Lankan astrologer who had attacked Rajiv Gandhi held for predicting Maithripala Sirisena's death

Colombo: A former Sri Lankan sailor, who had attacked the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi with a rifle butt here in 1987, has been arrested for making an astrological prediction about the death of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Vijitha Rohana Wijemuni was arrested yesterday by the Crime Investigation Department for circulating a video on Facebook forecasting the death of President Sirisena by 26 January.

In December, Nimal Bopage, Secretary to the Ministry of Media and Parliamentary Affairs, had lodged a complaint with the police for an investigation against Wijemuni.

"We see a conspiracy behind this and have asked the police to investigate because we suspect this to be part of a wider plot to assassinate the President," he had said in the complaint.

He had been charged with misleading the public, police sources said.

Wijemuni was part of a naval guard of honour in July, 1987 when Gandhi was visiting Colombo to sign the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord which led to the Indian Peace Keeping Force being stationed in Sri Lanka's north and east provinces as part of India's efforts to mediate in Sri Lanka's separatist civil war at the time.

As Gandhi walked past inspecting the guard of honour, Wijemuni raised his rifle and attempted to attack the then prime minister who narrowly escaped.

Wijemuni was court-martialled and after his jail term became an astrologer.

Published Date: Feb 01, 2017 19:15 PM | Updated Date: Feb 01, 2017 19:15 PM

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