S Lanka in­ves­ti­gates ‘plot’ by Gandhi’s would-be as­sas­sin

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Sri Lanka said yes­ter­day it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing a for­mer navy sailor con­victed of at­tempt­ing to as­sas­si­nate In­dia’s Ra­jiv Gandhi 25 years ago on sus­pi­cion of in­volve­ment in an al­leged plot to kill its pres­i­dent. Vi­jithamuni Ro­hana de Silva served two and a half years in prison for try­ing to mur­der the for­mer In­dian leader as he in­spected a naval guard of hon­our in Colombo in 1987.

He has since turned to astrol­ogy and yes­ter­day Sri Lanka’s In­for­ma­tion and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs min­istry sec­re­tary said po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether he was part of a plot to kill Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena. Ni­mal Bopage said author­i­ties could not ig­nore claims de Silva had posted on Face­book and other so­cial me­dia over the past five months, in what he called a sus­tained cam­paign. “This man claims to be an as­trologer and he is pre­dict­ing that the pres­i­dent will be killed by Jan­uary 26,” Bopage told re­porters in Colombo.

“We have alerted the po­lice to carry out a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­cause we sus­pect this to be part of a wider plot to as­sas­si­nate the pres­i­dent.” De Silva took up a singing ca­reer af­ter his re­lease from jail, later turn­ing to pol­i­tics, be­fore set­tling on astrol­ogy. Sri Lankan politi­cians have im­mense faith in astrol­ogy. Many have their own seers whose pre­dic­tions are con­sid­ered more im­por­tant than the ad­vice of se­nior aides. For­mer pres­i­dent Mahinda Ra­japakse called a snap elec­tion nearly two years ahead of sched­ule on the ad­vice of his per­sonal as­trologer-and lost to Sirisena. — AFP

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