Sri Lankan President calls Modi, rejects assassination attempt reports

Maithripala Sirisena

Maithripala Sirisena the President of Sri Lanka

According to media reports, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said that Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was hatching a plot to assassinate him.

Reports regarding an assassination plot emerged when one person by the name, Namal Kumara, who was part of an anti-corruption outfit claimed that he was aware of the plan to assassinate Sirisena and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He said that such reports were meant to create a rift between the two leaders and mar the cordial ties between the 2 countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told President Maithripala Sirisena that India wouldn't mind if it is not involved in the development of the eastern terminal of the Colombo Port, the Sri Lankan leader has claimed.

The reason behind Sirisena's ire was due to the Sri Lankan government's apparent disinterest in investigating an assassination plot against him.

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At Tuesday's meeting, Mr. Sirisena reportedly said "the Indian national must be a RAW agent trying to kill me".

Modi appreciated the prompt steps taken by Sirisena and his government to "firmly refute the malicious reports", the statement said.

According to the statement, Sirisena apprised Modi of the "urgent steps taken by him personally and the Sri Lankan government to publicly reject these reports".

"The rest of the houses will be given to firms which are ready to build them at lower prices", Senaratne told reporters in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, adding that China could also be considered in future for the remaining housing projects.

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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will, incidentally, hold talks with Mr Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday, in which the entire gamut of India-Sri Lankan ties will be discussed.

ET also learnt that he also stated to PM that he regards the Prime Minister as a true friend of Sri Lanka, as also a close personal friend.

"It is disappointing therefore that matters of this nature have become the subject of distorted and erroneous media reports taking the President's remarks out of context, which has given rise to further media and social media speculation and the spread of unfounded fear among the public", the ministry said in a statement. It said bilateral relations, "including at the highest levels of government are strong, encompassing multiple spheres including intelligence-sharing".

The two Prime Ministers are likely to review the status of the India-assisted housing projects in Sri Lanka's Jaffna during Mr Wickremesinghe's visit.

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