The Hindu newspaper today stood by its report on President Maithripala Sirisena’s remark at the last Cabinet meeting on RAW’s plot to assassinate him.
The Sri Lankan government has so far issued three denials of the story and President Sirisena, in a telephone conversation, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also assured that he never made such a remark.
N.Ram, the Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Limited, the publisher of Hindu, and the former Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper said this morning that ‘The Hindu’ told the truth when the newspaper said that President Sirisena accused RAW of plotting to kill him.
“Another case of saying something wild & bizarre, expecting it to remain within a closed room, and then blaming the media for the furore caused. The Hindu did its job — truth-telling,” he tweeted.
“Our Sri Lanka Correspondent verified what she had learnt with multiple independent sources before publishing her report. Let them issue their lame denials, try to wriggle out of what was said — but we stand by our Correspondent’s meticulously fact-checked story,” he added.
Sirisena’s controversial statement was also followed by an intense argument with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when the subject of development of the Colombo Port came up for discussion. The Hindu newspaper said Sirisena vehemently objected to any Indian involvement in upgrading its east container terminal – a project that New Delhi has been keen to take up.
“However, Mr. Wickremesinghe is said to have countered by saying Colombo had already promised New Delhi on collaborating on the project, and it was important to rope in India at the terminal, given that about 80% of the cargo handled at the transhipment hub was meant for India. He reportedly sought a week’s time to sort out the issue, since he would be meeting Mr. Modi soon ,” the Hindu newspaper added.