The implementation of travel pass systems [LKA102196.E]

According to an article in the Colombo-based Daily News, on 18 October 2006, the government of Sri Lanka announced the implementation of a pass system for vehicles and persons travelling out of the district of Vavuniya (19 Oct. 2006). A 20 October 2006 TamilNet article reports that a similar pass system has been implemented in the district of Mannar. Persons and vehicles travelling within the Vavuniya and Mannar districts are exempt from obtaining travel passes (Daily News 19 Oct. 2006). Those travelling between the two districts are also exempt (TamilNet 20 Oct. 2006). Effective 20 October 2006, the travel pass systems of Vavuniya and Mannar require the public to obtain permits for their vehicles from issuing centres located in Thekkawatta, Vavuniya city, Cheddikulam and Mannar, once the applicants' vehicles have been checked by the Sri Lankan security forces or the police at these centres (Daily News 19 Oct. 2006; see also TamilNet 20 Oct. 2006). Persons using public transportation must also obtain travel passes at the specified locations (Daily News 19 Oct. 2006).

According to a TamilNet news article, on 23 October 2006, the Sri Lankan police also implemented a travel pass system for vehicles leaving the district of Amparai (23 Oct. 2006; see also CHA Oct. 2006). This pass system reportedly requires the public to obtain permits for their vehicles from issuing centres located in Akkaraipattu, Kalkudah and Amparai (TamilNet 23 Oct. 2006). The TamilNet article indicates that persons without travel passes who attempt to avoid checkpoints while leaving Amparai will be prosecuted (23 Oct. 2006).

The Sri Lankan police are reportedly issuing three different types of travel passes in Amparai District: a special pass for emergency reasons, a one-month pass for government-owned buses and a two-week pass for private-sector buses (TamilNet 23 Oct. 2006).

The Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA), a Sri Lankan network of humanitarian organizations (n.d.), states in an October 2006 report that

[t]he application form [for the Amparai vehicle travel pass] requests information including name in full, address, telephone number, residence (full details), date of birth, purpose of travel, date of travel; vehicle details (vehicle registration number, engine number, chassis number, type of vehicle, model colour of vehicle); driving licence details (name of driver, address of driver, driving licence number, date of issue, valid class of vehicle, and NIC [National Identity Card] number).

The report further notes that the travel pass system implemented in Amparai has resulted in "severe difficulty" for persons requiring medical treatment in hospitals outside of the district (CHA Oct. 2006).

According to TamilNet, vehicles entering Amparai from other districts are not required to have a travel pass but are subject to "normal checking" (23 Oct. 2006).

No further information on the implementation of the travel pass systems in the districts of Amparai, Vavuniya and Mannar could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Information on whether travel pass systems had been introduced in other districts in Sri Lanka could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA). October 2006. CHA Situation Report - Eastern Province (Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee). http://www.humanitarian-srilanka.org/eResources/PDFdocs/SituationReports/EPOct2006.pdf [Accessed 30 Nov. 2006]

_____. N.d. "Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA): About Us." http://www.humanitarian-srilanka.org/about_us.php [Accessed 30 Nov. 2006]

Daily News [Colombo]. 19 October 2006. "Permits for Public and Vehicles Leaving Vavuniya." http://www.dailynews.lk/2001/pix/PrintPage.asp?REF=/2006/10/19/sec17.asp [Accessed 30 Nov. 2006]

TamilNet. 23 October 2006. "SL Police Introduce Vehicle Pass System in Amparai." http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=20014 [Accessed 6 Nov. 2006]

_____. 20 October 2006. "Vehicle Pass System Re-introduced in Vavuniya, Mannar." http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=19986 [Accessed 6 Nov. 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted


Internet sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), Asia Times, European Country of Origin Information Network (ecoi.net), Factiva, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), ReliefWeb, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Kingdom Home Office, United States Department of State.