Sri Lanka ex-leader's lucky charm recovered after covert operation
By Our Political Correspondent
Nov 28, 2015 20:47 PM GMT+0530 | 3 Comment(s)
CHARM RING File photo of rings flying off the hand of president Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2012 during a Mattu Pongal festival at Temple Trees
ECONOMYNEXT - Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s lucky charm ring went missing yesterday during a wedding reception at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo where a discreet undercover operation was launched to find it.
Hotel staff scanned the carpets at the Oak room for the gem-studded ring while an army of staffers along with Rajapaksa’s own security searched a washroom he had used soon after arriving at the hotel.
"We had to carry out the search very discreetly without alerting wedding guests because if the word was out, the finder may not have returned the ring considering its astrological value," a police officer said.
After a 15-minute intense sweep of all the places the former leader had been in within the sprawling de luxe hotel, an employee found the invaluable piece of jewellery a few tables away from where the VVIP guest was seated.
The Cinnamon Grand returned to Rajapaksa what he had thought was gone for good. A wedding guest told Economynext that they were quite unaware of what was happening until after a police officer came out with the story today.
The former president is fond of lucky charms and earned the reputation of being a lord of the rings after acquiring a large number, some with coloured stones and elephant hair.
During the election campaign at Akuressa, an over enthusiastic supporter grabbed the former president's hand triggering suspicion that the man was trying to yank off a ring or two.
Rajapaksa later told reporters that he was in so much pain when the man squeezed his hand, he (not the supporter) nearly peed. In great pain, he pulled his hand back but many accused him of trying to punch an ardent supporter.
The former leader has seen rings fly off his fingers before. In January 2012, three rings flew off when he tried to garland a bull at Temple Trees to mark the Mattu Pongal festival. (Colombo/November 28 2015)