Voting taking place in over 12 K polling centres in Sri Lanka

Colombo: Voting in Sri Lanka is reportedly taking place at 12,314 polling centers under the supervision of district returning officers.

Over 6100 candidates from a record 35 political parties and 200 independent groups are vying for 196 parliamentary seats in Monday’s general elections.

According to the National Election Department,15,440,491 people are eligible to vote in today’s election. Voting began at 7 a.m. and will conclude at 4 p.m.

In Colombo District, reports quoted Returning Officer Kamal Padmasiri, as saying that voting is taking place in 1,075 polling centers.

In Ratnapura District, Returning Officer Sunil Kannangara was quoted by media, as saying that voting is taking place in 624 polling centers.

He also said that 810,082 voters will be exercising their franchise today.

About 17 polling centers have been set up for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to cast their votes.

The National Election Secretariat has revealed that 125,000 government workers have been deployed for poll duties, and another 70,000 government workers will count the votes after the election process is declared over.

The Department of Elections has made special arrangements for the public to inform about illegal activities on polling day.

Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya had requested voters over the weekend to cast their votes at the earliest possible.

Security arrangements for the polls is tight. About 70,549 police officers have been deployed across the country to provide security on Election Day. In addition, 4,825 officers of elite Special Task Force (STF) police and 7,000 Civil Defense Force personnel have also been deployed, according to local reports.

About 161 riot police squads are also on duty in sensitive areas of the country. Two police officers have been assigned to each polling booth. The mobile services of the STF will also be in operation.

The police said people will not be allowed to gather in areas within 500 meters of each polling booth and warned that they would arrest anyone violating election laws. (ANI)