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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)

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  Comments - 14

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  • Lokka Tuesday, 17 December 2013 02:08 AM

    There should be one law for everyone. Hope this would be abided by everyone irrespective of religion.

    Gamini Tuesday, 17 December 2013 03:18 AM

    Absolutely.

    lkboy Tuesday, 17 December 2013 03:41 AM

    Everybody should respect the law of the land they live.

    PRASANNAJIT Tuesday, 17 December 2013 05:58 AM

    You have to keep aside religion.

    Flatwhite Tuesday, 17 December 2013 06:30 AM

    Great if you can implement this commissioner so all sri lankans who live abroad especailly the ex tamil tigers and tamils diaspora will be exposed.

    kamran Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:23 AM

    Hello RPD Chief,
    Make the law for the people but not the people for the law.
    Let the people respect their religion as well the law of the country.
    Do you know even for the existing NIC all should uncover the ears but not the complete heads.
    Go and check the IDs in US and UK how they allow the people to respect their religious identity.
    What bar code can do with that? its old now and QR/NF codes are the current usage and no issue .

    John Tuesday, 17 December 2013 08:45 AM

    Hope the new ID will not identify the person's race etc, as done presently, Internationally the IDENTICAL details should appear on any identity document for ALL Sri Lankans.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Tuesday, 17 December 2013 09:37 AM

    Of course, all citizens should adhere to the requirement of the law especially on an issue like this where the whole purpose is to properly identify the bearer: so it is a joke to insist on one's religious attire for such purposes. Sometimes one wonders how they can issue identity cards for women in countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghaistan etc. - perhaps they just take one photograph and paste it on all cards because there is no face to see!

    Anticleon Tuesday, 17 December 2013 10:07 AM

    Religious freedom should have a limit. Specially when you are living in a civilized country. If it is the ID card, it needs full features of the face, not the religious symbols.

    jaywalker Tuesday, 17 December 2013 10:34 AM

    burqas/hijabs all must be banned. everywhere in the world.

    shiv Tuesday, 17 December 2013 12:19 PM

    True to the matter if there is purpose, irrespective of the religion it should be followed as countries law.

    On Separate note People are so interested in making others expose calling it liberty. But nobody cares about people who reveal everything in the attire; in a Buddhist country like Sri Lanka????

    para Tuesday, 17 December 2013 02:32 PM

    I am wondering about the purpose of an ID.

    dont hate muslims Tuesday, 17 December 2013 03:39 PM

    I am in saudi i have saudi ID card which does't cover my ears' don't saudi gov.authority strugle to find identity of card bearer?

    Fayad Wednesday, 18 December 2013 04:25 AM

    Will this implemented for nuns as well ????


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