Sri Lanka President who said India's RAW is plotting to kill him tightens security

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Oct 18, 2018, 08.56 PM(IST)

File photo of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. Photograph:( Reuters )

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who allegedly said Tuesday that India's RAW was trying to kill him, has tightened his security. The announcement was made by his adviser Shiral Lakthilaka. 

"The president has taken the threat very seriously," the news agency AFP quoted Lakthilaka as telling reporters in Colombo. "The president's security has been increased."

Sirisena had "told the cabinet of local media reports of an Indian intelligence agency being involved," Lakthilaka said. "He did not name the agency."

The Sri Lankan foreign ministry had on Wednesday rejected the reports — of Sirisena saying the Research and Analysis Wing was trying to kill him — as "completely untrue". 

The ministry said it was "disappointing that matters of this nature have become the subject of distorted and erroneous media reports taking the President’s remarks out of context." 

"The ministry wishes to clarify that the media reports in this connection are baseless and false," it added. 

Sirisena and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the phone on Wednesday, with the Sri Lankan leader "categorically" rejecting reports he had accused New Delhi of involvement, Modi's office said. 

But AFP quoted Sri Lankan police as saying they were still investigating the alleged plot and had detained an Indian national. 

On Tuesday, news reports said Sirisena had accused his senior coalition partner, the United National Party (UNP), of not taking seriously an alleged conspiracy to kill him and former secretary to the ministry of defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. 

The reports quoted a ministerial source as saying Sirisena had made his comments at a heated cabinet meeting.

The reports quoted Sirisena as saying RAW was plotting to kill him, but that Prime Minister Modi might not be aware of the plot. 

Sirisena's predecessor Mahinda Rajapakse had accused RAW of engineering his defeat in the January 2015 election. New Delhi has repeatedly denied the charge. 

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe meawhile arrived in India Thursday on a three-day visit. 

(With inputs from agencies)