COLOMBO: Astrologer Vijitha Rohana Wijemuni, a former Sri Lankan naval sailor who shot into infamy for hitting Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi with his rifle butt at a Guard of Honour on July 30, 1987 and who made a career of astrology since, was arrested for predicting the death of President Maithripala Sirisena and released on bail.

Astrologer Wijemuni was arrested by the Sri Lankan Criminal Investigations Department on Tuesday on charges of circulating a video forecasting the death of President Maithripala Sirisena and released on bail on Wednesday.

Following the release from prison in the Rajiv Gandhi assault case, Wijemuni had been practicing astrology, frequently appearing on television and using social media to publicise his predictions.

In the year 2000, Wijemuni was a candidate of the nationalist political party, the Sihala Urumaya in the general election.

In December last year he used the social media to announce his prediction about President Sirisena’s death by a specific date and announced he would stop astrology if his prediction was proven false.

On Dec 21 the then Secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Mass Media Nimal Bopage called upon the Sri Lankan police to investigate a potential assassination plot on the president allegedly devised by the ‘‘cyber-youtube-astrologer’’.

Published in Dawn February 2nd, 2017

Opinion

Editorial

Saudi investment
Updated 10 Apr, 2024

Saudi investment

The state has to address barriers that stand in the way of attracting foreign investment, and create a pro-business environment.
Charity for change
Updated 11 Apr, 2024

Charity for change

PAKISTANIS are large-hearted people who empty their pockets at the slightest hint of another’s need. The Stanford...
World Bank’s advice
Updated 09 Apr, 2024

World Bank’s advice

The next IMF programme will be far tougher than any other Pakistan has embarked on in the past.
Middle East heat
09 Apr, 2024

Middle East heat

America must communicate to Israel that further provocations, particularly targeting sovereign states, will be unacceptable.
Killing fields
09 Apr, 2024

Killing fields

PERHAPS rankled by the daily flood of grisly news — murders, armed robberies, muggings and kidnappings — and...