Dissanayake confronts UK Parliamentarians | Daily News
Brigadier Fernando’s diplomatic status

Dissanayake confronts UK Parliamentarians

Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake on Thursday wrote to British Parliamentarians John Ryan and Siobhain McDonagh confronting their recent demand to withdraw Brigadier Priyankara Fernando’s diplomatic status over the incident near the Sri Lankan High Commission in London on February 4.

In a strongly worded letter, Dissanayake observed Brig. Fernando was within the premises of the Sri Lankan mission and his acts cannot be questioned, since diplomatically and legally, he was “within Sri Lanka” and he enjoys full diplomatic immunity for acts done within the embassy compound.

“This tradition is an accepted practice in diplomatic regulations and the tradition is followed in all countries,” he reminded.

“I am the son of the late Gamini Dissanayake, presidential candidate and deputy leader of the United National Party, who was assassinated by the terrorist organization LTTE, the political wing which both of you surreptitiously support. The said organization has been banned in your country and has been designed as a terrorist organization by many countries including yours and the United States,” he said in the letter.

“On February 4, which marks the national day of Independence for our country, a day of joy and celebration to all Sri Lankans, the front organizations of the LTTE, which the both of you support, gathered a few hundred supporters to protest outside our embassy in the UK. What is most disturbing and offensive to us was the carrying of the LTTE flag and the abusive and vituperative comments made by the protesters,” he added.

“Both of you have been carrying a deeply hateful, vindictive and offensive campaign against Sri Lanka.

At a time when brutal terrorism has been eradicated and all communities are building bridges to live as one nation, your continued support to front organizations of the LTTE is self-serving and pathetic.

Tell your contacts in these front organizations to contribute to their own brethren without continuing to fuel the flames of hatred and ethnic division. Sri Lanka needs a real sense of reconciliation without individual like you trying your utmost to break the real achievements that are being done on the ground. In any event, we stand with Brig. Fernando steadfastly and he will continue as our defense attaché in the UK,” Dissanayake said concluding his letter.

A copy of the letter has been sent to Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson M.


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