Sri Lanka claims unearthing plot to kill president

Sri Lanka claims unearthing plot to kill president”

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 plot briefly threatened to cause tension between Sri Lanka and its much larger neighbour India, after a report that Sirisena had accused India's intelligence services of involvement - a claim that New Delhi and Colombo have both denied.

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.

Reports in a section of the media had cited sources present at a cabinet meeting in Colombo on Tuesday as saying that the president had accused India's Research and Analysis Wing of plotting his assassination.

"The President (in the cabinet meeting) highlighted the importance of Sri Lanka having a deep sea port terminal in the interest of the national economy", said the statement.

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

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.

He assured PM Modi that the Lankan government has publicly denounced these reports and also recalled his meeting today morning with the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, according to a statement made available to the press.

Sir Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs later denied the report issuing a statement that the President's remarks were taken out of context.

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.

The Prime Minister appreciated the prompt steps taken by the Sri Lankan president and his government to firmly refute the malicious reports by publicly clarifying the matter, it said. 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", said the MEA press note.

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