Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse skipped his final campaign rally amid fears of suicide bombings against presidential candidates on Monday. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse skipped his final campaign rally amid fears of suicide bombings against presidential candidates on Monday. Police said the premier kept away from the meeting while his main challenger, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, ended his campaign in the capital amid unprecedented security.
Deputy Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara said the army had been called in to boost police numbers as part of “extraordinary” security arrangements on the final day of campaigning ahead of Thursday’s presidential election.
“We have called in the army to reinforce the police wherever necessary,” Jayasundara told AFP. “We have received reports of possible LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) suicide attacks.”
He said the measures were aimed at preventing a repeat of bombings at two past presidential campaigns in 1999 and 1994.
Joint police and army patrols were guarding rallies while sniffer dogs were checking for explosives.