Nearly 500,000 out of the total number of citizens in Sri Lanka do not possess the National Identity Cards (NICs), says the Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHRR).
Surangi Ariyawansa, Acting Executive Director of the rights body stated this addressing a workshop on human rights held yesterday (03).
This was revealed in a study conducted by the Centre for Human Rights and Research, she said, adding that nearly 100,000 of these persons do not submit their NICs at certain instances with the intention of hiding their identity.
It can be assumed the rest of the individuals are not in possession of the NICs due to various other reasons including the inability to procure the documents required to apply for the NIC, not having a permanent address and losing the NICs, Ariyawansa said.
She pointed out that 87% of the persons who do not have the NICs hail from extremely rural areas.
The Department for Registration of Persons has already launched a special programme to issue NCIs using minimal documents for those who do not have the documents required for the procedure.
The study has also revealed that the persons without the NICs are not quite keen on obtaining one as temporary NICs are issued for them for the elections.