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Colombo asking the UK to afford errant Brigadier diplomatic immunity

Sri Lanka is requesting the United Kingdom (UK) to honour the diplomatic immunity of Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, who served as a Defence Attaché to the Sri Lankan High Commission in the UK, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Brigadier Fernando is charged with making a cut-throat gesture to some protestors who were demonstrating near the Sri Lankan High Commission in London last year.

Issuing a statement, the Foreign Ministry noted that Brigadier Fernando was entitled to diplomatic immunity as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.

“The Government of Sri Lanka continues to maintain that Brigadier Fernando as a diplomat who was attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London is entitled to diplomatic immunity as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961. The Government of the UK has been requested to honour this obligation, which is reciprocal,” the statement said.

According to the Foreign Ministry, a retrial in the case of Majuran Sathananthan vs. Brigadier Andige Priyanka Indunil Fernando had commenced at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on October 18 2019, where the Court has heard the private prosecution’s case with prosecution witnesses giving evidence.

‘At the end of the day’s hearing, the Chief Magistrate has adjourned Court until November 19, when the defence case would be further heard by the Court,’ the statement added. 

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