Sri Lanka blamed for serious security lapse at South Asian summit

August 07, 2008 (AFP) – India said there had been serious security lapses during a visit to Sri Lanka by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh despite the island nation’s promise of “ultimate security.” The Sri Lankan bodyguard assigned to protect Singh did not turn up during a regional summit last weekend, while the motorcade for India’s National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan failed to appear.

There was a “serious lapse in that some of the arrangements discussed and agreed to in advance, did not get implemented on the ground,” the Indian High Commission (embassy) here said in a statement Wednesday.

Sri Lanka is in the grip of a long-running ethnic war between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Tigers are blamed for the 1991 murder of former Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi.

The security lapse “was immediately discussed with Sri Lankan security authorities and remedial measures taken jointly…. Sri Lankan security authorities have apologised to Mr Narayanan,” the Indian statement said.

Local press reports said Narayanan wound up returning to his hotel from the conference site in a taxi.

He was stopped at two road blocks and asked to walk since his taxi did not ha