26 September, 2020

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Government Bungles Brigadier Episode

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

A relatively minor episode which took place outside the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London on February 04, blown out of proportion, has ended in the unconditional surrender by GoSL to Britain’s diktat.

During the customary Independence Day ceremony taking place inside the High Commission premises in London, another event was taking place outside the Chancery Building at 13, Hyde Park Gardens. Members of LTTE front organizations Tamil Solidarity, The Tamil Youth Organization and Tamil Coordinating Committee aka TCC currently proscribed in the List of Designated persons under Regulation 4 (7) of the United Nations Regulation No. 1 of 2012 were holding their annual demonstration outside, carrying cutouts of Prabhakaran and Tiger flags with crossed rifle butts. They were chanting ‘Our Nation, Tamil Eelam,’ ‘Our Leader, Prabhakaran’ and ‘We Want, Justice.’ Readers may view a short video clip of the protestors below. Desecration of the national flag too has been reported.     

Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, Defense Attaché attached to the High Commission who was attending the function stepped out, possibly to observe the goings-on. A senior officer of the Sri Lankan army, attired in dress uniform, was perhaps too much to bear for the demonstrators. The ensuing verbal exchange ended with Fernando tapping on his shoulder patch and gesticulating by drawing two fingers across his throat. The gesture was filmed and immediately uploaded on British Tamil Conservatives Twitter feed and streamed to foreign missions in Colombo of nations who sponsored Geneva Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1 and NGO stakeholders of the resolution. It interpreted the Brigadier’s gesticulation as a throat-slitting gesture.

 Much has been written about this episode and repetition is unnecessary. Suffice to state; the Prime Minister directed the suspension of the Brigadier. The President ordered the suspension rescinded on the following day. Meanwhile, British High Commissioner in Colombo lodged an official protest. Tamil diaspora organizations in London pressurized the British establishment to revoke Fernando’s diplomatic credentials and declare him Persona non-grata (PNG).

On Wednesday, February 7, High Commissioner Amari Wijewardene hosted a diplomatic reception at her Residence to celebrate the 70th Independence Anniversary. Mark Field, MP, and Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister for Asia & Pacific represented the British government. According to a confidential source, Field, during his address, had stated, “British-Sri Lanka relationship was now continuing to strengthen.” He did not refer to the incident which had taken place outside the High Commission three days previously. Another source, on condition of anonymity stated, Field had privately assured some concerned VIPs attending the function, Sri Lanka’s Defense Attaché would not have his Diplomatic status revoked, and UK was not considering his expulsion him from the UK.

Two weeks later, Clive Efford, Labor MP for Eltham raised the issue in the House of Commons. He questioned; “Has the Secretary of State had the chance to speak to the Sri Lankan ambassador regarding his Defense Attaché Brigadier Priyanka Fernando and his behavior on February 4, when he made throat-slitting gestures to Tamil protesters? If somebody else incited hatred in that way on our streets, they would be interviewed by the police. Will the Minister make arrangements for Brigadier Priyanka Fernando to be interviewed by the police about that crime?

Mark Field responded: “I reassure the Hon. Gentleman that the UK takes this incident very seriously. When I spoke recently to Foreign Minister Marapana, he left me in no doubt that the Sri Lankan Government were treating it with the seriousness that it deserves. They have informed ​the UK Government that they have ordered the Defense Attaché to return to Colombo from London with immediate effect for consultations while the incident is thoroughly investigated. I hope that the UK and Sri Lanka bilateral relationship will remain strong and co-operative.”

In less than two weeks, Tamil diaspora pressure had successfully managed to compel the British government to make a 180-degree turn.

While this drama was unfolding, Sri Lanka was gripped with Local Government election fever and the government virtually paralyzed with politicians away from their offices on the campaign trail. The paralysis continued for two weeks after election day. Foreign Office mandarins in Colombo meanwhile did what they are best known for, to do nothing. The Foreign Secretary and his team, despite years of training and experience, failed to come up with strategies and options for consideration by the country’s leaders. Whether our clueless leaders would have made use of such initiatives is another matter. 

Brigadier Fernando’s gesticulations on February 04 was inappropriate. 

That said, this issue is no longer about Fernando or any one individual. It is a matter involving two sovereign states and need be dealt with accordingly. GoSL cannot continue to surrender the nation’s sovereignty and give into demands of other countries for whatever the reasons, may it be to appease Tamil diaspora in their countries for electoral gains or otherwise in a supine manner.

