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DateLine Friday, 13 June 2008

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Government Gazette

Legal Aid commission

Compiled by Kalani A Medagoda, A.A.L.

Introduction - :

Economic blackmail violates Human Rights

This column has repeatedly pointed out that decisions of the donor countries or organisations to assist are the exclusive privilege of the Donors. Inequitable economic development of the world makes the poor countries to depend on the trickle down increasing wealth of rich countries and corporate giants.

The global economic rules are made by the wealthier world and the poor countries have no option but to comply, appeal or perish. Since few years ago, some countries with tangible natural resources have resisted these global impositions but small Sri Lanka with a devastating fratricidal war is unable to withstand the conditions imposed by the donor countries. Sri Lankans who are victims of war and Indian Ocean Tsunami are forced to comply or our poor people will continue to suffer economic deprivation.

Economic embargo is a method recognised even by the United Nations Charter. That of course is resorted only to penalise rogue Governments like apartheid Africa before the emergence of Nelson Mandela.

The duty free concession granted to least developed countries and fifteen other countries by the EU in 2005 was a noble humanitarian gesture and a unique feature in international trade relations. Sri Lankan exports benefited and vicariously the semi-educated exploited girls working in garment factories.

Already, many textile girls have lost their meagre earnings due to the crumbling of the US market. The withdrawal of EU concessions would compound their tragic situations. The 20 odd Euros they take home monthly to feed the families would be affected. The rich exporters who benefit the most may have to cut down on their SUV's and luxury life styles.

The EU is a powerful economic organisation that came to help Sri Lanka and 14 other countries after the historical disastrous tsunami. The EU composed of many enlightened countries in Europe also has in its membership the three countries that colonised Ceylon for five hundred years from 1505 to 1947.

Perhaps Sri Lanka has an international moral right to ask the former rulers to help us in the hour of need.

Sri Lanka since its admission to the UN in 1956 has been a pro-active member and signed many of the Human Rights Conventions. We have, however, to accept that signing UN Conventions in New York is one thing but implementing them on the ground is another thing.

Our Dualist Constitution as recently affirmed by the Supreme Court did not help in the full implementation of some of the Conventions. The continuing bloody conflict does not help either. The EU should understand Sri Lanka's special constraint as she has done always in the past.

On our part, Sri Lanka should take meaningful steps to strengthen the Human Rights protection structure not only to obtain the EU's trade concessions but more importantly to benefit the people of this country.

The national Human Rights Commission law should be overhauled, the Ombudsman should be made more pro-active and language rights in the Constitution should be implemented.

Eventhough, there are many omissions in the ICCPR Act No. 56 of 2007, we should take immediate steps to implement some of the salutary provisions through our courts. The Legal Aid Commission should be strengthened to implement human rights provisions through courts.

All these tangible HR steps need funding and it will be the greatest humanitarian disaster to punish the people of this country by subjecting them to economic black mail over international treaty issues over which the poor has no control.

National Essay and Art competition

Globalization the computer and the Internet:

Conducted by Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka in co-ordination with the Ministry of Education

The Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Education will be conducting a national essay and art competition for students in Sri Lanka. The details of the essay competition is as follows:-

Sponsor: Sri Lanka Telecom

Medium: Sinhala, Tamil and English

For whom: Students in the G.C.E. Advanced Level classes.

Number of words: 2000-2500

Closing date: Will be notified in due course.

Details of the art competition will be published in the Daily News Legal Aid Page in due course.

Details of the art competition will be published in the Daily News Legal Aid Page in due course.

Please note that the students who have any connection with the Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka are not eligible to take part in this competition.

All essays should be directed to:

The Chairman
Legal Aid Commission
129, Hulftsdorp Street
High Court Complex
Colombo 12.
Email:[email protected]

Questions and Answers

Functions of Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources


Please let me know the main functions of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the contact information of its Divisional Offices along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka ?


The main functions of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources are stated as follows:

* Implementation of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act, No. 02 of 1996 and the Fisheries (Regulation of Foreign Boats) Act, No. 59 of 1979 in accordance with current trends and International Laws and Conventions.

