10,000 extra Policemen for polls

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 January 1999, 14:45 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Police said today that it will deploy 10,000 additional Policemen in the northwestern province on January 25, the day of the polling. The army will also be put on special alert on the day.

Sri Lankan Government sources said that there will be special security in Colombo as well.

All taverns, bars and other outlets selling liquor would be closed from January 25 to January 28 in the northwestern province the Police said.

The ban on the sale of liquor is being imposed to prevent hooliganism and the traditional practice among Sri Lankan politicians of supplying supporters with large quantities of arrack on the day of voting.

The arrack is also supplied freely to bribe voters.

However, the ban will not produce the desired effect as many big time manufacturers of 'Kasippu' (the Sri Lankan hooch) are already in the area under the protection of leading politicians sources said.

Meanwhile the Sri Lankan Police said this evening that 429 incidents of election violence have been reported from the Northwestern province so far (580 complaints were received). 29 of these were in the district of Kurunagala and 182 in Puttalam.

The highest number of incidents involving election related violence in the northwestern province (52) occurred in the area of Maawathagama.


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