreign mission do not loose temper because concern action my be interpreted different ways. Those who are protesting Against Our Government, not represent to Tamils living in Sri Lanka.Our leader Representative is Hon. Mr. R. Sampanthan, Not Suren Suredran,Those protesters are British Nationals.

    NAK Saturday, 24 February 2018 06:34 PM

    He was responding to a bunch of terrorists the way one should respond to terrorists from Sri Lankan soil. Sri Lanka does not pander to terrorists like the UK and that's exactly what he showed.

    Ratna Saturday, 24 February 2018 06:53 PM

    Ltte money is Still available to pay the corrupt politicians in the uk parliment

    Ron Saturday, 24 February 2018 07:54 PM

    This is what happens when the Government sends uneducated village idiots like this fellow, who hardly speak English to work at foreign embassies. Shame, Shame, Shame!

    Banda Saturday, 24 February 2018 07:58 PM

    Obviously LTTE Agents,probably Catholics,operating as journalists with DM.That is why “Native Vedda” is allowed repeated comments. I am informing this matter to the CID.

    Aristotle Saturday, 24 February 2018 08:17 PM

    Can anyone explain to the public what this portfolio called Defence Attache means in an embassy? What is the duty of this post bearer there? Usually, the security of the embassies, consulates and high commissions and their staff in a country is provided by the host country. Is this defence attache given powers to act in defence anyone outside the embassy premises?

    joe Sunday, 25 February 2018 03:26 AM

    End of the day who is the looser?? Also too late to fix it nowHow to control anger is the key.

    Nuwan Sunday, 25 February 2018 03:43 AM

    Who is in trouble? Why did UK not helped the friend Ranil and MY3 over GTF?

    Yeti Sunday, 25 February 2018 08:32 AM

    Of course the Diaspora vote base is a very, very serious matter!!!

    Yeti Sunday, 25 February 2018 08:34 AM

    In other words: 'Don't you mess with our beloved terrorists'!!!

    sach Sunday, 25 February 2018 11:00 AM

    This cowardly government need to be changed

    Native Vedda Sunday, 25 February 2018 04:27 PM

    sach -What is cowardly? Was it when they were hiding behind woment folks when they heard the roaring planes of Hindian IPKF?

    Sri Lankan Monday, 26 February 2018 08:56 AM

    Native Wadda is doing really well what is paid for. Or can see the pain of someone who lost his terrorist colleagues.... just a little reminder that you are representing or try to safeguard the most ruthless terrorist Organisation ever on this planet.. whether you know or not, all innocent Sri Lankan love and appreciate Sri Lankan forces for what they did..they salvaged all Sri Lankan ( all ethnic groups including Tamils) from ruthless terrorist Organisation and let them live less fear of being massacred ! We Sri Lankan know your agendas. I feel sorry for your ignorance...plenty of sources there to read history of Sri Lanka and know about our lions..and I am not here to tell you stories, neither I want your advice, especially from an ignorant mo... like you! Sharing me fence with Brigadier or not is none of your bussiness.! I may even go beyond that to respect my hero.!Anyway keep trying, but remember that we Sri Lankan are not fools !

    Sheri Monday, 26 February 2018 03:59 PM

    Well said!

    Native Vedda Monday, 26 February 2018 06:47 PM

    Sheri-I thought it is a complete bull. What part of his typing excited you like a school child?

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