* Framing, updating and implementing of fisheries operational regulations, fisheries management regulations and aquaculture management regulations.

* Strengthen the legal framework to control unauthorized fishing by foreign vessels.

* Registration of fishing boats and issuing of fishing operational licenses.

* Action relating to the mortgaging of fishing boats.

* Issuing of licenses for the export of live fish.

* Issuing fish landing permits for foreign fishing boats.

* Enhance the understanding and awareness about fishery management.

* Coordinate loan facilities for the purchase of capital goods.

* Registration and performance monitoring of boat builders, manufacturers of fishing gear, sales agents and agents for boat engines

* Approve prices for boats, engines and gear

* Guidance and supervision of fisheries cooperative societies to enhance their efficiency.

* Formulation of development projects for fisheries cooperatives and the establishment of fisheries (Idiwara) banks

* Improve the understanding and awareness among fishing communities on fisheries management

* Repatriation of fishermen arrested by foreign countries and rescue of fishermen stranded in the high seas

* Collection and analysis of data regarding the fishing industry

* Registration of fish processing establishments, monitoring of the quality of fish exports and issues of export permits.

* Upgrading the standard of fish sale outlets for local consumption

Change of name by company


Would you kingly let me know how a Company could change its name. Can it be done by way of a Special Resolution? Please let me know through your valuable Daily News Legal Aid Page.


A Company may change its name by way of a special resolution and the prior written approval of the Registrar. Once the resolution is adopted, the Company must notify the Registrar of the change within ten working days.

The Registrar will then enter the new name in the register and issue an altered certificate of incorporation. A change of name will not have any effect on the rights or obligations of the Company or legal proceedings existing at the time. The Company must give public notice of the change of name within twenty working days of the change.

How to obtain copy of deed?


My father owns a land containing in extent 15 perches. However he does not have the Deed or does not know the Deed Number. Please let me know as to how my father could obtain a copy of the Deed. All taxes are paid under my father's name. Your kind reply would be greatly appreciated.


If your father knows the name of the Notary who attested the Deed and the year of attestation, he can go to the Land Registry where the Notary has the licence. For further details you can contact the Land Registrar in your area and he will be able to help you to trace your father's Deed.

How to alter my eldest son's surname?


Please inform me how to alter my eldest son's surname and his father's details in the Birth Certificate according to my second marriage husband's details.


The father's details in your child's Birth Certificate cannot be altered. Only the child's surname inherited from the first father can be substituted with the surname of the second father in cage 13 under sec.27A. Please contact the Registrar of the Birth/Deaths at the Divisional Secretariat Office where your child's Birth Certificate is registered.

How to apply for compensation


One of my friends' father died while being employed abroad. Is there any possibility of my friend applying for compensation from the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment? If so, what are the documents required to claim for compensation. Your kind advice would be greatly appreciated.


If some one dies while being employed abroad, the heir of the deceased can apply for compensation from the SLBFE in accordance with insurance policy.

The correct procedure is given below:-

1. Should contact the Consular Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to bring down the human remains and obtain relevant documents.

2. Once you have received the human remains you can report to the Foreign Relations Division and obtain the grant of Rs. 10,000 being funeral expenses, by submitting following documents:-

* Documents issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prove the death of the deceased.

* Documents to prove the relationship of the heir of the deceased.

* A Grama Sevaka certificate.

3. After completion of funeral and related rituals the heir of the deceased could apply for compensation by reporting to the welfare division of SLBFE.

The beneficiaries would be as follows:

1. If the deceased is married

* Spouse

* Children

2. If the deceased is married and have no children

* Spouse

* Parents of the deceased

3. If the deceased is not married

* Parents

4. If the deceased is not married and one parent is living

* Parent

* Brothers and Sisters

5. If the deceased is not married and both parents are dead

* Brothers

* Sisters

However, the heir of the compensation would be decided by the Welfare Division after ascertaining the documents. The claimants would be the legal heirs and not nominees or dependants. Married brothers and sisters can not apply for death claims.

Following documents should be submitted to claim for deaths.

