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* Sri Lanka suspends defense attaché at London HC alleged of offensive gesture to protesting Tamils
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 08:24 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Foreign Affairs Ministry has instructed the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London to immediately suspend its the Minister Counsellor (Defense) from work after a video surfaced of him making an offensive gesture towards Tamils protesting outside the High Commission premises.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement said that authorities in Sri Lanka have taken serious note of videos being circulated on social and web-based media of the alleged incident involving the Minister Counsellor (Defense) attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London behaving in an offensive manner.

"In this connection, instructions have been sent to Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in London today, 6 February 2018, to suspend the Minister Counsellor (Defense) from work, with immediate effect," the statement said.

A video footage circulated in social media showed the High Commission's defense attaché running a finger across his neck towards a pro-Eelam group called 'Tamil solidarity' protesting outside the High Commission on Sri Lanka's Independence Day, February 4th.

The Defense Attaché Brigadier Priyankara Fernando was filmed standing outside the High Commission, opposite the protesters, repeatedly running a finger across his throat signaling the slitting of neck.

The group has complained to the UK Foreign Ministry and the High Commission to remove the officer and the UK Labor Party MPs have called on the Foreign Secretary to immediately expel him.

"This is inappropriate, unacceptable and threatening behavior, from someone who is serving in an official capacity as a guest of this country," Labor MPs wrote to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson.

The Foreign Ministry said the authorities in Sri Lanka including the Sri Lanka Army will initiate inquiries on the incident immediately.

 

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