Indian Arrested for Allegedly Being Aware of Plot to Kill Sri Lankan President
The Indian man, identified by Sri Lankan media as a Keralite named Merceli Thomas, was arrested from the residence of Namal Kumara, who is Director (Operations) of a social movement named Anti-Corruption Force.
An Indian man was arrested by Sri Lankan police on Sept.21 for being aware of an alleged plot to kill Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family members, including former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajpaksha.
The Indian man, identified by Sri Lankan media as a Keralite named Merceli Thomas, was arrested from the residence of Namal Kumara, Director (Operations) of a social movement called Anti-Corruption Force.
However, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera issued a statement on Sept. 27, saying that “there is no reported evidence regarding an attempt to assassinate the President Maithripala Sirisena, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several others,” reported Sri Lankan news portal Ada Derana.
Kumara had called a press conference a few days back and played some recordings to accuse DIG Nalaka Silva for conspiring to kill President Maithripala Sirisena and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
The Indian national had said that there was a conspiracy to kill the entire Rajapaksa family and Sirisena, the CID informed Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, according to the Island publication.
CID Chief Inspector Ranjith Munasinghe informed the court that they are going to “investigate the statement made by Indian national, identified as M. Thomas, who was taken into custody for his alleged links to Director Operations of Anti-Corruption Movement Namal Kumara, who exposed the plot to assassinate President Sirisena and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa,” the report added.
However, police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara called a press meet on Sept.26 and refuted the claims that it informed the court about the Indian national revealing the alleged plot to assassinate Sirisena.
He said in the media briefing that the report filed by CID on Sept.25 does not mention anything regarding the murder plot revealed by the arrested Indian person, the Daily Mirror reported.
“The only thing the suspect had revealed was that he felt about a threat to several individuals after disclosing the video and audio clip of a telephone conversation by Namal Kumara at a press conference and the media reports on the incident. The suspect had said to the CID officers that he visited Namal’s residence to inquire about it,” SP Gunasekara added, as per the report.
Meanwhile, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka issued a statement in this regard, saying that the arrested Indian national has a history of mental disturbance since 2000.
“Taking a serious note of the matter and acting on limited information provided to us by Sri Lankan authorities, we immediately alerted Indian counterparts to conduct a background check of the said individual,” the Daily Mirror quoted a spokesperson of the high commission as saying.
“Preliminary inputs indicate that the said individual has had a history of mental disturbance since 2000. We have shared the details with the Sri Lankan authorities and have assured them of full assistance and cooperation for conducting a thorough and professional investigation into the matter,” the spokesperson added.
Thomas arrived in Sri Lanka in January 2017, and stayed at several places, the police spokesperson was cited as saying.
“However, it was yet to reveal how and from whom he received funds. CID is conducting further investigations on a detention order,’ he said, as per the report.