Ahead of Tuesday's Presidential elections, Sri Lankan opposition parties on Sunday alleged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was preparing to "stage a coup" to prevent peaceful transition of power if he loses the historic polls.
At a hurriedly convened news conference in Colombo, leaders of the parties backing the candidature of former Army Chief Gen Sarath Fonseka alleged that Rajapaksa has discussed the plans of "staging a coup" at Special Security Council.
They claimed that the President has deployed 15 Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and ordered the Air Force to take charge of the only international civilian airport in the country, in the event of his defeat.
"In the face of inevitable defeat Rajapaksa has made plans to thwart the popular will of the people but we are determined to counter such moves. We would take to streets if the Government decides to rig the will of the people," United National Party leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
However, the Government was quick to reject the allegations, saying it was a "sure sign" that the opposition has lost the game even before it has been played.
"There is absolutely no truth in the charges leveled by the Opposition. It is absurd to talk about coup by a President who is certain of victory," said Lakshman Hullugulle, Director General, Media Centre for National Security.