Security personnel from the Army as well as the Police were deployed in front of the Government Printing Department yesterday (20), not to provide security for ballot paper printing but due to the protest that was held in Colombo by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB).
Speaking to The Daily Morning, Police Media Spokesman, Senior Superintendent of Police and Attorney Nihal Thalduwa said that a special security plan was implemented in the Colombo City area, for yesterday’s protest but not confined only to the Government Printing Department. “The special protection plan was implemented in the Colombo City area. One of those areas was the Government Printing Department.” When queried as to whether it was for ballot paper printing, Thalduwa said: “Not for that. Today (20), we placed Police personnel to provide security due to the protest. I know that the Army and the Police were deployed but I don’t have the numbers.”
When contacted, the Government Printer Gangani Liyanage told The Daily Morning: “This is not for ballot paper printing. I assume that it is for the protest. I didn’t go to question them as to why they were there. They were outside the premises. There were a lot of personnel, both from the Army and the Police.”
A protest was organized by the main Parliamentary Opposition, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya yesterday against the delay of the Local Government Poll in order to protect the voting rights and sovereign right of the people of the country.
Meanwhile, Liyanage stated last week that the “main reason” for the delay in the printing of the ballot papers for the postal voting at the said Poll is that despite many requests made to the Police Department, including to the Inspector General of Police Chandana D. Wickramaratne by both the Election Commission and the Government Printing Department to provide security for the ballot printing process, Police personnel are yet to be deployed for the same.