The handling of this issue from the beginning is akin to a tragi-comedy. A well-trained and experienced High Commissioner, together with an equally well-trained deputy would have swung into action immediately and undertaken damage control measures through high-level contacts they are expected to cultivate, besides providing the Foreign Ministry in Colombo with a situation assessment and recommendations on how best to overcome the situation with the least possible damage. The case in London is different. The High Commissioner, a reluctant political appointee, related to the Prime Minister did nothing of the sort. Details of some hilarious sounding correspondence were reported in the Thoughts from London column in last Sunday in another Sunday newspaper by veteran journalist Neville de Silva (political officers may be letter writers, but High Commissioners may not and should not sign blind). It is no secret; she is supposedly not on talking terms with her Deputy High Commissioner, a career diplomat known for his competence. She has resigned effective March 31. LTTE sympathizers in the Tamil diaspora community, already gung-ho of having got rid of the Defense Attaché have been given added ammunition to claim they have also got rid of the High Commissioner as well, due to her ill-timed resignation. 

Fernando’s initial suspension was more a knee-jerk reaction than part of a well thought out plan of action. Even though the President rescinded the suspension order, he has fallen silent and gone along with the Brigadier’s subsequent recall. He has proved correct, those who believed from the outset, his directive to rescind the suspension order to be politically motivated and a pre-election stunt for electoral gain.

Rescinding the initial recall order and doing nothing thereafter helped neither UK nor Sri Lanka in managing the fallout. It only aggravated matters and kept the issue in the forefront.       

Without suspending the Brigadier, he could have been summoned to Colombo, and an inquiry held behind closed doors for several weeks, allowing the issue to cool down. An Inquiry Report based on Fernando’s version of events (links to his interview given to Rivira newspaper and an English translation are provided) but containing all the right words and noises, with legal advice from a reputed British law firm could have been prepared. The Army commander could have then reported inquiry findings to the President. Finding a) No grounds to believe the Brigadier had intended any harm to protestors b) Fernando’s interpretation of his gesticulations c) He regretted the incident, he could have recommended the Brigadier’s return to his post in London. 

Disputes between nations are never resolved strictly based on righteousness. Negotiations need always take into consideration, nuances of domestic politics, need to satisfy public opinion in countries involved and to preserve bilateral relations.    

Britain for centuries has practiced diplomacy combined with duplicity and might have even appreciated such an option to resolve an unpleasant and arduous situation. Such an offer would be acceptable to most nations including those with elements of Tamil diaspora. In doing so, GoSL would also have, in a manner of speaking, ‘put the ball in Britain’s court.’

Notwithstanding such an initiative, should the issue persist, it could be left to the British authorities to declare Fernando PNG and expel him from the UK. Such an act must necessarily follow with a reciprocal gesture from Sri Lanka by expelling the British Defense Attaché in Colombo.

Brigadier Fernando has now been recalled and has returned to Colombo. The army commander in his wisdom justified the recall “for his own safety.” He possibly is unaware of the obligations of host countries as defined in the Vienna Convention to ensure the safety of all accredited diplomats in the country. What the future holds in store for him is not known.

The primary cause of the initial blow hot blow cold reaction followed by the servile recall of the Brigadier is the absence of a strong and determined political leadership. Decisiveness is vital to meet foreign policy challenges and to effectively counter the propaganda machine of Tamil diaspora (some are LTTE front organizations) abroad who still espouse separatism and a deep-rooted hatred towards the Sinhalese. They will leverage the power they derive from electoral systems in their new-found homelands, especially in the UK.

Sri Lanka must also take up with British authorities of the issues on desecration of Sri Lanka’s national flag as well as displaying cutouts of Prabhakaran and Tiger Flags. Under the UK Terrorism Act 2000: “A Person in public space commits an offense if he (a) wears an item of clothing, or (b) wears, carries or displays an article, in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member or a supporter of a Proscribed Organization.”

Minor and even more far-reaching disputes between states are handled bearing in mind, the need to avoid damaging bilateral relations based on the principle of mutual respect. Regrettably, it is a virtue not understood by our leaders top down beginning with President Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena.

Exceptions of the likes of State Minister for Foreign Affairs Wasantha Senanayake who recently dared to state; “Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is made elsewhere,” are few.

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Latest comments

  • 27
    4

    Sri Lanka will never learn its lesson.
    All what we need is peace with all races in Sri Lanka to build Sri Lankan identity.
    It may Tamil
    Sinahsle
    Muslim
    Malay.
    Or upcountry Tamils.
    Or any one .

