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Sri Lanka Arrests Astrologer, Chandrasiri Bandara, For Upsetting Prediction

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan police say they have arrested a popular astrologer for publicly predicting President Mahinda Rajapaksa's imminent ouster from office.

Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera confirmed Friday that Chandrasiri Bandara has been arrested so police could investigate the source of his prediction.

Bandara has a popular weekly television show and writes a column for a pro-opposition newspaper. Gunasekera says Bandara told an opposition meeting last week the prime minister would become president in September and the opposition leader would become prime minister.

Rajapaksa's popularity has grown sharply since the military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels last month. Media rights groups have complained of a subsequent crackdown on free speech.

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