Monday February 18, 2019
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Sri Lanka begins voting for parliamentary polls

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Colombo: Voters in Sri Lanka queued up on Monday to cast their votes for a parliamentary election amidst tight security to elect a new government.

Sweet mandarine
Sweet mandarine

Around 15 million people are expected to cast their votes in the island nation in over 12,000 polling centres, reported Xinhua news agency.

Voting commenced at 7 a.m. and will end at 4 p.m.

An estimated 75,000 police officers and special task forces have been deployed across the country to maintain law and order along with over 50 foreign observers being present at polling booths.

The parliamentary elections was announced by President Maithripala Sirisena in June after he dissolved parliament just six months after being elected to power.

A close battle between the United National Front (UNF) coalition and the opposition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) will be seen in the elections.

The UNF is led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe while the UPFA has former president Mahinda Rajapakse contesting as its main candidate from the province of Kurunegala.

Rajapakse is looking at making a political comeback and eyeing to be the nation’s new prime minister if the opposition wins majority in the polls.

The department of elections said voting results are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

(IANS)

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Sri Lanka May Soon Introduce a GPS Tracking System to Foil Human, Drug Smuggling Via Sea

Sri Lanka to introduce GPS system to foil human, drug smuggling via sea

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Image source: youtube.com

The Sri Lankan Fisheries Ministry will soon introduce a GPS tracking system and a special identity card for all fishermen across the island country to prevent human and drug smuggling via the sea, a government official has said.

Fisheries Director General Prasanna Geeganage said on Monday that drug trafficking, smuggling of illegal migrants and other illegal activities were being carried out under the guise of fishing and steps would soon be taken to tackle this issue, Xinhua news agency reported.

Following the introduction of the GPS tracking system and the identity card, all fishermen who set out to sea will be required to prove their identity by scanning their fingerprints.

Norway, GPS
The new steps were being taken following repeated requests by Sri Lankan fishermen. Pixabay

The new steps were being taken following repeated requests by Sri Lankan fishermen, Geeganage said.

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The Sri Lankan government recently said the island country had become a transit point for major drug cartels as a consequence of the prolonged illicit activities of the Tamil Tiger rebels who were defeated by government troops in 2009 following a 30-year civil conflict. (IANS)