An astrologer who predicted the death of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was arrested by the police on Tuesday on allegations of misleading the public, officials said.
The astrologer, Wijemuni Vijitha Rohana de Silva, 52, was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for questioning after he claimed that Sirisena will die due to an accident or an acute diabetic condition before January 26, 2017.
De Silva, a former sailor, initially made his prediction on his own Facebook account, but later his claim was published in local newspapers.
"In the subsequent elections it will be very favourable to the ex-defence secretary," the astrologer had said after making the prediction.
The ex-defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, is the brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who left office at the beginning of 2015.
Police said that the astrologer could be charged for making misleading statements to incite the public.
The astrologer was previously sentenced to a six-year jail term after he assaulted the late Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, while he was inspecting a guard of honour in Colombo on July 30, 1987. Gandhi escaped serious injuries.
Gandhi was in Sri Lanka after the signing of a controversial pact between Sri Lanka and India to end an ethnic conflict under which Indian troops were sent to the northern and eastern parts of the island nation amidst protests from extremist groups belonging to the
Sinhala majority community.
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