The Sunday Leader

Army On Standby

By Camelia Nathaniel

The Military says it is prepared to offer assistance if the police and civil authorities formally request on or before election day in order to control violence.

The military also denied allegations that extra troops were deployed in certain areas for the election on Thursday.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader, military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that troops had not been deployed to any area so far for the election.

“However in the event the troops are needed, we are prepared to offer our assistance if the police and civil authorities formally requested. We have not deployed extra troops to any area and in the event the need arises, the respective military camps in all areas are well equipped to respond to any situation,” he said.

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that he is aware of the concerns that the military was allegedly sent to some parts of the country to intimidate voters and is addressing those concerns.

The opposition last week warned of an attempt to use the army to obstruct the elections in some parts of the country on January 8 and prevent most people from voting.

Opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena said that troops have already been sent to Pollonaruwa as part of the attempt to obstruct the elections.

“Troops have already been placed in some districts. Army platoons have been sent to some areas,” Sirisena told reporters.

Sirisena said that troops in plain clothes have been sent to the North to prevent people from voting at the Presidential election. Meanwhile the Executive Director of CaFFE Keerthi Tennakoon told The Sunday Leader that his organisation together with other monitoring organisations had raised several issues of concern with the elections commissioner, and he had resoled almost all of them satisfactorily.

“We had several concerns including that of accompanying the ballet boxes, but the elections commissioner immediately addressed these concerns and resolved the issues. Even the issue of additional STF personnel being deployed to Polonnaruwa was raised with the elections commissioner and he has assured us that the matter has been addressed. Hence we do not anticipate any issues arising at the upcoming presidential elections and are confident that it will be a peaceful and free and fair election,” he said.

 

4 Comments for “Army On Standby”

  1. Lima

    LET THE OPPOSITION RIGHT NOW ORGANISE THEIR OWN TROOPS WITH WEAPONS TO COUNTER AND SEND THEM TO EVERY AREA , THEN THE ARMY KNOWS WHO ARE THE ACTUAL DEFENDERS , NO MATTER , IF ARMY IS BIASED SO THAT OPPOSITION HAS THE CHOICE TO FORM THEIR OWN ARMY , THAT IS THE REALITY

  2. Jayalath

    Dear Brothers ,it is enough that you have shed the blood to make the politicians rich and wealthy . This is what we have been seeing in the history , but you have one more chance to save country from the internal and external hypocrites which you saved after given 21000 thousand lives ,that day is coming up on 8th ,and I hope you will do every thing to defend our country to the future generation . The conspiracy is come from Dollar and Pounds this time , but I hope you have all strength to push this conspiracy away and defend the country if needed.

  3. sukirichuti

    It has been reported that road blocks had been placed in the Northern Province to restrict movement of people on the voting day. If the turn over for voting in the Northern Province is drastically reduced because of this, the Election Commissioner will be held responsibly for not having a free and fair election.

  4. the head of the army must behave in a good mannar and code of contact,the army chief told lies to the public,there was no war in the country,the army must be convered to barraks, the head of army must know what he is talking,the army chief has send some of them to jafffna to stop voting for mr Srisena,it is a undemocratic mannar, the army chief must sent on compalisary leave forthwith. he must face court for doing woring think, the commissioner of election is the head of the election,he did a wonderful job with the help of police,

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