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Lankan guards fail to 'protect' Indian leaders

August 03, 2008 20:45 IST

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Sri Lankan security officers tasked with protecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and National Security Adviser M K Narayanan failed to turn up for their job, sending officials on both sides in a tizzy, the media in Colombo claimed on Sunday.

After Singh concluded his meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse at the presidential secretariat in Colombo on Saturday and returned to his vehicle, it was discovered that the Sri Lankan personal security officer assigned to travel in Singh's car was missing, The Sunday Leader reported.

Quoting informed sources, the paper said an Indian security officer who was in a back-up vehicle then got into the prime minister's car as Singh had to rush for his next appointment.

The Lankan security officer Kapila Jayasekera, who had failed to turn up on time, rushed to the scene and on observing that Singh's  convoy was moving started running behind it and tapping on the window of the vehicle to stop it, causing panic among the security detail, the report said.

Rajapakse questioned the officer after the incident and told him to be more alert in the future, the paper said quoting sources. Another newspaper The Sunday Times reported that Rajapakse ordered full inquiry into the incident.

Another  reported security lapse occurred when National security adviser M K Narayanan had to return to his hotel room from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation conference hall on Saturday in a hotel taxi.

When the sessions concluded on the opening day of the summit, Narayanan was standing at the entrance of the conference hall waiting for his car and the security escort vehicles to arrive, but no car or vehicles turned up, forcing him to approach a taxi with the logo of Taj Samudra, the hotel he was staying in, on it and persuaded the driver to take him back to the hotel, the report said, adding the serious security lapse displeased both the Indian officials and those in the Indian High Commission.



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