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Sri Lanka military says supporting police at parliament

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s military is giving back-up to the police and special task force because many police units have been deployed to help contact tracing efforts, army chief Shavendra Silva said.

“The police and the Special Task Force are still in charge of security at the parliament,” General Silva told Sri Lanka’s privately-owned Derana Television.

“The army is giving support because the acting police chief asked for assistance. Many police units have been pulled from several areas to help public health inspectors to find contacts.”

General Silva said police has to accompany health officials to find contacts.

Sri Lanka has seen a surge in new Coronavirus cases after a sailor on leave who showed symptoms showed up in hospital.

He is believed to have contracted the disease from a colleague who worked in quarantining a group of addicted persons in Suduwella, near a Navy camp in Welisara.

Sixty three new persons had been confirmed on April 26, with 53 being from the Navy.

Some former members of parliament had expressed concern at the presence of the military outside parliament.

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Former MPs question the deployment of the Army around Parliament

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The former MP asked what necessitated such security changes. “What was the threat assessment? Was there a terrorist threat? We have not received any indication of a threat that necessitated a change of usual security arrangement.” (Colombo/Apr27/2020)