June 10, Colombo: An advanced Training program on Tsunami legal issues useful for the District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries and their Additional Secretaries from North East and South will be held on June 12 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo by the Legal Aid Commission (LAC).
The Sunday program would discuss the Special Tsunami Law in detail, as Sri Lanka is the only country to adopt such a special protective legislation. J.C. Weliamuna, Director, Transparency International in Sri Lanka will lead the discussion and the LAC chairman S.S.Wijerathne will be the facilitator.
The participants will join in discussing it in the context of international guiding principles on Internally Displaced Persons of the United Nations. The guiding principles are internationally respected and form the basis for equitable treatment of tsunami victims in all the districts of the Island. The program will also focus attention on laws related to property disputes and the impending Application of Mediation (Special Categories) Law No 21 of 2003 to mediate tsunami disputes.
The LAC which assisted the victims to obtain the lost documents during the emergency phase with the cooperation of the relevant government departments, enters a more sustaining free legal assistance program by opening 12 tsunami Legal Assistance Centers in the tsunami affected districts. The Centers are supported by the Asia Foundation, Asian Development Bank and the Justice and Judicial Reform Ministry.
Sources said that the LAC's initiative to protect the rights of tsunami victims by a Special Tsunami Provision Act has cleared a challenge in the Supreme Court and was adopted unanimously in the first week of May. The Act awaits the Speaker's ratification.
At the special program reference will be made on curbing corruption and misuse of tsunami assistance as provided in Part VI of the Tsunami Law and the provisions of Bribery and Corruption Law No 19 of 1994. "