Colombo, December 20 (NIA): The Sri Lankan government has said that it is investigating a former navy sailor, Wijemuni Vijitha Rohana de Silva, for suspected involvement in a plot to kill Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on January 26, 2017.
Incidentally, Rohana de Silva had attempted to assassinate India’s Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in July 1987, after the latter “imposed” the controversial Indo-Sri Lanka Accord on Sri Lanka and deployed the Indian Peace Keeping Force to implement the accord.
On Tuesday, Sri Lanka’s Information and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry Secretary, Nimal Bopage, said that authorities could not ignore a claim made by Rohana de Silva on Facebook that President Sirisena would be killed on January 26, 2017.
Over the past five months, Rohana de Silva had been carrying on a sustained campaign against President Sirisena, Bopage added.
“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.”
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 Rajapaksa had called a snap election nearly two years ahead of schedule on the advice of his personal astrologer – but only to lose to Sirisena.
Sirisena had ridiculed Rajapaksa for going by the words of an astrologer and declared that he is not a believer in astrology.
However, Sirisena knows that Sri Lankans believe in astrology and if an astrologer predicts that he will be killed on January 26 next year, people will tend to believe in it. Hence the action against Rohana de Silva.
Rohana de Silva, who was part of the naval guard of honor given to Rajiv Gandhi at the Sri Lankan Presidential mansion, had taken a swipe at the Indian leader’s head with his rifle butt, but only managed to graze his neck. The Indian Prime Minister ducked and escaped serious injury as Sri Lankan and Indian security men pounced on the naval rating and pinned him down. Though arrested, tried and sentenced, Rohna de Silva was pardoned by President R.Premadasa. In court, top lawyers of Sri Lanka had appeared for him and tried to justify his conduct.
(The featured image at the top is that of ex-Sri Lankan naval rating Wijemuni Vijitha Rohana de Silva)