Tamper proof cards for Tamils

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Reading out the PA government's position at today's adjournment debate in the Sri Lankan Parliament moved by the TULF on the indiscriminate mass arrests of Tamils in Colombo and other parts of the island, Deputy Minister for Finance Prof. G.L Pieris said that Tamils who are not permanent residents of Colombo will be issued with special tamper proof identity cards to prevent problems.

He told the house that on his instructions, Attorney General Sarath Silva, has advised the Police on proper legal procedures they have to observe in arresting and detaining Tamils in the city so as to prevent mass arrests.

The Minister said that Tamils living in Colombo can be divided into two categories - those who are permanently resident and those who come to the city from the northeastern and central provinces for economic reasons in search of employment and to go abroad.

He said that the law enforcement agencies find it easier to deal with the permanently resident Tamils as they are registered with the Police.

The minister observed that as there is severe unemployment in the war affected parts of the island it is hard to prevent people from coming to the city for economic opportunities.

The majority of the temporary Tamil residents in the city stay in the numerous lodging houses in some parts of the city.

The minister said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam infiltrate through these people. It is very difficult to identify the LTTE among these people, he said.

Therefore the government, according to Prof. G.L Pieris, has decided to establish a central computerised bureau to issue fool proof identity cards for the Tamils who are temporarily resident in Colombo.


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