Jan 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Inspector General of Police has instructed all island wide police stations to beef up security operations within the next three months covering the local government election period Police Media Spokesman, Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara said.
The IGP has given instructions to seize illegal firearms, set up instant roadblocks covering all island wide police stations and intensify operations to arrest suspects on warrants.
Addressing a special media conference held at the Election Secretariat in Rajagiriya yesterday (05). Police Media Spokesman said the police officers who carry out such arrests will be awarded with financial rewards from the Police Welfare Fund.
The spokesman said 54 complaints of election law violations have been received so far by the police and most of them are complaints of property damages and threatening individuals. Accordingly, the police have arrested 38 suspects in connection with 54 complaints and 8 of them are election candidates. One of the 8 candidates has been remanded.
He said it is irrelevant to the police to know to which party the candidates belong. "We need to know only if they violated laws. Then we will not hesitate to arrest them regardless of their status or party," he said.
The Police in the past had conducted 29 raids with regard to the election violence and arrested 65 suspects during these raids. The suspects which include four candidates were arrested for using loudspeakers on vehicles, illegal marches and illegal displaying posters and cutouts.
The Police Media Spokesman said the police had made a decision and informed all police stations to seize all election related material during the raids along with the arrest of the individuals. These materials may include, posters, leaflets, cutouts, vehicles used for election activities and any other election propaganda related materials.
Following the seizure of such items, the relevant police stations have been instructed to inform the Election Secretariat Office at the Police Headquarters about the items seized and their monetary value. The police will send a weekly report of the seizures to the Election Commission.
Since the report will be filed under the relevant candidate, in future the report will be proof of that candidate's assets in a case or in an election petition.
The spokesman said the police hope to send those reports once a week to the Election Commission.
He said that if there are any elections complaints to be made it could be done by phone at 011 30 24 884.