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Assassination Plot Claimed by Sri Lanka President in Ousting PM

  • Former strongman Rajapaksa appointed to replace ousted leader
  • Rajapaksa has close ties to Beijing and oversaw vast loans

Photographer: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP via Getty Images

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said he abruptly fired the island nation’s prime minister in part because he failed to properly investigate an assassination plot against him.

In an address to the nation on Sunday night, Sirisena said the plot was the “most proximate and powerful reason” for replacing Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister with former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa. The president said an unnamed cabinet minister was involved in the plot, and officials in the administration were seeking to pressure the investigation.