“Pursuant to Brigadier Priyankara Fernando’s conduct outside the premises of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on the 4th of February 2018, James Dauris, the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, acting on instructions from the highest level of government, lodged a strong official protest with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of External Affairs,” sources close to British government told Colombo Telegraph.
Following this Brigadier Fernando was suspended from his post as defence attaché to the Sri Lankan High Commission to the UK and is to be withdrawn from the post next week.
In the intervening period the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police are interviewing complainants on an ongoing basis against Fernando with a view to pressing charges.
If they succeed in laying charges ahead of Fernando’s withdrawal, he faces the risk of being stripped of any diplomatic protection he has been afforded in the United Kingdom, sources further said.
Writing to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Paul Scully MP and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils urged him to take immediate action and withdraw Brigadier Fernando’s diplomatic papers and expel him from the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile there are unconfirmed reports claiming that President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to revoke the suspension following representations made by Army Commander Lt General Mahesh Senanayake.