    Others future will be bleak…
    For more India is more important that US or China.
    It was India created LTTE in late 1970s..
    What is the guranteee…
    It would not create another one sooner or later.
    So ..we should use our heads and get on well with all…
    But sinahslee superiority complex may put us once again into trouble.
    Do not blame any one but your leaders who are heedless and care less

    • 8
      2

      Rajeewa Jayaweera

      Priyankara says:

      Q: Some people say you are a racist?
      A : I acted as a Sri Lankan. My school motto was ‘country before self’ and I will act according to that.’

      The videos and picture speak volumes about what kind of racist he is.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you, Dayan, Wimal …….. denied being public racists.

      • 5
        4

        NV the army man acted like a common bouncer and not as a defence attache. What government did to recall him is a good move to keep good relations with UK. The title of this article therefore should have been “Government bridges bungler episode”.

        • 0
          0

          A lot has been written about Brigadier Priyanka Fernando and his gesture, standing on the porch of the the Srilanakan High Commission. Different interpretation has been given by different people including a reminder to those demonstrating that ‘Prabaharn has departed this world almost 10 years earlier.’. My contention is that his gesture may have meant that if the demonstration was not stopped, he will slit his own throat and commit Suicide, as he cannot bear to see the demonstration against Srilanka. Further, he was neither in a position to slit the throat of the protesters nor fire a pistol at the protesters , which
          he was used to back in Srilanka.

      • 7
        3

        NV
        Please look at the other side of the Picture!

        These published Photos/ Videos , were taken by the Demonstrators, and their Allies.

        Was there Even One Photo taken, of the Action by a Demonstrator, that provoked the Brigadier to make that Gesture?

        • 3
          1

          Hamlet

          You are missing the point.
          He was a diplomat. Even if the host country’s defense minister catches him by his b***s and squeezes them he is expected keep long silence until he returns to the High Commission, shut himself in the toilet and the let a long scream.

          I suppose you know what I mean.

          Look when Dr Chris Nonis the then Sri Lankan High Commissioner to UK was slapped by the monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena he didn’t squeal instead he traveled all the way back to the UK and shut his toilet then let a long and painful noise.

          • 2
            3

            NV
            Do you mean to say that to be a Diplomat in another Country, you have to give up your Loyalty to your Motherland; Even if your Motherland is being Insulted in Public, in a Foreign Country?

            • 2
              2

              Hamlet

              Don’t be silly and stupid.

              Your politicians, crooks, …………………………saffron clad thugs, the armed forces, the police, the functionaries, ……………. insult you and and your toilet pit mother land every second of the day, you don’t seem to react or do something about it suddenly what made you feel hurt?

              When the Hindian IPKF dropped sappatti floor and roared over Sri Lankan airspace did you feel insulted or did this brigadier and his fellow throat slitters do some thing about it?

              Your motherland is a permanent insult to all its people.

              • 2
                1

                NV;
                So You are Happy to call your Motherland, a Toilet Pit ?
                Or are You a Citizen of another Country?
                What is your Motherland?

                • 1
                  1

                  Hamlet

                  “Or are You a Citizen of another Country?”

                  I am not.

                  “What is your Motherland?”

                  The universe. Would that bother you?
                  Why limit oneself to a tiny little Toilet land which the the descendants of Kallathonies including yourself claiming to be exclusively theirs?

                  “So You are Happy to call your Motherland, a Toilet Pit ?”

                  I am not. The majoritarians are only too happy to keep it a toilet pit. No one dares clean it.

                  Now you suddenly appear in this forum to demand we continue to deny our existence. You define us as if we have no morals, no principles, no rules, no protocols, no niceties, no basis, no compassion, ………….. therefore we should accept what is given to us.

                  Patriotism is not what it is portrait by crooks, wrapping around in flags that doesn’t represent a compassionate people, diplomats whose arrogant personal agenda seems to take precedent over normally established protocols, …………………………… What has got into your head?

                  Why cannot you little islanders accept the stupid arrogant Sinha Sinhala/Buddhist gone beyond his call of duty to show off his countrymen he was standing up to the diaspora? If that racist had any courage he should have fought the Hindians, prevented his army supplying arms and funds to the terrorists.

                  The flag is also a best cover to hide all the war criminals, crooks, rapists, fraudsters, ……………… . I suppose you too have many shades of the same flag to suite the occasions.

