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Face to be visible entering polling centres: EC

Local News from Sri Lanka: Muslim women can wear either the burqa or niqab when they come to vote but should remove their face cover at the polling center entrance, Election Commission (EC) Director-General Saman Sri Ratnayake said. Speaking to Daily Mirror, he said that when she obtained a ballot paper, it was necessary to prove her identity within the polling centre.

“Her name on the identity card must match the face. She has to cut the face cover for that, “said Mr Ratnayake. “This is not only to support the presiding officers, but also the polling officers.”He said it was absolutely necessary to check an individual’s identity, who comes to vote.

“We can not ban burqa and niqab wearing because it is related to their culture. What we request from the voters is to test their identification before they obtain a ballot paper, “said Mr. Ratnayake. “How can we allow someone to cast her or his vote without identifying themselves,” said Mr. Ratnayake. When asked what could be done if someone refuses to remove the face cover, Mr. Ratnayake said that the respective presiding officers would have to refuse to cast such a person.

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