Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was filmed apparently making throat-slitting gesture
A video filmed by activists appears to show Sri Lanka defence attache to Britain Brigadier Priyanka Fernando running his fingers across his throat in a cutting motion in front of protesters.
Sri Lanka has, as a result, suspended the officer for apparently making death threats to Tamil protesters outside the high commission in London.
Brigadier Fernando was a senior officer in 59 Division of Sri Lanka’s army, which the United Nations has accused of involvement in war crimes in the latter stages of the civil war. It implicated the division in the shelling of civilian hospitals in 2009. Not less than 40,000 Tamil civilians are believed to have perished in the war.
Campaigners were shocked that Brigadier Fernando was even allowed into Britain to take up his position last year. Soldiers who were part of the final offensive against the Tamil Tigers were banned from serving in the country’s United Nations peacekeeping contingent in Mali.