                  • 2
                    0

                    NV
                    My Mother Country is the One that was described by a Foreigner long ago:-
                    “Where Every Prospect Pleases
                    And Only Man is Vile”
                    ‘Patriotism’ is not The Love for One’s Motherland, the Beautiful Place where One was Born!
                    Patriotism in Sri Lanka as you seem to Understand it , has come to mean Loyalty to the Ideology of One Set of People or Another!

                    • 0
                      1

                      Hamlet

                      You seem to love the romanticized version of motherland which hides all the expressed meanness of “One Set of People” over the other.

                      I think you should shove it whoever want to buy it but not into our throat.

                      The idea of motherland should not only represent the idea of unity in diversity, but also creates a strong sense of belonging providing equitable stake in the island including power, safety, security, opportunity, dignity, …………… in the decision making process.

                      Until then let it remain a toilet pit.
                      You don’t seem to realise the difference unless you begin to appreciate the good, beautiful, lovely things things in life. You mistook motherland for Toilet pit because it is the only experience you have had since your birth, you know it to be the only form, shape, ….. and smell you are used to.

                      Please do enjoy while it last.

        • 4
          3

          Demonstrated did not do anything physically for the army man to be provoked as they were peaceful. According to his admission, he could not bear people shouting Prabaharan is our leader and waving LTTE flag. First of all this fool should have never come out on the road as he has no authority to take action on any perceived security threats from the demonstrators. In UK other than police no one including security guards can lay their hands on anyone. Knowing UK laws he deliberately wanted to make an issue with protestors in order to impress Sinhala racists. What happened to him finally is a good lesson for any of the SL diplomats to try their tricks on Tamils in UK in the future.

    • 1
      1

      LTTE was created by successive chauvinistic Sinhala governments. Have you forgotten 1958, 1977, 1983 and much more incidents where the Tamil speaking people were killed, women raped, children molested, shops burnt, vehicles burnt,etc ,I can go on and on. The Sinhala masses haven’t learnt yet. Ravi

  • 11
    25

    Yeah, our cowardly government handled the issue totally wrong belittling our nation in front of LTTE diaspora.
    If I am the President, I will send Brigadier Priyanka Fenando back to London stating that our inquiry proved that he has acted within his “functional immunity” as well as “personal immunity”. If the British Government denied him entry, then I will cancel British Defence Attache’s visa in Sri Lanka and send him back. Not only that I will inform the British Government that hereafter Sri Lanka will not issue visas to future British Defence Attaches as the British government takes decisions on our diplomatic officers based on LTTE diaspora’s recommendations. I don’t stop there. I will tell Defence Ministry officials to peruse all videos and photographs and all other personal details of LTTE demonstrators in London and cancel their Sri Lankan citizenship, if they are dual citizens and blacklist them blocking them entry to country on foreign passports and confiscate all their properties too in Sri Lanka, if any. Britain can keep them there as British citizens. We have no objection.

    • 12
      15

      Correct! That’s the way to go.

      • 7
        5

        RTF

        Predictable as ever. Join Champa in the Chimp cage of shame. In a land yearning for reconciliation, you have joined in undoing all the work done to bring us all together.

        Luckily you as far away from doing any real damage; stay there!

        • 5
          5

          Spring,

          What? No work was done to bring us all together. Majority Sinhalese are soon to be squashed in the insignificant 1/3rd of the country. I yearn to come back to a united country were majority rights prevail.

    • 20
      8

      Champa stop taking through your hat. You are the one who said that if this criminal is expelled, you will lead a demonstration against it. What is happening to it and why there is dead silence among other Sinhala cardboard veerayas. Unless UK grants him visa he cannot enter UK even if entire Sinhala population stand on their heads. As far as things are, going back to UK is out for him even on a visitors visa. Diplomatic immunity has its limits and cannot be over stepped. In this instance he has threatened violence on British citizens demonstrating peacefully. Refer to the famous Boon Watt case where this Burmese High Commissioner carried out crime in Sri Lanka, and was deported. The same thing happened here and in your height of stupidity you are coming out with rubbish. Go ahead and tell foreign ministry what you want to do, and I am sure they will know that you are mad and dispatch you to Angoda. None of these LTTE activists own any properties in Sri Lanka and have no intention of visiting that barbaric and pariah country. Perhaps who knows, in later years they may come as guests of the Tamil conquerors of Sri Lanka.

      • 6
        6

        doc u wasting u r time with this sinhala budhist assss dump….

