Police and train services gear up for Papal visit

Jan 12, Colombo: The Colombo-Negombo main road will be closed for traffic from 6.00 p.m. today (12) till noon tomorrow (13) for Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka, Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana said.

He said the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway will be opened during this period and asked the motorists to use the Expressway. The Expressway will be open for all the vehicles including three-wheelers and moto cycles and will be toll free during the closure of the main road.

He said CCTV cameras have been installed on the Expressway to ensure that motorists would adhere to traffic regulations and there will be no accidents, especially, during this period.

The Pope is scheduled to arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday (13). After a welcoming ceremony at the airport the Pope will be escorted in a motorcade via the old Negombo Road to Colombo, and the people are invited to greet and welcome him from the roadside.

The police spokesman said a cadre of 24,000 Policemen has been deployed for security during the period of the Papal visit.

Out of which 21,000 Police Personnel have been deployed for security in Colombo and the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), while another 3,000 police personnel have been deployed for security at Madhu, where the Pope is scheduled to hold a mass Wednesday Afternoon.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Railways said it will operate special train services on Tuesday (13) and Wednesday (14) for the convenience of the people who are planning to attend prayer services in Colombo.

Special trains will be operated from Bandarawela, Jaffna, Kandy, Puttalam, Chilaw, Kurunegala, Avissawella, Galle, Matara and Aluthgama to Colombo Fort on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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