As Colombo gears up to welcome an Indian Prime Minister on a bilateral visit after 27 years, Vijitha Rohana Wijemuni, the Lankan naval soldier who attacked former PM Rajiv Gandhi, said Thursday that he is “happy” that PM Narendra Modi was visiting Sri Lanka, but added that the Indian PM should not interfere in Lanka’s internal affairs.
Modi will reach Colombo Friday morning and hold talks with Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and have a luncheon meeting with PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He will also address the Lankan parliament Friday afternoon and visit the IPKF memorial.
While Rajiv Gandhi was the last PM to come to Lanka on a bilateral visit, former PM Manmohan Singh visited the country in 2008 for the SAARC summit.
Wijemuni, who has rebuilt his life from being ostracised to becoming a “successful astrologer”, told The Indian Express: “I like Modi..I am happy he is visiting the country. He is a good man. But he should not interfere in our internal affairs. He should respect our territorial integrity.”
He added: “If he interferes like Rajiv Gandhi, the Tamil problem will resurface. Thousands of Sri Lankan soldiers and about 1,500 Indian soldiers died during the war. Modi should keep relations with Lankan government…should maintain peace. After the war (with LTTE got over), there is peace. Tamils are now into fishing, agriculture. Economy and tourism is doing good. You should tell PM Modi to support them, not interfere,” said the 46-year-old man, who makes a living out of a small shop in Nugegoda supermarket, about 7 km off Colombo’s Fort area.
Speaking to The Indian Express in October 2013, Wijemuni had introduced himself as an astrologer and made three predictions.
When asked about the fate of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, Wijemuni had said Rajapaksa will not be president after the next election. He had also predicted that BJP will come to power after 2014 Lok Sabha polls. On being asked about Rahul Gandhi, he had said: “He will become PM, but in the elections after the next one.”
On Thursday, Wijemuni said, “Two of my predictions have come true. The third is waiting”, and went on to predict that Wickremesinghe’s United National Party will be come to power in the Lankan elections to be held this year.