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* Security strengthened for Sri Lanka re-polls
Sun, Apr 18, 2010, 09:01 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 18, Colombo: All necessary preparations are underway to hold the re-polls in Kandy and Trincomalee districts on Tuesday, April 20, Sri Lanka election officials said.

Re-polls will be held in 37 polling centers of the Nawalapitiya polling division in Kandy district and one poling centre in the Trincomalee district. All political campaigns for the re-poll ended midnight Saturday.

Election Secretariat said 900 public officials will be leaving Monday for poll duty at their relevant polling centers.

Post Master General M.K.P. Dissanayake said the postal service will continue delivering poll cards tomorrow as well.

Election Secretariat said any voter who did not receive a poll card still can vote if their name appears in the voter register and if they can prove their identity.

There are 50,948 eligible voters in Nawalapitiya Polling division and 977 to vote at the Kumburuppidi polling booth in Trincomalee.

Meanwhile, security has been strengthened in the polling areas. Senior DIG in charge of elections Gamini Navaratne said nearly 1,200 policemen have been deployed for election duty in the Nawalapitiya Polling Division. An additional 700 policemen will be deployed on the day of the election.

The elite Special Task Force police and the army are working jointly to provide security and prevent election violence.

Nawalapitiya polling division has become a hot bed as two former ministers are engaged in an intense battle for preferential votes.

The election monitoring group People's Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has deployed 60 members to monitor the re-polls.

The Elections Commissioner called for a re-poll in several polling divisions in Nawalapitiya and Trincomalee due to alleged election malpractices that had taken place during the April 8 general election.

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