1. Death Certificate of the deceased.

2. Health reports and documents issued by the country of employment.

3. Embassy clearance issued by the Sri Lankan Mission of the country of employment.

4. Cargo receipts issued by the carrier.

5. Grama Sevaka's letter.

6. The residence of the deceased and heirs.

7. The relationships between the deceased and the heirs.

8. Original passport

In addition to that the following documents are also required.

9. If the deceased is married.

* Marriage certificate of deceased.

* Birth certificate of children

10. If unmarried

* Birth certificate of the deceased.

* N.I.C. of the parents.

* Marriage certificate of parents.

11. If brothers and sisters are claiming

* Their birth certificates.

* Copies of National Identity Cards.

12. Copies of bank accounts of the claimants.

Please note that:

1. Two copies of all the above documents, certified by a J.P. should be provided.

2. Two completed claim applications also should be submitted.

Arbitration Award


Can an Arbitration Award entered against a foreign Company in Sri Lanka be enforced in the foreigner's country?


Under the 1958 New York Convention which is ratified by the majority of countries in the world, Arbitration Awards granted in one country can be enforced in another country through the Courts.

The party against whom an award is made cannot escape liability as Arbitration Awards assures international enforcement jurisdiction under the 1958 New York Convention.

New Companies Act No. 7 of 2007


Could you please define "Major transaction" as per the New Companies Act No. 7 of 2007.


Under Section 185 of the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007, "Major transaction" has been defined as follows:

(a) the acquisition of , or an agreement to acquire, whether contingent or not, assets of a value which is greater than half the value of the Assets of Company before the acquisition.

(b) The disposition of, or an agreement to dispose of, whether consigent or not, the whole or more than half the value of the assets of the Company.

(c) A transaction which has or is likely to have the effect of the Company acquiring rights or interests or incurring obligations or liabilities of a value which is greater than half the value of the assets before the acquisition.

(d) A transaction, or series of related transactions which have the purpose or effect of substantially altering the nature of the business carried on by the Company.

Please note that a Company cannot enter into any major transaction unless such transaction is -

(a) Approved by special resolution.

(b) Contingent on approval by special resolution

(c) consented to in writing by all the shareholders of the Company; or

(d) A transaction which the Company is expressly authorized to enter into by a provision in its articles which was included in it at the time the Company was incorporated.

Contact information

There are 15 Divisional Offices along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka headed by Assistant Directors who are supported by a network of Fisheries Inspectors. District

Offices have wide spectrum of involvement with the fishing industry and the community. They perceive their role very broadly in terms of facilitating and providing the needs of the fishing community to carry out fishing activities. The contact numbers are follows:-

Colombo - 2716868
Kalutara - 034-2222482
Galle - 091-2234908
Matara - 041-2222010
Tangalle - 047-2240208
Kalmunai - 067-2229363
Batticaloa - 065-2224472
Trincomalee - 026-2222133
Jaffna - 021-2222532
Mannar - 023-2232173
Puttalam - 032-2265295
Mahawewa - 032-2254279
Negombo - 031-2222431

Email [email protected] OR [email protected]

Legal awareness for children and elders in Eppawela

LAC Chairman S.S. Wijeratne and the Director-General, Justice Hector S Yapa would be the key note speakers at the two Legal Awareness Programmes at the Eppawela Central College in the Anuradhapura District. The school programme which is the fourth in a series to educate the children on the values of thrift and savings along with basic legal awareness needed by school children.

Village based Elders Societies in the area would receive a briefing on Elders Law and the protection principles. The Director, Social Services, Anuradhapura is scheduled to speak.

The programme is sponsored by the People's Bank.


The Institute for the Development of Commercial Law & Practice will conduct a lecture on International Commercial Arbitration and the applicability of the New York Convention (covering the subject areas - seat of arbitration, lex arbitri, New York Convention, Reservations etc) on June 24 from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm At the ICLP Arbitration Centre Auditorium.

Resource persons: S.S. Wijeratne, Secretary General, ICLP Arbitration Centre and Justice Saleem Marsoof P.C.

For Registration contact Ms. Amila, 61, Carmel Road, Colombo 3, Tel/Fax: 2346163/4, Email: [email protected] Website: www.iclparbitrationcentre.com



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas
Mount View Residencies

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