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Sri Lanka President: PM fired on assassination attempt



COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka's president said on Sunday that the main reason why he wanted to dismiss his prime minister was the alleged involvement of a Cabinet minister in an attack on him.

In a televised address to the nation, President Maithripala Sirisena said that a person interrogated by investigators had revealed the name of a minister in a suspected attack on him and a former defense secretary.

He said the only choice for him under these circumstances was to dismiss Ranil Wickremesinghe and invite his former archenemy and ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa to act as prime minister and form a new government.

"This information (obtained from investigators) contains a number of hitherto hidden details of the people," said Sirisena. "The informant made a statement about a cabinet minister involved in the conspiracy to murder me."

He did not disclose the name of the minister.

Although Sirisenna's supporters had talked about an alleged conspiracy to assassinate, it was the first time Sirisena had made public statements in public.

A police spokesman named Namal Kumara, who released the alleged assassination plot, told reporters Sunday that Wickremesinghe and his cabinet colleague Sarath Fonseka were behind the

There was no direct opinion from Wickremesinghe or Fonseka on this allegation.

In the meantime, one person died and two others were injured in a shoot-out in the Petroleum Ministry on Sunday, the first violent incident since political death. The tumult began on Friday with the release of Wickremesinghe.

Pushpa Soyza, a spokeswoman for the Colombo National Hospital, said three people were Admiral

Arjuna Ranatunga, who was Minister of Oil under Wickremesinghe, said one of his security guards opened the fire when Rajapaksa supporters cursed and vilified him He protested when he arrived at the Ministry.

Wickremesinghe has announced Sirisena's bid to declare him unconstitutional, saying he can prove his majority support in parliament.

On Saturday, Sirisena suspended the parliament to give Rajapaksa time to give enough support to survive a No. (19659018) The Speaker of Parliament urged Sirisena to protect Wickremesinghe's rights.

Spokesman Karu Jayasuriya said in a letter to Sirisena on Sunday that the continued suspension of parliament has "serious and undesirable consequences."

Opposition MPs supporting the new Prime Minister asked Wickremesinghe to vacate his office or to evict 659021] Hundreds of Wickremesinghe supporters gathered in front of his official house for the second year in a row on Sunday, waving party flags and condemning Sirisena and Rajapaksa. Buddhist monks performed religious rituals to invoke blessings on Wickremesinghe.

Jayasuriya said in the letter that he had received "a request for the protection of the rights and privileges of Wickremesinghe" until any other person emerges from the parliament who has secured parliamentary confidence. "He said the request came from two high-ranking MPs of the Prime Minister's dismissed party.

" This request is particularly important in the context where various people have made threats through the media, "Jayasuriya said," who have taken violent takeovers. " serious international repercussions. "

For some time now, tensions have arisen between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe as the President did not approve of some of the Prime Minister's economic reforms, and Sirisena also criticized the investigation into members of the military during the long civil war in Sri Lanka

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