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    Sri Lanka Prepares for Election


    by NTDTelevision

    Around 250,000 officials are needed in Sri Lanka on Election Day Tuesday.

    On Monday they are collecting their polling cards and ballot boxes from the central election offices. They will take up positions in a little over 11-thousand polling booths across the country.

    Two former allies who led the nation to victory over the Tamil Tigers are now neck and neck to be the country’s next president.

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing an unexpectedly strong challenge from General Sarath Fonseka.

    The authorities are expecting a bloody election campaign from the two camps.

    So far there have been more than 800 reported acts of violence and at least four deaths.

    Security will be tight for Tuesday’s election. 68-thousand police are on duty protecting polling stations.

    [Dr Paikiasothy Saravanmuttu, Election Monitor]:
    "If enough Sri Lankan citizens go in large numbers as we have always done in the past and for over six decades, go in large numbers resisting the violence and the intimidation we go to the polls, then we may well get a result that at the end of the day reflects overall the wishes of the people of this country."

    General Fonseka says he’s confident he’ll win, but has accused the government of trying to steal it from him.

    But President Rajapaksa's campaign denies planning any voter fraud, and says it will not need to do so to secure a win.