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* Sri Lanka army chief says defense advisor recalled from UK for his own safety
Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 08:54 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake today said Defense advisor of the Sri Lankan High Commission in UK, Brigadier Priyankara Fernando was recalled to ensure his own safety.

Addressing the media after the opening ceremony of the new 56 Division Headquarters building of the Security Force Headquarters - Wanni (SFHQ-W) on Saturday (24) in Kokeliya, Vavuniya, Lieutenant General Senanayake said as the commander of the army, he is responsible for the safety of Brigadier Priyankara Fernando.

"As the commander of the army, I have to take responsibility for his safety. When he serves in another country under that country's law his security cannot be guaranteed and cannot trust another judiciary. So I wanted him to return," Senanayake said.

"Someone else has to decide what he did was right or wrong. He was brought before his term ended. We are discussing how to provide his protection. And I think it's best to stay away from this situation this time," he told the media.

The commander added that he will discuss the incident with Brigadier Fernando when he gets back to Colombo.

In the controversial incident the High Commission's defense attaché was seen 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.

A video footage on the incident was widely circulated in social media prompting calls from few British MPs supporting diaspora Tamils requesting the removal of Brigadier Priyankara Fernando from the diplomatic post.

After the incident, the Foreign Affairs Ministry removed him from the position of Defense Advisor, but was later reinstated by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake also stated earlier that no inquiry will be conducted against Brigadier Priyankara Fernando.

Fernando returned home on February 22 after being recalled by the government.


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