No Siri kill plot by India: Sri Lanka government

Clay Curtis
October 19, 2018

The same cabinet meeting apparently also saw an angry exchange between Sirisena and Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over development of East Container Terminal of the Colombo Port.

The president, however, did not give details of how India was involved in the plot and several cabinet ministers were aghast at his claim, the report said.

As per the report, Sirisena made the allegation when he raised concerns over the government's "indifference" to an assassination plot targeting him.

Sirisena also said that he met Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka earlier in the day in this connection.

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.

"If I am the person with authority in this case, I will not keep the present Inspector General of Police (IGP) even for a week", the President had remarked during the cabinet meeting.

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

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"Any Cabinet paper relating to the infrastructure development projects planned to be implemented in Sri Lanka by the Indian government or Indian companies were not included in the agenda of that Cabinet meeting", he said.

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

The statement went on to say that India and Sri Lanka have maintained "cordial relations" since Sirisena took office in 2015.

In Beijing on Thursday, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news briefing China's cooperation with Sri Lanka was derived from consultations on an equal footing and he hoped that cooperation would be viewed objectively.

What President Sirisena said was he had discussed the issue with Prime Minister Modi during the BIMSTEC summit in Nepal, Senaratne said. President Sirisena told Mr Modi that the "mischievous and mala fide reports were utterly baseless and false, and seemed meant to create a misunderstanding between the two leaders as well as damage the cordial relations between the two friendly neighbours".

"The Ministry wishes to emphasize that relations between Sri Lanka and India including at the highest levels of government are strong, encompassing multiple spheres including intelligence sharing", it added.

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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