Wild elephants hold up Sri Lanka vote: police

March 10, 2008 (AFP) – Security forces armed with loud hailers were deployed in eastern Sri Lanka Monday to drive away wild elephants blocking access to polling booths, police said. Villagers in Wellaveli told the authorities that they were unable to vote at the first local elections in 14 years because a herd of elephants had blocked their polling booth, a police official in the area said.

“We sent a team of commandos in armoured personnel carriers and loud hailers and sirens to drive away the elephants,” the official said. “The roads have now been cleared.” Security had been stepped up in the area with the deployment of over 6,000 police and soldiers amid fears that Tamil Tiger rebels could try to disrupt the council elections in an area from where they were driven out in July last year.