    • 7
      6

      Champa, you chump!

      Thank You for outlining all the reasons why you will never ever be suitable for a job in our Foreign/Diplomatic service (or in any position of responsibility anywhere).

      Your reaction is second only to the our former Ambassador of Slapping, the execrable Sajin V_G.

    • 0
      3

      Hey Chimp(a), can you explain the meaning of LTTE diaspora?

    • 1
      1

      Champawati,
      America is about to charge duties-Tax on steel and aluminum imports from China. It is expected Chaina charging the food and banking indries as retaliation. America cut off special concessions (GSP+) on clothes and other products from Lanakwe. Can you tell us on what we are going to retaliate? If an inquiry using foreign Judges and Lawyers is not done on War Crimes, you may face an Economic Sanction. Do you plan to return it back to International Community? Did you hear anything about diplomatic maneuvering before start to think of returning British defence attache’

    • 1
      3

      To all pathetic lunatic moronic comments against me here re: Brigadier’s matter.
      .
      What is your problem? My issue is with (a) the British Government, (b) the LTTE diaspora, (3) the exiled LTTE remnants hiding in the diaspora and (d) all LTTE supporters in Sri Lanka and abroad.
      Next time, remember to give me a hint on the sly in which category do you fit into, ok.

      • 1
        0

        Champa,
        I am a follower of Buddha’s word. Give give and give. I want to extinguish life from this birth . All those who are against giving just rights of minorities are not good Buddhist’s. They will languish in SAMSARA for ages. Remember on his quest for Nibbana Buddha even gave away his wife and children.

    • 0
      0

      Just shows your arrogance and ignorance This is the fault how the majority has gained its mind set based on myths written by a racist monk in Pali language .There have been no statements like politicians till now in Srilanka.

  • 19
    7

    Dear Rajeewa, you wasted your time and valuable space in these columns to carry out your rant on the antics of Lord Naseby and ended up with egg on your face. Now you are doing the same thing to this matter which is now settled and is a foregone conclusion. You are saying that this is relatively a minor episode. What will SL government do if a foreign diplomat threatens harm to Sri Lankan protestor outside their embassy. Do you think that SL High Commission should be run like how you ran the bucket shop in Edgware. When you go abroad on diplomatic service you are expected to be a goodwill ambassador to that country, and behave according to a set code of conduct. Certainly behaviour of this man does not fall within this and is despicable. You are blaming the present government as mismanaging this matter. Please remember it is because this government was in power that UK government was lenient. If MR was in power the army man would have been sent out immediately. Have you heard in SL government service there is something called compulsory retirement as a merciful alternative to dismissal. This is exactly what happened in this case when SL government was given a chance to recall him without him being kicked out. In UK there is no escape for crime and if this act was done by an ordinary Sinhalese, by now he would have been in jail. This officer in a cowardly manner committed it under diplomatic immunity. According to video clips, he had deliberately come out of the High Commission premises and engaged with the protestors. This is highly uncalled for, and when he was humiliated by the protestors had resorted to this dastardly act. Just because SL government and Sinhalese do not want any action against him, you cannot expect a law abiding nation like UK to do the same and sweep it under the carpet.

  • 13
    5

    Continuing, This matter has been blown out of proportion by sycophants like you who could not stomach defeat. In your ignorance you are saying that this is an unconditional surrender to British diktat. Please thank the present government if not for which Sri Lanka would have suffered more ignominy like what happened to MR in 2010 Oxford debacle where he had to exit Dorchester hotel through the back door and run to the plane waiting in the tarmac. At least this criminal was given time to make his departure unlike what happened to Jagath Jayasuriya in Brazil, where he had to run away without being unable to realise that he was wearing different coloured socks on his feet. If PM directed the suspension of the brigadier, it was the correct thing done. Instead of recalling him back to Sri Lanka without making noises, MS complicated the matter by re-instating him next day for obvious political reason. What you say about what Mark Field said to one of your informant who stated on the condition of anonymity cannot be taken into account. This may be a canard to tarnish the name of the minister because as a responsible person he would never have said that. What SL government did even at a belated stage to recall him was correct as otherwise they would have had to face the criminal being deported. Tit for tat expulsion of a UK diplomat cannot cover up the breach of diplomatic protocol by a SL diplomat. This issue is only about Fernando and no one else and this matter involving two sovereign states has been dealt with accordingly. There was no surrendering of sovereignty by SL to UK, as action was taken adhering to Vienna convention.

