[Sri Lanka military; file photo]
Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry has allegedly despatched nine special military units to the North-Central Polonnaruwa district to be engaged in election malpractices and to ensure a resounding victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking an unprecedented third term in office at the January 8 presidential poll.
According to sources, a top lawyer and member of the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) Wijedasa Rajapaksa has made a written complaint in this regard to the country’s Election Commissioner on Monday.
In his complaint, MP Wijedasa Rajapaksa has alleged that the move by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to despatch nine special military units to Polonnaruwa, which is the hometown of Common Opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, was aimed at threatening the voters and cause mayhem on the polling day in order to ensure a lower voter turnout.
Polonnaruwa being centrally located, other sources said, the plan was to despatch troops from there to various other places such as the Eastern Trincomalee, Ampara and Batticaloa districts for the same purpose.
Meanwhile, Army Spokesman army Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya has said that the troops are “only carrying out its official duties and nothing else” based on national security concerns and requirements.
“Matters of national security will not be compromised for any reason. All security forces personnel, from the Commanders down to the last soldier discharge their duties with commitment giving priority to national security requirements,” Brigadier Wanigasooriya has said.