Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena accused Indian intelligence RAW of assassinating him

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena accused Indian intelligence RAW of assassinating him

Mr. Sirisena's allegation, the sources said, came when he raised concerns over the government's "indifference" to an assassination plot targeting him.

The alleged plot was disclosed by a man named Namal Kumara claiming himself to be representing Anti-Corruption Force last month at a press conference.

These reports were, however, dismissed by the government, who warned reporters against spreading disinformation.

A statement quoted him as saying that "mischievous and mala fide reports were utterly baseless and false, and seemed meant to create misunderstanding between the two leaders as well as damage the cordial relations between the two friendly neighbours".

At the meeting there was a vehement argument between Sirisena and Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremeshinghe over the development of the Colombo Port. Sirisena is said to have objected to any Indian involvement in the project. He also referred to his meeting with the Indian high commissioner in Colombo on Wednesday morning to discuss the matter.

According to the sources present at the meeting quoted by The Hindu, Sirisena said that RAW was "trying to kill him" but Prime Minister Narendra Modi "may not be aware of the plan".

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

Speculation is rife in Sri Lanka of a turf war between its President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who incidentally will begin a three-day visit to New Delhi on Thursday.

"The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to media reports attributed to President Maithripala Sirisena alleging the involvement of an Indian Intelligence Service in a plot to assassinate him", the Ministry said in statement.

Maithripala Sirisena told Narendra Modi he "categorically rejected" the report, carried in The Hindu newspaper.

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

The report claimed that the Sri Lankan Prime Minister had jumped to the defence of New Delhi during spat with Sirisena, noting that India was already carrying out most of the transshipment business at the Colombo port. It said bilateral relations, "including at the highest levels of government are strong, encompassing multiple spheres including intelligence-sharing". "He stressed that he greatly valued the mutually beneficial ties between India and Sri Lanka, and remained steadfast to work with the Prime Minister for further strengthening them", the statement said.



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