Sri Lanka to depoly 70,000 policemen for election

13:47, January 24, 2010      

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The Sri Lankan police said on Saturday 68,800 police officers will be deployed for the Jan. 26 presidential poll, in which former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka will challenge incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Police spokesman I. M. Karunaratne told reporters that another 2,000 police and Army intelligence officers will be deployed to maintain order on the polling day.

Sri Lankan opposition parties, who are supporting Fonseka, requested Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake early this month to deploy Army personal to stop election violence in highly vulnerable areas on the D-Day.

Fonseka's media spokesman parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the police will not be able to curb election violence especially in areas where the chances are good for the opposition's candidate.

Rajapaksa called an early presidential election two years ahead of his first term to capitalize on the popularity of war victory against Tamil Tiger rebels, for which Fonseka was equally credited.

Source: Xinhua
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