Registrations of Persons Department Chief R.N.S. Sarath Kumara said yesterday he had devised the plan for issuing electronic Identity Cards in conformity with the standards set by International Civil Aviation Organisations.
Mr. Kumara told Daily Mirror that representatives from the Muslim community had asked for approval to photographed for such IDs in manner that showed their cultural identity.
He said these requests could only be entertained if such a policy decision was taken by the Ministry.
“We have to introduce electronic ID cards that will be acceptable all over the world. In such IDs, there are barcodes readable by machines. In the absence of clear photos, electronic machines cannot ascertain the identity of the bearer. When someone wears a headscarf or Purdah their ears are covered. This makes it difficult for the machines to read such cards,” he said.
Mr. Kumara, who is Sri Lanka’s former visa controller, said once the new electronic ID cards were introduced, it would be helpful for Sri Lankans wherever they live in the world.
“In case they lose their passports, they can prove their identity by producing their ID cards at the nearest embassy. (Kelum Bandara)