Speaking during a public event, Wijewardene said that he is happy as the state minister of Defence that president Maithripala Sirisena had intervened to retain Brigadier Priyanka Fernando as the Minister Counsellor (Defence) attached to the Sri Lankan High Commission in London.
Brigadier Fernando's services were initially suspended over his conduct during a recent pro-LTTE demonstration in London. Video footage of Brig. Fernando making throat-slitting gestures at protesters went viral and sparked social debate.
"You may have seen that a group of the LTTE diaspora held a protest demonstration in front of our diplomatic mission in UK, while we were celebrating our Independence Day. During the protest, Brigadier Priyanka Fernando gave a small sign. Because of that, a small issue took place. I think the Foreign secretary issued a letter to recall him to Sri Lanka immediately. However, our President intervened and retained Brig. Fernando. As the state minister of Defence, I am happy about that. Actually, my vote these days is for Brig. Fernando... because of the sign he made to the LTTE. I am thankful for him for that. Because, I don’t think a single individual at that LTTE diaspora protest had set foot in Sri Lanka. They are holding protest demonstrations merely to raise funds for their organisations. They have no love for the Tamil masses in Sri Lanka, " the state minister said.
The video of the state minister speaking has been added to his official Facebook page.