Navin slams ‘pathetic’ British MPs supporting LTTE fronts
February 9, 2018 05:24 pm
In scathing letter to the two British Labour MPs who had called for the expulsion of Sri Lanka’s defence attaché in London, Sri Lankan Minister Navin Dissanayake charges that their continued support to LTTE front organizations is “self-serving and pathetic” at a time when all communities are building bridges to live as one nation.
MPs Joan Ryan and Siobhain McDonagh had sent a letter to Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, over Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s “attempt to intimidate” a group of protesting Tamils.
They urged Boris Johnson to make immediate representations to Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner about this matter and also requested that he withdraw diplomatic papers and expel Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché in London.
However, in his letter addressed to the two British MPs, Dissanayake says that Brigadier Fernando was within the premises of the Sri Lankan mission and his acts cannot be questioned as he enjoys full diplomatic immunity for acts done within the embassy compound.
Read the full letter below:
Dear Hon John Ryan, MP/Siobhain McDonagh, MP,
In reference to your letter dated 05.02.2018 to Honorable Boris Johnson asking for the withdrawal of diplomatic status to Brigadier Priyanka Fernando I wish to make the following observations.
I am the son of the late Hon. 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 designated as a terrorist organization by many countries including yours and the United States.
On the day in question 4th of February which marks the national day of independence for your 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 Sri Lankans was the carrying of the LTTE flag and the abusive and vituperative comments made by the protesters. Brigadier Fernando was within the premises of the SL mission and his acts cannot be questioned as diplomatically and legally he is “within Sri Lanka” and he enjoys full diplomatic immunity for acts done within the embassy compound. This tradition is accepted practice in diplomatic regulations and the tradition is followed in all countries.
As the protesters’ behavior was offensive to Sri Lanka, Brigadier Fernando a valiant officer of the Sri Lanka army pointed to the lion emblem in his uniform to countenance the disgust he felt when he saw the tiger flags displayed in front of him.
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 in the north and east without continuing to fuel the flames of hatred and ethnic division. Sri Lanka needs a real sense of reconciliation without individuals 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 defence attaché in UK.
Navin Dissanayake (M.P.)
Minister of Plantation Industries