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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Legal aid program on upswing

Daily News: 11/06/2005" BY SARATH Malalasekera

THE Legal Documentary Service and Legal Aid for Tsunami Victims conducted by Legal Aid Commission in collaboration with the National Centre For Victims of Crime, Sponsored by Asia Foundation, has been held countrywide since January 2005.

Several mobile services including legal aid clinics, Registrar General's Department (RGD), Registration of Persons and awareness programmes in Ampara, Galle, Kalutara, Hambantota, Matara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Muttur were held during the past five months, said Legal Aid Commission Chairman S. S. Wijeratne.

The Legal Aid lawyers held mobile legal aid clinics to assist the displaced persons in several places in the South and in the East.

Legal Aid Commission provided logistical support to officials of Registrar General's Department (RGD) and Registration of Persons Department (RPD) in their mobile programmes to expedite the issuing process.

Awareness programs were held for Grama Seva Niladaris, Divisional Secretaries on laws relating to Tsunami (Special Provisions) Act, Applicability of Mediation Law, Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, in Galle Kalutara, Matara, Hambantota, Ampara.

Some of these were graced by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse with the assistance of respective Divisional Secretaries, the LAC Chairman said. A special program would be held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on June 12, for all Divisional Secretaries in tsunami affected areas, LAC Chairman Wijeratne added.

Legal Aid Commission (LAC) was actively involved with the Ministry of Justice in drafting the Tsunami Act, which provides for issue of death certificates, custody of children and young persons, application of prescription law and section 66 of Primary Procedure Act, rights of tenants of premises and offences in respect of tsunami relief property.

Legal Aid Commission has proposed to the Ministry of Justice to activate Mediation (Special Provision) Disputes Act No. 21 of 2003 which qualifies mediators to mediate in tsunami related disputes prior litigations.

LAC Chairman S.S. Wijeratne addressing several seminars during their programmes in the South said that the Legal Aid Commission affords legal redress to the many who are in need.

The Legal Aid Commission consists of Chairman S. S. Wijeratne AAL, Dr. H. J. F. Silva AAL, Manohara R. de Silva AAL, Upali A. Gooneratne AAL, Rohan Sahabandu AAL, Ms. Swarna Perera AAL, S. Suntharalingam AAL (Director) and Ms. Lilanthi de Silva (Secretary).

Legal Aid Commission is situated at 129, High Court Complex, Colombo 12 - Telephone - 2433618, 5335329 and 5335281.

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