Police in the Southern Province are grappling with a shortage of manpower to carry out election duties, in the face of providing enhanced security for certain VIPs during the election period.
Police sources in the south on condition of anonymity told the `Daily Mirror` that six VIPs playing a prominent role in the election, have been identified as being on the LTTE hit list prompting intensified security for them.
However, police said they would do their best to ensure a free and fair election, despite the lack of manpower and added that two personnel would be deployed to each polling booth on elections day and mobile police units also would be patrolling the areas.
All leave of police personnel has been cancelled to cope with the situation, and police are working in 12-hour shifts to maintain law and order.
Each police station has opened an ?Election Branch? to monitor and counter election related violence. The number of election related violence in the province has seen a drastic drop with just 14 incidents being reported to the main Galle police station by Saturday.