Plot to assassinate Lankan President unearthed

A suspect identified as Madusha Lakshman, who was arrested in connection with the killing of Southern Provincial Councilor Danny Hiththetiyage, would now be grilled by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) sleuths over the alleged plot to assassinate Rajapaksa in his hometown in southern Madamulana.

The Sri Lankan Attorney General made a special request before the Mount Lavinia Magistrates court yesterday to order prison authorities to hand over Lakshman to the CCD after the probe revealed that he also had personal animosity with the President and was in touch with the LTTE to hatch a plot against him, the 'Daily Mirror' reported on Wednesday.

Having heard the submission, Additional Magistrate Dharshika Wimalasiri ordered that Lakshman be produced in court on August 17 when he would be handed over to the CCD.

While seeking the CCD custody for Laksmhan, Senior State Counsel Dileepa Peiris told the court the findings revealed that the arrested man had brokered a deal with the LTTE to get support of a resident in Angunakolapelessa to carry out the suicide attack against the President, the Daily Mirror said.

Peiris said the plot was uncovered following a statement given by one Saman Chandana, who was arrested during a cordon and search operation in Wellawatte in April. Chandana had said he was introduced to LTTE by Lakshman.

Chandana's brother, H Ruwan, who was working with the army, had gone missing after an LTTE attack on October 2000, the paper said.

Lakshman had promised to help Chandana find his brother and had introduced him to one Jude, the leader of LTTE intelligence Unit in Vavuniya, the newspaper said. Chandana had even gone to Kilinochchi to meet some LTTE leaders.

Promising to help Chandana, the LTTE leaders in return had asked him to facilitate their suicide cadres by giving them residential facility.

Earlier, reports had said that State Intelligence Service (SIS) sleuths had found four LTTE suicide jackets meant to carry out VIP assassinations, which were concealed inside the ceiling of a house in a luxurious residential complex in Wellawatte on May 14.

A Tiger cadre residing inside the building had committed suicide after jumping from the seventh floor of a flat after it was surrounded by police. He was later identified as Thamodarampillai Sujindran, a hardcore terrorist operating in Colombo for sometime.

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