On the eleventh anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka, the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, intentionally promoted officers to the rank of Major General who should have been vetted and screened out of any official position, in accordance to Sri Lanka’s commitments under UN resolution 30/1 to security sector reform.
“The choice of these individuals is a highly politicised one which again sends a message to Sri Lankans and the international community that even lip service to reconciliation is off the agenda. This is yet another insult to victims and reeks of brazen impunity,” said the ITJP’s Executive Director, Yasmin Sooka.
The most striking promotion is of Andige Priyanka Indunil Fernando who was found guilty in absentia by a UK court of public order offences, while a Sri Lankan diplomat. He was convicted of making threatening throat slitting gestures at Tamil protestors outside the Sri Lankan High Commission building in 2018. Since returning to Sri Lanka he has been repeatedly promoted and hailed as a hero despite his criminal actions.
“The message to army officers – and diplomats – is if you go around the world insulting and threatening the Tamil diaspora you will be rewarded,” said Sooka. “It is also an acute show of disrespect for the judicial system in the UK”.