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Introduction- Montreal Massacre-December 6

THE Women's Rights Desk Lawyers of the Legal Aid Commission (LAC) on November 25 following a two year old practice, launched the 'White Ribbon Campaign' by affixing the first 'White Ribbon' on First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa.

Thus commences the 16 day programme to promote 'elimination of violence against women' which started with the murder of the Mirable Sisters in the Dominican Republic on the orders of Dictator Trujillo in 1961.

In a recent in-depth UN Report 'violence against women is described as the worst human rights violation that humankind is facing presently which permeates the entire world'.

The LAC will carry the message to 'eliminate violence against women' in this country through its 32 regional centers from Jaffna to Hambantota by providing legal protection to victims of violence and creating public and school awareness programmes until Human Rights Day on 10th December.

Another special event that the LAC would commemorate in this period of 16 days would be December 6, 1989, the 'Montreal Massacre' where 14 girl undergraduates were killed by Misogynist Marc Lepine.

The Montreal Massacre is considered as the 'ultimate example of male violence against women'. Marc Lepine born Gamil Gharbi in 1964 entered the portals of Ecole Polytechnic in Montreal on December 6,segregated the women students and shot 14 of them to death and injured 13 others and shot himself.

In 2005 the Legal Aid Commission commemorated the tragic death of these women who were killed only for the reason of being women by offering merits in their name at the Sambhodi Vihara at Gregory's Road, Colombo 7.

On December 6, 2006 a similar religious ceremony will be held in the morning at Sambhodi Vihara to commemorate all women in the world who were killed because they were women.

International Day of Disabled Persons - December 3

THE International Day of Disabled Persons is celebrated on the 3rd of December every year. The world invites us to promote awareness of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

It also supports to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

The theme of the Day of this year is "E-Accessibility. It is based on the goal to full and equal enjoyment of human rights and participation in society by persons with disabilities, established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General Assembly in 1982.

Sri Lanka is still a developing country. Most of the disabled are not aware of their rights as disabled persons. Sri Lanka is far behind the developed countries in protecting disabled persons.

Before we think about the world theme of "E-Accessibility, we have to address our mind as to how we could reach that point.

The Constitution is the Supreme Law in Sri Lanka. Article 12 states that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law. It is the duty of the State to provide the necessary steps to implement international norms and standards related to persons with disabilities.

In Sri Lanka the 'Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Ac No. 28 of 1996 covers the rights of the person with disabilities. A person with a disability is defined in Section 37 (interpretation section) of the afore said Act.

"Person with disability means any person who, as a result of any deficiency in his physical or mental capabilities, whether congenital or not, is unable by himself to ensure for himself, wholly or partly the necessities of life".

The protection of the person with disabilities is vested with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities appointed by the President under the provisions of the above Act. Sections 23 and 24 of the Act defines the remedial action of violation of the disabled person's rights.

According to the Act upon the violation of the disabled persons rights, the person himself or via the National Council for disabled persons could make a request with a petition and the affidavit to the High Court in their resident area.

The relevant High Court Judge has powers to grant such relief or make such direction just and equitable in the circumstances in respect of such application referred to such a High Court.

To mark this Day, the Legal Aid Commission Disabled Persons Desk with its 32 regional centers island wide will conduct a number of programs to promote awareness among he community regarding disabled rights and protection.

A special programme has been arranged by the LAC Disabled Desk at the Mahawewa Deaf and Blind School and Home on December 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A major focus of the day is practical action to further implement international norms and standards concerning persons with disabilities and to further their participation in social life and development on the basis of equality.

The media too has a responsibility to contribute to this great effort and give its utmost support to observe this day annually throughout the island.

Legal Aid Commission Centers in Sri Lanka

No	Centre			Officer-in-Charge		Address/T.P.

