By Norman Palihawadane
As many as about 5,400 policemen are assigned as personal bodyguards to Buddhist monks, former MPs and ministers, judges and many others severely undermining regular law enforcement, police sources said on Friday.
Sources said that this number was in addition to those assigned to the incumbent ministers and MPs entitled to be guarded by the police. The highest number of policemen deployed as personal bodyguards were assigned to senior bhikkhus and judges.
Sources said that in addition to the above categories, policemen have been assigned for close protection duties of diplomats and some others with positive threat perceptions. Public Security Minister Tiran Alles said that the number of policemen assigned as guards to those other than parliamentarians was around 5,400 but he needed time to give exact figures.
He had called for a report on the matter and intended to review the threat perceptions to each and every person provided police protection once the report is in.He confirmed that the police was short of manpower.