No NICs for 500,000 Lankans 300,000 are registered voters Bulk without birth certificates

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By 2017-12-17

story and pic BY RAVI LADDUWAHETTY

An estimated 500,000 Lankans are believed to be without their National Identity Cards, a senior most official said yesterday.

Some 300,000 individuals registered in the Government Electoral Registry are also confirmed to be without their NICs, Commissioner General - Department of Registration of Persons, Viyani Gunatilleke told Ceylon Today.

He conceded that there had not been any survey done in this regard, but according to available statistics, the number should be around 500,000 countrywide.

However, he confirmed that some 300,000 listed in the registry for the forthcoming Local Government elections are confirmed to be without their NICs.

"One of the main reasons that they do not have their NICs is that they do not possess the basic documents such as the birth certificate etc", Gunatilleke added.

He said, all the Divisional Secretaries throughout the country have been instructed to issue NICs to registered voters who do not have their birth certificates provided they furnish certain details.

The application of these persons for such a NIC will have to be supported with relevant documents by three close relatives and an...... equal number of residents from the same area in order to prevent fraud and other abuse, he added.

"This facility has been provided in order to provide an opportunity for the individual to vote at the upcoming LG elections", Gunatilleke further said.

He also explained that it was a different kind of thinking in the rural sectors where many thought it wasnot necessary to have their birth certificates or their NICs unlike in the urban and metropolitan areas.

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