Tight security for polls
On duty: 58,700 policemen, 19,500 Security Forces
Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya yesterday said that he
would deploy 58,700 police personnel for election duties. In addition
another 19,500 personnel from the three forces, Army, Air Force and Navy
- will also assist the police during the April 8 elections and the post
The IGP addressing the media yesterday morning at the Police
Headquarters said that 7,620 candidates are contesting in the
forthcoming general elections.
The Police are geared to face any situation during and after the
elections, the IGP added. “Our main aim is to maintain law and order
during the election period. To achieve this objective the police need
the maximum assistance of the candidates and the public,” the IGP said.
The IGP emphasised that he had directed the Senior DIGs and DIGs of
the nine provinces to advise their respective Officers in Charge of the
Police Stations to remove all cut-outs and hoardings before April 5
Each candidate will be allowed to have their political office within
a 500 meter zone from the polling-booth. Maximum security will also be
provided for postal employees to distribute polling cards during the
week days and on Sundays, the IGP added. The Police also will have 2,584
mobile units on patrol round the clock on the election day. Three
policemen and two personnel from the forces, forming one unit, to ensure
maximum security for the voters, the IGP said.
Candidates from 36 political parties and 306 Independent Groups are
contesting at the forthcoming general elections. The IGP said candidates
will be allowed to remove their cut-outs on their own. Otherwise the
police will have to deploy men to remove these cut-outs, the IGP said.
The IGP made these directions on a directive by the Election
Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake that all the cut-outs, hoardings and
the posters should be removed forthwith.
Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne who is in charge of the Police Elections
Secretariat will be tasked to ensure the IGP’s directions are complied
The IGP also said that Senior Police officers should educate their
staff about the existing election and traffic laws which should be
applied when they are on election duty.
The IGP emphasised that Police personnel on election duty should be
well versed with their responsibilities pertaining to elections duties.
Senior DIG N.K. Ilangakoon said they have received 219 election
Investigations also revealed that the police have arrested 174
suspects and produced them before Courts. Out of 219 complaints 161
complaints had been completed. 57 complaints are to be completed.
There were only five major incidents reported, out of 219 complaints
24 complaints from Batticaloa, 20 from Kandy, 13 from Matale, 12 from
The police have received less than ten complaints from the other
places, Senior DIG Ilangakoon said. The IGP recently interdicted eight
OICs and sent two Senior Police Officers on compulsory leave on a
direction by the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
They alleged to have violated the election laws during the
Presidential elections. Recently the Attorney General PC Mohan Peiris
told the Supreme Court that the Inspector General of Police has decided
to provide security for candidates who are either party leaders or
general secretaries and all Ex-MPs.