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DateLine Thursday, 31 January 2008

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Questions and Answers

After Death - donation of eyes

Question: I am a senior citizen living alone. Upon my death I would like to donate my eyes to the Eye Donation Society and my body to be handed over to the Medical College for the benefit of medical students.

Please advice me as to how I could organise these two events prior to my death.


In order to donate your eyes upon your death you have to keep the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society informed any time prior to your demise. If you write to the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Society, Vidya Mawatha, Colombo 7, they will send you a form to be filled and returned to them. They will provide you with all the details.

However, you have to keep some one, a relation or friend who is likely to attend to you on your demise to inform them.

The eye Donation Society on being informed of your passing away prior to the body being handed over to the undertakers will attend to it. The Eye Donation Society will also undertake to bury or cremate the remains after the eyes are taken if so requested. If a person dies below the age of 70 years he or she can also donate other body parts to the Eye Donation Society. For the donation of eyes only, there is no age limit.

In order to donate the body to the Medical College, you have to write to them along with a self addressed stamped envelope of “9’x4” and they will send you a booklet which gives all the details of the procedure to be followed in order to donate the body for the use of medical students.

In this case you have to write to the Head of the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8 (Not forgetting to enclose a self addressed stamped envelope).


OPA Daily News /Act 16 Exam for foreign medical graduates

Question: The above exam has been suspended by the Sri Lanka Medical Council causing great hardship to us.

There is an earlier decision by the Supreme Court that the Sri Lanka Medical Council has violated the fundamental rights of foreign medical graduates and ordered the Medical Council to hold the exam. They held the exam for two occasions and have now suspended it indefinitely once again.

Please advice us on what cause of action that the foreign medical graduates should take.


Since the fundamental rights case in the Supreme Court against the Sri Lanka Medical Council for the rights of foreign medical graduates and the decision of the Supreme Court to hold the Act 16 Examination, the Act 16 Examination was held 3 times, December 06, May 07 and October 07.

Since then there has been another fundamental rights case filed by some foreign medical graduates who have not followed a five year medical course against their discrimination from those who have followed a five year course.

The [Em]case is being taken up by the Supreme Court on February 25, 2008. Until such time this case is over the SLMC is not able to even advertise the holding of the next Act 16 Examination.

Therefore, the Act 16 Examination is not suspended indefinitely but until the case is over.


Employees Trust Fund claim - Lot No. 2007/39179 - dated 07.10.2007

Question: Let me thank you profusely for taking an interest on the above ETF claim, which I made to their Claims Department located in the ground floor of the Labour Secretariat at Narahenpita, on October 7, 2007.

As you have detailed in the Ceylon Daily News of January 3, 2008, I was also informed by the relevant officials that my claim had been prepared and had been sent to their Auditors for the final approval.

I did not trouble them thereafter and probably within the next ten days shall again check to find the status of my claim.

While appreciating your kind and successful effort let me thank you again for assisting me in obtaining this payment from the ETF.


Our service to you is incomplete until you receive your payment. Therefore, whilst thanking you for keeping us updated please confirm when you receive your payment. In case of any undue delay also let us know.


Gratuity compensation

Question: I am a Senior Executive attached to a limited liability company of repute employing more than 50 employees. Upon reaching 60 years I resigned after serving for 20 1/2 years and I received my EPF, ETF and Gratuity etc.

The same company immediately re-employed me on a Consultant basis on the same salary scale that I enjoyed excluding the EPF and ETF benefits, with the same terms and conditions.

I have completed 11 years continuously in the same capacity without a break in service and I continue to work in the company. My total service without a break is 32 years.

On Permanent basis 20 1/2 years

On temporary basis 11 1/2 years still in service

Please let me know whether I am entitled for Gratuity benefits for the Temporary period of time.


The details given by you are insufficient for us to give you the correct answer to your question. The fact that you have stated that you were re-employed as a Consultant raises several questions.

Usually the normal rules of an employee are not applicable to Consultants, if so a Consultant is not entitled to any gratuity payment. In your case during the 11 1/2 years of re-employment were all the conditions applicable to permanent employees applied.

Such as everyday attendance register marking both in and out, entitlement of leave as applicable to other employees. In addition did you receive monthly pay slips. Subject to all these conditions only one can confirm whether you are entitled to gratuity payment or not.

We suggest that you go with all the details and meet the Assistant Commissioner-Industrial Relations at the Labour Department Secretariat at Kirula Road, Narahenpita. You can also speak to them on Telephone No. 2582608 but they would like to examine all the documents in relation to your re-employment and the other conditions being met with.


Recovery of Gratuity

Question: This is with reference to the answer given in the Daily News of 22.11.2007 in reply to my question forwarded on 4.11.2007.

In fairness to my boss I wish to state that he did not extend my service on his own but with the approval of the governing Board and also having kept informed the Ministry concerned under whose purview the Corporation functioned.

\This decision to retain my service further was never challenged or argued when it was implemented nor did the Internal Auditor question about same.

As stated in your answer in the Daily News of 11.10.2007 the deduction made from the gratuity cannot be made without my consent. In your answer of 22.11.07 you further stated that the law is on my side.

Yet the Commissioner of Labour expressed the view that there was nothing wrong in the recovery made from gratuity but this was not an opinion expressed within the revisions of the payment of Gratuity Act No. 12 of 1983.

In this connection I may mention that I also made representations to the Ombudsman as well who was apprised of the views of the Commissioner of Labour.

The Ombudsman who inquired into my complaint stated that although on the orders of the Chairman of the Corporation my service was extended necessary Cabinet approval had not been obtained.

He concluded that I should be entitled to the 40% salary increase in terms of Public Administration Circular 2/97 (iii) and was satisfied that the salary increase paid being later recovered has caused an injustice to me and recommended that it should paid to me.

Although I have been making persistent requests to my employer to implement the recommendation of the Ombudsman, in view of the stand taken by the Commissioner of Labour my employer has not been in favour to implement same.

This situation has arisen consequent to the views expressed by the Commissioner of Labour contrary to the provisions of the said Gratuity Act.

As this is a matter which has been outstanding for nearly 10 years (since 1998), could you please advice me as to whom I should address seeking a review of the opinion given by the C.L. or in the alternative how I could get the Ombudsman’s recommendation implemented, a copy of which is attached for your information.


We contacted to Ombudsman’s office and according to them had you gone back to the Ombudsman within a year from the date of his recommendation then they would have been able to help you by persuading the parties concerned.

Other than that the Ombudsman’s recommendation is not legally binding. Since their recommendation in June 2002 almost six years ago even the file pertaining to your case is not available now.

You are now left with two alternatives, one is to file action in courts which will be long drawn and costly the other is to appeal to the current Minister concerned to consider your case on sympathetic grounds and get Cabinet approval for your re-employment and thereafter request for the refund.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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