Sri Lanka Denies Reports Sirisena Said RAW Plotted Assassination

Sri Lanka reverses $300m China housing deal as PM visits India

A media report, citing a Sri Lankan "ministerial source", claimed that the Lankan president accused the United National Party (UNP) - senior coalition partner - of not taking the alleged conspiracy to kill him seriously.

The Sri Lankan government however denied this.

His phone call to Mr Modi came hours after his government had officially denied the report. "That is often the case". Reportedly, the president told his Cabinet about this.

Sirisena called Prime Minister Modi on the telephone today (October 17).

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne on Wednesday dismissed the reports at a press conference.

At the weekly cabinet media briefing in Colombo, a statement from cabinet secretary S. Abeysinghe was read out, in which he claimed that all such news reports "are completely untrue".

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry also issued an official statement rejecting the media reports as "baseless and false". Sirisena's allegation, sources at the meeting said, came when he raised concerns over the government's "indifference" to an assassination plot targeting him.

However, it's true that a month back a representative of the Anti-Corruption Force disclosed the alleged plot to assassinate the president.

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"The President has spoken in general terms about secret services of attempting to assassinate leaders. Trump may not be aware of CIA's similar moves". "There was no mention of RAW at all", Lakthilaka told the Daily Mirror.

The cabinet meeting witnessed heated exchanges when the ministers discussed the awarding of the East Terminal of the Colombo port to India, reports said.

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

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry also issued a statement which reiterated that Sirisena met with Indian envoy Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

Prior to the phone conversation with Mr Modi, India's high commissioner had visited Mr Sirisena to seek clarification on his alleged comment.

While Mr Sirisena's denial and assurances appear to have mollified its much larger and more powerful neighbour, the incident has left the Sri Lankan government embarrassed.

But what President Sirisena initially said has become the subject of much speculation in Sri Lanka.

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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