Sri Lankan President calls PM Modi, rejects reports on ‘RAW assassination plot’

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In a charge that might seriously impair New Delhi-Colombo relations, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday accused India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of plotting his assassination.

Security for Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has been stepped up following the discovery of an alleged plot to assassinate him, two of his advisers said on Thursday.

A senior police official that he accused of involvement in the alleged assassination plot was suspended and subjected to an inquiry, while an Indian national who had visited the informant was also arrested.

These reports were, however, dismissed by the government, who warned reporters against spreading disinformation.

He mentioned that the michevous and malafide reports were utterly baseless and false, and seemed meant to create misunderstanding between the two leaders as well as damage the cordial relations between the two friendly neighbours.

President Sirisena's claim comes days before Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's scheduled visit to New Delhi, meet Mr. Modi and discuss bilateral matters, including key, India-assisted projects on the island.

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It said that in continuation of the close and regular interaction between Sri Lanka and India at all levels including at the highest levels of government, President Sirisena had discussions this morning as well at a meeting with the High Commissioner of India in Colombo.

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. Trump may not be aware of CIA's similar moves, Sirisena said according to The Hindu report.

The Lankan president rejected the claims saying that the media reports meant to create a rift between the two leaders.

Even before Sirisena spoke to the Indian premier, Sri Lanka's foreign ministry issued a statement that described the media reports as "baseless and false".

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

"PM Modi does not mind the SLPDA (Sri Lanka Ports Development Authority) developing it single-handedly", Sirisena recalled during a heated exchange with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the weekly cabinet meeting in Colombo on Tuesday. He added he greatly values the mutually beneficial ties between the two countries and remained committed to working with Modi for further strengthening the relationship.

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