An Indian national arrested for possible links to an alleged plot to assassinate Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was on Wednesday further remanded in custody until February 27. Marceli Thomas was arrested in October following a complaint by Namal Kumara, a police informant, who had alleged a plot to assassinate Sirisena and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the former top defence ministry bureaucrat and brother of ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Kumara also claimed that the senior police officer in charge of the police's counter-terrorism division Nalaka Silva had masterminded the plot. Silva has since been interdicted and questioned extensively by the police CID. The police maintained although no details had emerged on the alleged plot to kill Sirisena, Silva had been arrested for plotting the murder of a police officer.
Thomas said to be from Kerala, appeared before a court on Wednesday. Sirisena in late October sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe triggering an unprecedented constitutional crisis which lasted nearly two months. The alleged assassination plot and Wickremesinghe government's go slow on the investigation was cited by Sirisena as one of the reasons for his sacking of Wickremesinghe.
He appointed former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in Wickremesinghe's place. Later, Sirisena was forced to reappoint Wickremesinghe as the prime minister after Rajapaksa failed to prove his majority twice in Parliament.
(With inputs from agencies.)