05/09/2013, 00.00
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Sri Lanka, identity cards free of charge for Northern Tamils

by Melani Manel Perera
Initiative launched by the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (Paffrel), an NGO that campaigns to ensure democratic elections. Next September , the Northern Province votes to elect the new local administration.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Identity documents free of charge to encourage people to use their vote.  This is the initiative launched in Sri Lanka by the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (Paffrel), an NGO whose goal is to defend the right to vote and ensure democratic elections.

In September elections will be held for the new Northern Provincial Council (NPC, local administration in the Northern Province). However, after the Civil War almost the entire population of the area - of Tamil-majority - are without identity cards, compulsory for people to exercise their right to vote.

Paffrel is committed to providing assistance to people to obtain their documents free of charge, and since last April have "mobile clinics" is the area to help people get their identity card. "We will travel with photographers - says Rohana Hettiarachchi, executive director of the NGO -, police officers and local administrators, to provide citizens with everything they need."

Those who have already used the service said they were "satisfied" with the Pafferl initiative, which aims to organize free and transparent elections.


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