SLA issues special ID cards to Jaffna residents

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 August 2007, 21:10 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has again begun issuing special Identity cards (ID) to residents within the Jaffna Municipal Council limits, and those staying close to the SLA 51-2 Brigade Head Quarters are to be issued new ID cards beginning Sunday, a top military official announced in a communiqué issued to the local media. The ID cards will be continued to be issued to other parts of the Municipal area until September 8th.

The Grama Sevaka (GS) in various villages together with police and armed forces have already started compiling the relevant information of the general public, civilian sources said.

The residents of affected areas have been asked to gather at Duraippah stadium in Jaffna town, together with two passport size photographs. The SLA will record the information and release the special ID card, in the presence of Grama Sevakas (GS) and Divisional Secretaries (DS), according to the communique.

Recently ,SLA had registered all vehicles in the peninsula including bicycles.

Earlier, a PASS system was introduced for those wishing to leave the peninsula for various purposes. The general public have already complained that there were many acts of personal revenge committed during these processes.

Special ID cards are not an entirely new phenomenon in the Tamil areas where military operations have been going from 1979.

In 1996 when Jaffna peninsula was captured by SLA, Special ID cards were issued to the peninsula residents but that practice gradually fell out of use after Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was implemented in 2002.

Human rights agencies, while acknowledging the SLA's need for vigilance in the war zone, have criticized the Sri Lanka Government for contravening the citizenship rights of the people of these areas by issuing special ID cards.


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