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Rajapaksa ups security for polls

world Updated: Jan 17, 2010 20:51 IST

PTI
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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday ordered the police to tighten security and strengthen vigilance to ensure a peaceful election campaign after two deaths were reported in poll-related violence.

The top official said the President has instructed the Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya and his security top brass to ensure there is no poll-related violence in the country.

Two persons have died in violence in the last few days as election campaign gained momentum ahead of the January 26 presidential election.

"The President was disturbed and sad over the second election related death and has asked authorities to maintain peace," President's Secretary Lalit Weeratunga told PTI.

Rajapaksa observed a minute's silence before addressing a rally yesterday after a ruling party supporter was killed in the north-western Puttalam district during clashes with opposition workers.

Many people had also sustained injuries during the clashes, police said. An opposition activist was also killed last week in the southern town of Hungama.

"The President certainly abhors violence and the election campaigning in the polls have so far been peaceful barring a few incidents. He believes in human rights in the country. He has always stood for democratic ways," Weeratunga said.

Rajapaksa also appealed to all political parties to take steps to ensure a violence-free election.