01.	LAC Headquarters		Justice Hector Yapa		Legal Aid Commission
				Rtd Judge of the Supreme Court	No. 129, Hulftsdorp,
				Director General		High Court Complex,
				Colombo 12.
02.	Tsunami Regional Centre	Ms. M.S.M.M. Piyumi Kumari	211, Superior Court,
				A.A.L/Coordinator		Complex, Hulftsdorp,
				Colombo 12, 034-5628860
03.	Welikada Prison		Ms. Thushari Karunasinghe	Welikada Prison
				A.A.L/Coordinator		Welikada. 5335329

New Centres Established by LAC in 2006

04.				Bandarawela		Ms. Anoma Atalugama	Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Bandarawela.
05.	Matale			Mr. Jaliya Goonaratne		Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Matale. 071-4447151
06.	Avissawella			Ms. Hiranthi Liyanage		Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Avissawella. 060-2362219
07.	Ratnapura			Ms. R.M.I.R. Rajapaksha	Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Director		Ratnapura. 045-2226899
08.	Negombo			Swarna Perera,		Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Hony. Director		Negombo. 031-2222221
09.	Kalutara			Ms. Pavithra Sanjeevani	Court Complex,
				Coordinator/Legal Officer	Kalutara. 091-5624693
10.	Gampaha			Mr. Vas Gunawardena		No. 12, Sanasa Complex,
				Director			Gampaha
11.	Polonnaruwa		Mr. Deva Kularathna		Court Complex,
				Director			Polonnaruwa.
12.	Anuradhapura		Mr. D.P.B. Mahadiulwewa	Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Regional Director	Anuradhapura
13.	Kandy			Mr. U.R.N. Ranatunga	N	ew Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Regional Director	Gatambe, Peradeniya
14.	Kurunegala			Mr. D.V. Seneviratne		Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Regional Director	Kurunegala
15.	Galle			Mr. W.K. Samarapala		Court Complex,
				A.A.L.			Fort, Galle
16.	Hambantota		Ms. Lakshmi Wijenayaka	Court Complex
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Hambantota
17.	Nuwara Eliya		Ms. Thamara Damayanthi	Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Nuwara Eliya
18.	Monaragala		Ms. Shanthi Jayasinghe	Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Monaragala
19.	Ampara			Ms. Chanchala Dhanushi	Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Ampara.
20.	Kegalle			Ms. S. Senanayaka		Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Kegalle
21.	Chilaw			Mr. Pradeep Shanthapriya	Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Chilaw
22.	Akkaraipattu		Mr. A.C. Rizwan		District Court Complex,
				A.A.L/ Coordinator		Akkaraipattu
23.	Balapitiya			Mr. Sanjaya Wijesinghe	No. 618, Walagedara
				A.A.L/Coordinator		Balapitiya.
24.	Matara			Ms. Rajika Prasadini		No. 38, Lawyers Complex,
				A.A.L/Coordinator		Fort, Matara.
25.	Vavuniya			Mr. M. Sittampalam		Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Director		Vavuniya
26.	Trincomalee		Mr. R. Thirukumaranathan	Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Trincomalee
27.	Kalmunai			Mr. M.S. Kariapper		Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Coordinator		Kalmunai
28.	Jaffna			Ms. Shantha Abhimanasingham	District Court Complex,
							PC/Director	Jaffna
29.	Batticaloa			Mr. K. Kandasamy		No. 29, Nalliya Road
				A.A.L/Coordinator		Batticaloa
30.	Panadura			Kalhari Dissanayaka		96, Srimaha Vihara Road
				A.A.L/Legal Officer		Panadura
31.	Kuliyapitiya			J.M. Gunathilake		Court Complex,
				A.A.L/Hony. Director		Kuliyapitiya
							Chamika Muthunayake,	
				A.A.L/Legal Officer
32.	Mahawa			Legal Officer		Court Complex
33.	Mahiyangana		W.M.T.D. Bandara,		Court Complex
				Legal Officer		Mahiyangana



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Sri Lanka

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