By Jamila Najmuddin
Investigations into the alleged plot to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapakse are still continuing and several suspects have been arrested in this regard, a top Defence Official told Daily Mirror Online.
Director General of the Media Center for National Security Lakshman Hulugalla however refused to divulge further details into the investigation where the government had earlier alleged that former Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was part of the plot which was hatched at a leading hotel in Colombo.
Meanwhile Tourism Minister Achala Jagoda had met with the management of the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel on Tuesday to discuss the episode which developed at the hotel premises a day after the Presidential Election, a tourism Ministry official said.
The Minister had explained to the management, the dangers which would have overshadowed the country’s tourism industry if any incidents had taken place.
“Sri Lanka just began to enjoy the freedom by defeating three decades long terrorism and we have to be very careful about the country. You should have informed the defense authorities of such a move as people in business, as well as responsible citizens of the country. Stability of the country and the country’s economy should always be respected by everyone,” the Minister told the hotel management, a release issued by the Tourism Ministry said.
Minister Jagoda had also emphasized that Sri Lanka is now in a turning point as the western countries had begun to consider Sri Lanka as one of the best tourist destinations of the world and that the country needed to develop that positive image and not party to any activities that might tarnish the image of the country.
Meanwhile, according to the state media, 37 people are already being held in connection with the assassination plot and most of those detained under the emergency regulations are military officers. Those being held include a brigadier, a colonel, army deserters and four civilians.
Reports in the state media further said that twenty-three of the suspects had been arrested in a raid on the office of the defeated presidential contender, General Sarath Fonseka and the police were also holding two Tamils, accused of supplying arms said to have been found in a central Colombo temple.