The Sri Lankan Government has offered the Maldives assistance to investigate the explosion on the boat which was carrying Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom yesterday.
Mohamed Hussain Shareef, Minister at the Maldivian President’s office and acting Foreign Minister, told journalists in Colombo that Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva had spoken to him and offered assistance from Sri Lanka.
Hussain Shareef said that the Maldives had accepted the offer and sough forensic assistance to investigate the incident.
He also said that President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had also conveyed their concerns over the incident.
The explosion occurred on the boat when the Maldivian President was returning to the capital Male’ from the airport by boat.
The President was unhurt in the explosion but his wife and bodyguard and another individual suffered injuries.
Hussain Shareef said that Saudi Arabia, the United States, India and several other countries have also come forward to investigate the cause of the explosion.
He said that local investigators are not discounting any possibility but at this moment it is tilting towards a possible mechanical failure.
“The threat level to the President is very low so his security was low. We don’t have any reason to believe his life was under threat. But investigators are not ruling out anything. At this moment however the investigators are tilting towards a mechanical failure. We need to discount that before we can look at any other possibilities,” he said.
The Minister also insisted that terrorist or militant groups are not operating in the Maldives despite some Maldivians going overseas to join such outfits.
He said that the Maldives is a safe country and the tourism industry will not be affected by the incident which involved the boat of the President. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam