Unsolicited ID

Oct 04, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to issue electronic identity cards with transponders which authorities can use to identify fishermen at sea and also develop a database of fisher-folk, a senior minister said. The ministry of fisheries has received the nod from Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers to pursue and unsolicited offer from Enterprise Technology (Pvt) Ltd (ETPL) information minister Anura Yapa said.

The fisheries ministry has said the cards would be issued to an estimated 250,000 fishermen. The ministry would not have to make a capital investment in the beginning but would have to pay for each card that is issued.

A note to cabinet by the fisheries ministry said the identity cards will have biometric certification with fingerprints in a central database.

An indicative payment for each card was not mentioned but a cabinet appointed negotiation committee is to be appointed to buy the system on a build operated transfer basis.

The cards will also have radio frequency identification (RFID) which can be read at mid-sea by the Sri Lanka Navy.

The Navy would be given mobile readers and fishery harbors will be given desktop reading machines, the cabinet note said.