Colombo: Sri Lanka has deployed over 71,000 security personnel for the smooth conduct of the Presidential elections on Thursday, a top police official said on Tuesday.
Inspector General of Police NK Illangakoon said 66,100 police and 5,000 Special Task Force (STF) personnel have been deployed to ensure a free and fair election.
Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent of Police Ajith Rohana said 420 permanent road barricades will be in place in addition to instant road blocks around the country to check suspicious vehicles and persons during election time.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking a record third straight term in office, is pitted against Maithripala Sirisena, his former health minister, who is now his main challenger in the polls after defecting to the opposition.
The Election Secretariat in a statement yesterday said that all arrangements are in place to conduct a free and fair poll.
The Additional Elections Commissioner U Amaradasa said nearly 2,00,000 officials have been deployed for the election duty.
A team of 55 international election observers has begun their election monitoring duties covering all the districts in the country.