Promotions and transfers of policemen, to or from areas where tomorrow’s local government elections are to be held, since the campaign begun, are illegal and should be suspended immediately, the UNP said yesterday.
Informed sources told The Island that UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, in a written communication to Polls Chief Mahinda Deshapriya, has referred to complaints of several policemen being transferred or promoted, since the campaign began, in direct violation of the law.
While drawing Deshapriya’s attention to the Elections Act, which specifically prohibits the transfer or promotion of public servants, including police officers after polls are announced and until its completion, Attanayake has called for an immediate reversal of the unlawful administrative decisions.
Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, addressing a rally in Nugegoda on Wednesday, said that constant political interference had led to the masses losing confidence in the public service.
People are killed inside police stations, which are subsequently set on fire by angry citizens, while policemen shoot each other inside their offices, he said adding that this was due to the loss of faith in the judicial system prevalent under the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.
Tomorrow’s polls to 23 local government bodies, comprising 17 Municipal Councils, one Urban Council and five Pradeshiya Sabhas are to be contested by 6,488 candidates, who will be vying for a total of 420 seats, to be decided by 1,589,622 registered voters.
The Election Secretariat said that around 11,650 officers have been assigned for duty on October 8.
The Police said that as at yesterday 195 persons had been arrested, while 45 vehicles were detained for violating polls laws.