Written by Bella Dalima
07 Jan, 2015 | 5:43 pm
Director of the Media Centre of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that military personnel can only be deployed for election duties at two instances.
He thus elaborated at a media briefing convened in Colombo on Wednesday.
He noted that there are two instances where the Sri Lanka Army could be involved. One instance is for elections being held on islets. If ballot boxes need to to be transported by sea, and if the returning officers have made a request for the same, then the Sri Lanka Navy is prepared to provide Navy vessels for this purpose. At the same time, if it is required to transport ballot boxes by air for whatever reason, then the Sri Lanka Air Force is prepared to make provisions for the same. Also, if the returning officers, as per their prerogative, decide that they require transportation for the ballot boxes once voting is concluded, then they can seek the assistance of the Navy and the Air Force. The armed forces will not be involved in the electoral process in any other way.
Brigadier Wanigasooriya also made a clarification regarding military personnel being assigned for static duty in this time-frame.
He went on to say, there are police officers who are deployed for static duties at various locations in various police divisions. Police personnel at such locations have been relieved and replaced with military personnel from the three armed forces. But, as soon as police officers return to these locations after concluding their election duties, the military personnel will be removed.
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