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Seer arrested after predicting leader's death

The 52-year-old former sailor was hauled before magistrates in Colombo on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena (right) pictured in Colombo on December 19, 2016

Vijithamuni Rohana de Silva, a 52-year-old former sailor in the Sri Lankan navy, was hauled before magistrates in Colombo on Wednesday where he was granted bail on a bond of two million rupees ($13,300).

"He was arrested following an investigation into a complaint from the media ministry that his false predictions had caused unrest in society," a official who asked not to be named told AFP.

Prosecutors said de Silva wrote a series of blogs over the past six months that foretold Sirisena's death last Thursday, January 26, but the day passed off peacefully for the president.

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De Silva is no stranger to the law courts and once served a prison term for being part of an attempt to assassinate the then-Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi while he was visiting the island in 1987.

Sri Lankan politicians place great faith in astrology. Many have their own seers whose predictions are sometimes treated with more deference than the advice of senior aides.

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