President Sirisena alleges RAW is plotting his assassination

When contacted for verification, a senior officer at the President’s media unit said: “We will verify this and revert.” However, there has been no response till the time of going to print. The CID interrogated Kumara. The police subsequently also arrested an Indian national late in September. Local media reported that the Indian, identified as M. Thomas hailing from Kerala, claimed he knew of the plot.However, the Sri Lankan government issued an elaborate denial to the report and clarifications came from the highest level. Media Minister, Mangala Samaraweera slammed it as a “disinformation campaign”, urging reporters to be responsible.At Tuesday’s meeting, Sirisena reportedly said “the Indian national must be a RAW agent trying to kill me. The Indian PM may not be aware. That is often the case. Trump may not be aware of CIA’s similar moves.” The Hindu, on Tuesday evening, spoke to multiple sources in government — across political parties — who attended the meeting, and they confirmed this. In a move that might seriously impair Indo-Lanka relations, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday accused India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of plotting his assassination, The Hindu reported.Sirisena, who was speaking at the weekly Cabinet meeting, told Ministers that the Indian intelligence agency was “trying to kill” him, but that “Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not be aware of the plan,” The Hindu has learnt from sources present at the discussion. Tuesday’s meeting also saw a heated argument between President Sirisena and Mr. Wickremesinghe, when a cabinet paper on developing the Colombo Port came up for discussion. Sources said Mr. 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, 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.Meanwhile, the President’s media unit on Tuesday called off a scheduled press meet by Mr. Sirisena’s advisers on the reported assassination plot. When contacted, Presidential adviser Shiral Lakthilaka told The Hindu: “We cancelled it because we are awaiting more information”. Asked if it was connected to Mr. Sirisena’s reported remarks at the Cabinet, he said: “No, it had nothing to do with that.” President Sirisena’s claim comes days before Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s scheduled visit to New Delhi, where he will meet Mr. Modi to discuss bilateral matters, including key, India-assisted projects on the island.However, this is not the first time a Sri Lankan leader has accused the Indian agency of interference. Following his poll defeat in 2015, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa held RAW among those responsible for the change in regime. Mr. Sirisena’s allegation, sources at the meeting said, came when he raised concerns over the government’s “indifference” to an assassination plot targeting him. Reports of the said plot emerged last month when an individual named Namal Kumara, part of an anti-corruption outfit, claimed he was aware of a plan to assassinate Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. “We were just shocked when he said it,” a source said, requesting anonymity. read more

German TV Snowden says NSA also practices industrial espionage

by Kirsten Grieshaber, The Associated Press Posted Jan 26, 2014 6:43 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email German TV: Snowden says NSA also practices industrial espionage BERLIN – Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden claimed in a new interview that the U.S. agency is involved in industrial espionage.In the interview aired Sunday night on German public television broadcaster ARD, Snowden said if German engineering company Siemens had information that would benefit the U.S., but had nothing to do with national security needs, the National Security Agency would still use it.It wasn’t clear what exactly Snowden accused the NSA of doing with such information — he only said he didn’t want to reveal the details before journalists did.Snowden also told ARD television that he was no longer in possession of any NSA documents, because he had passed them all on to a few selected journalists and that he had no further influence on the release of the files.He also said U.S. government representatives wanted to kill him, according to a simultaneous German translation by the station. Snowden referred to an article he had read on Buzzfeed in which U.S. government representatives had told a reporter that they wanted to kill him.Snowden, wearing a white shirt and black jacket, also chatted about his childhood and said he’d always been fascinated by computers and was one of those kids whose parents would tell him late at night to finally turn it off.Hubert Seipel, the reporter who talked to Snowden, said he first met him in Moscow at the end of December and conducted the interview on Thursday.Seipel described Snowden, 30, as “worried, but relaxed at the same time.” He said Snowden was studying Russian, but that he couldn’t confirm any further details about where exactly he met Snowden or whether he is working for a Russian Internet company, as some media have previously reported.Snowden faces felony charges in the U.S. after revealing the NSA’s mass surveillance program. He is living under temporary asylum in Russia, which has no extradition treaty with the U.S.The revelations about U.S. surveillance programs have damaged Washington’s relations with key allies, including Germany following reports that the NSA had monitored communications of European citizens — even listening in on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone.___Follow Kirsten Grieshaber on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kugrieshaber read more