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

A minister of the United Kingdom has spoken to Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana regarding the incident involving Sri Lankan Military Attache Brigadier Priyankara 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)