    • 4
      0

      “This issue is only about Fernando and no one else and this matter involving two sovereign states has been dealt with accordingly. There was no surrendering of sovereignty by SL to UK, as action was taken adhering to Vienna convention”.

      Having wasted so much of media time/Prime Ministerial time/Presidential time thank you for the two sentences summed up the entire event so simply. We Sri Lankans be it a Tamil speaking or Sinhalese speaking have expectation from all those who serve us and no one is exempted from accountability??? Any other issues related to UK and LTTE should not be mixed up with the soldiers behaviour too. One important think we seem to miss or rather not say is the damage to the unity of the country when such events took place just before a LG election too. Who has calculated the damage and who is going pay for the damages to the nation and her citizens please??? We are so used to stripping each other of everything we ever had with immunity since independence I guess this is no longer even a question one need to worry about??
      Lankan Diaspora in the UK are of both languages and many I know(Sinhala and Tamil speaking) do not belong to “this or that camp” that we catogorise our subjects in Sri Lanka in juts about in any discussion?
      Any Patriotic Sri Lankan around the world including in Sri Lanka is disappointed with the event that has wasted far too much of national time where we have more important issues to address than personal behavioural issues of a government servant/diplomat?

  • 8
    1

    In Sri Lanka prominence is given to Gangsters, Murders, War Criminals and Drug Dealers. We see it very well through our parliamentarians and those that walk behind them but it is not so in a civilized society.

    So this was no minor episode.

  • 8
    2

    UK Terrorism Act 2000

    “1
    Terrorism: interpretation.
    (1)
    In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where—
    (a)
    the action falls within subsection (2),
    (b)
    the use or threat is designed to influence the government [F1or an international governmental organisation] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and
    (c)
    the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [F2, racial] or ideological cause.”

    He broke the law of the land. UK had little choice either ask to recall if not deport.

    • 1
      0

      Burt
      Very well applied to racist separatist terrorist LTTE diaspora and the exiled LTTE remnants hiding in the diaspora.

  • 2
    8

    I heard Ranil Wicramasinghe did not recall this Brigadier, he only asked him to stay out of sight for a few days until the melodrama fades away. This is all drama Because LTTE Tamils wanted something to show that they are still a force to recken with. What Tamils wanted to show that they control the govt and it did not work. – Shiva Subramanium.

  • 11
    11

    This so called Brigadier probably a 8th grader joined the Army after unsuccessfully attempted for any other descent job was finally got the security attached into the HC in London.

    This idiot probably thought that role is like acting the security guard of the High Commission and got that unwanted gesture for pro LTTE supporters who was doing a protest.

    This stupid act make things go over the top and again it seems the world have seen the SL armed forces are killer machines without any discipline.

    • 6
      8

      Matilda Ehelepola
      You should have been sent to live in the North before May 2009. You would have had to run to the likes of one you call ‘stupid Brigadier’ to stay alive. If not, with a name like yours, you would have been sent to your maker in double quick time by master terrorist VP.

  • 6
    0

    Did Brigadier Priyankara Fernando blunder? He did but in an unguarded moment. It came from his heart.
    Any face saving exercise will be bungling and Rajeewa does his bit.
    iRajeewa version of the episode ~ “……………..Fernando tapping on his shoulder patch and gesticulating by drawing two fingers across his throat…………. It interpreted the Brigadier’s gesticulation as a throat-slitting gesture………….”.
    In effect Rajeewa says that it was not throat slitting.
    If you want to do something keep quiet Rajeewa

  • 2
    0

    Don’t be gullible, use life before it uses you, and for every action you take, there’s a reaction.

  • 2
    1

    You.call this a relatively.minor episode. What the [edited out] are you saying RJ. You better stick to srilankan airlines. Dont.trespass on unknown territory. So how is killi

  • 1
    2

    By any standard the Brigadier is guilty and should be court marshaled. We expect a better behavior from our diplomats. Hand gestures could be lethal than real weapons and has to taken seriously. The problem is that our present and the immediate past Presidents failed to understand the signal. Are we being ruled by babies.

  • 2
    0

    In the UK victory signal by showing the the ‘V’ sign in the reverse order is considered a ‘F…..off’ sign commonly used by motorists to show displeasure to errant drivers. This signal has lead to killings in UK when motorists chase signal givers and confront them. The Britishers take hand signals seriously. President Sirisena made it worse by getting involved.In this instance the British foreign office has given us a strong hand signal.

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