Village officials warned not to harass public on obtaining IDs

[TamilNet, Thursday, 06 September 2007, 06:54 GMT]
Point Pedro Magistrate issued strict directives Wednesday to Village Officers (Grama Sevakas) in Vadamaraadchi not to harass the public and the students with additional expenses and undue inconveniences in obtaining the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Special Military Identity Cards (SMIC), the newly introduced compulsory SMIC for all residents of Jaffna peninsula above the age of ten, sources in Point Pedro said.

Due to compulsion from the SLA authorities, Village Officers are exerting undue pressure on the public and students to obtain the SMIC, submitting copies of photos and other related documents.

On receiving complaints from the public regarding the various charges incurred in getting copies of photos and documents, the Divisional Magistrate summoned the Village Officers of Vadamraadchi for an inquiry Wednesday in Point Pedro court.

The aim of the government officials should be to make life normal for the public and not to harass them with unnecessary expenses and difficulties, the magistrate told the Village Officers.

The rates charged to obtain copies of photos should be the same at all places and the documents required should be uniform, avoiding undue expenses, the Magistrate directed the Village Officers.

However, it is not clear if the same directives were sent to the SLA authorities, civil sources in Point Pedro said.

The SLA Command for Jaffna based in Palaali instructed all residents of the Peninsula, above the age of ten, to obtain a special identity card issued by the SLA before 12 September, according to a press communiqué released 29 August.

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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