President Sirisena alleges that RAW is plotting his assassination

17 October 2018 09:34 am - 25     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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(The Hindu)

In a move that might seriously impair Indo-Lanka relations, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday accused India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of plotting his assassination.

Mr. Sirisena, who was speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting, told Ministers that the Indian intelligence agency was “trying to kill” him, but that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not be aware of the plan,” The Hindu has learnt from sources present at the discussion.

“We were just shocked when he said it,” a source said, requesting anonymity.

When contacted for verification, a senior officer at the President’s media unit said: “We will verify this and revert.” However, there has been no response till the time of going to print.

President Sirisena’s claim comes days before Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s scheduled visit to New Delhi, where he will meet Mr. Modi to discuss bilateral matters, including key, India-assisted projects on the island.

However, this is not the first time a Sri Lankan leader has accused the Indian agency of interference. Following his poll defeat in 2015, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa held RAW among those responsible for the change in regime. Mr. Sirisena’s allegation, sources at the meeting said, came when he raised concerns over the government’s “indifference” to an assassination plot targeting him. Reports of the said plot emerged last month when an individual named Namal Kumara, part of an anti-corruption outfit, claimed he was aware of a plan to assassinate Mr. Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The CID interrogated Mr. Kumara. The police subsequently also arrested an Indian national late in September. Local media reported that the Indian, identified as M. Thomas hailing from Kerala, claimed he knew of the plot.

However, the Sri Lankan government issued an elaborate denial to the report and clarifications came from the highest level. Media Minister, Mangala Samaraweera slammed it as a “disinformation campaign”, urging reporters to be responsible.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Mr. Sirisena reportedly said “the Indian national must be a RAW agent trying to kill me. The Indian PM may not be aware. That is often the case. Trump may not be aware of CIA’s similar moves.”

The Hindu, on Tuesday evening, spoke to multiple sources in government — across political parties — who attended the meeting, and they confirmed this.

Tuesday’s meeting also saw a heated argument between President Sirisena and Mr. Wickremesinghe, when a cabinet paper on developing the Colombo Port came up for discussion. Sources said Mr. Sirisena vehemently objected to any Indian involvement in upgrading its east container terminal – a project that New Delhi has been keen to take up.

However, Mr. Wickremesinghe is said to have countered by saying Colombo had already promised New Delhi on collaborating on the project, and it was important to rope in India at the terminal, given that about 80% of the cargo handled at the transhipment hub was meant for India. He reportedly sought a week’s time to sort out the issue, since he would be meeting Mr. Modi soon.

Meanwhile, the President’s media unit on Tuesday called off a scheduled press meet by Mr. Sirisena’s advisers on the reported assassination plot.

When contacted, Presidential adviser Shiral Lakthilaka told The Hindu: “We cancelled it because we are awaiting more information”. Asked if it was connected to Mr. Sirisena’s reported remarks at the Cabinet, he said: “No, it had nothing to do with that.”

  Comments - 25

  • Dam Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:49 AM

    Oh god .... another drama

    shanthapriya Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:51 AM

    pleading sri lankan voters sympathy at the next elections

    saman Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:53 AM

    Raja ho maho ganga ho

    Martin Milton Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:54 AM

    Well, FINALLY HE has got it through his skull that RAW NEVER meant any good for Sri Lanka. It would be best Sri Lanka keeps India at longer than arms' length if she wanted to play it safe. India is hellbent on destabilising Sri Lanka.One must NEVER forget that India trained the LTTE and Pr'akaran to cause such heinous mayhem in Sri Lanka with so much human loss of life and suffering over 30 odd years. MM

    kamal Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:23 AM

    well said Martin.Many have forgotten this.

    soam Wednesday, 17 October 2018 09:57 AM

    This imbecile is hallucinating. RAW would spent time on this president. Absolute crap. Time to go.

    Rasheed Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:05 AM

    If RAW is planning to kill the Prez, then why did MR and Gotta included in the list. Actually the Indian National is hired to kill, so that he can escape once the job is done. Find out who brought the Indian National.

    Haramanis Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:10 AM

    Indian snakes are everywhere. Ranil has got them into bed with him!!

    Dperera Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:11 AM

    India cannot be trusted. Indira Gandhi was such a good friend of Sri Lanka, behind our back she trained LTTE. At the end LTTE assassinate her own son. What goes around comes around.

    TJ Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:13 AM

    It is a highly irresponsible act on the part of a head of the state to make a serious allegation of this nature with out substantiating it. When the on going investigation is inconclusive, one wonder as to why the president had decided to jump the gun.

    Wise Donkey Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:15 AM

    Sir, forget visiting India again!

    666 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:17 AM

    The allegation by the President is a very serious one. It is definitely going to open up a Hornet's Nest and would jeopardize the relations between the two countries.Sincerely hope his allegations are backed by solid facts

    666 Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:29 AM

    RAW cannot be that stupid. They will have to wait only till the next Presidential Elections. After that MS would be out of power and would get thrown into political oblivion.

    Sach Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:56 PM

    If they get rid of MS now ...RW becomes President ..that might be the plan.

    Yahiya Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:37 AM

    As president must more Conscious in all statement

    Kay Wednesday, 17 October 2018 11:06 AM

    Sweet Dreams

    CITIZEN Wednesday, 17 October 2018 11:45 AM

    AYYO (Subramaniyam) SWAMY!!!

    Sammy Wednesday, 17 October 2018 12:34 PM

    A bit messy! RAW accused of removing MR and now accused of trying to assasinate MS and also Gota. If so, whom are the RAW trying to place on the Presidential seat? Ranil?

    N.Rajendra Wednesday, 17 October 2018 01:38 PM

    Yes, sureSnake takes the Snake to the Bed

    kukula Wednesday, 17 October 2018 01:00 PM

    Beautiful story, this can go under Marvell production.

    Arnold Wednesday, 17 October 2018 02:23 PM

    But why?

    Shirish Adhav Wednesday, 17 October 2018 03:34 PM

    Sri Lanka President has threat from India or by agency he must take this issue India or its diplomats in Sri Lanka.We have previously supported and trained ltte person and suffered heavy loss by peacekeeping army of India.We the people want normal relationship with Sri Lanka whether they give us preference in indo-china race in Sri Lanka . If indian agency raw is involved in this then they just punish by India law as the relationship with Sri Lanka is importantWe are and shall be trying to have good and stone relationship with Sri Lanka in any geopolitical war in world going on.

    ghostlanka Wednesday, 17 October 2018 04:45 PM

    When RW was denied the decision of letting IND to invest in the ETC of Colombo Port, RW strategists goes berserk that Prez accuses RAW of consipracy. Clever move...but checkmate by the ppl of SL.

    raman Wednesday, 17 October 2018 06:00 PM

    If the intellectual quality of most of the comments is any indication, Sri Lankans have a ver low average IQ. Sorry.

    kumar Thursday, 18 October 2018 12:32 AM

    up to now the loose statements were a fodder within Sri Lanka, now he has embarked on destroying our foreign relationships too. A wise man knows how to and when to make statements and not be a loose cannon ball, especially from the highest authority.


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