In a sensational claim, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said LTTE militants had planned to attack Colombo with an aircraft flying from Chennai in 2009.
"No one knew it better than me," said Sirisena while addressing the Sri Lankan community in New York where he spoke at the UN General Assembly.Sirisena was the acting defence minister during the last two weeks of the civil war with the LTTE in May, 2009, when the rebels were eventually defeated.
"The former president was away, the former prime minister was away. There was no defence ministry secretary and army commander in the country at the time," Sirisena said, adding that all senior leaders were out of the country fearing an LTTE air raid.
"The Tamil Tigers were going to operate an aircraft from Chennai or some other jungle area to bomb and destroy targets in Colombo," the president said.
"Even I did not stay in Colombo. I was at several locations outside Colombo in case the Tigers attacked the capital city," he said.
In 2007 and 2009, the LTTE had carried out two air raids in Colombo.
(With PTI inputs)