Legal aid Commission
Connecting senior citizens
The leading Mobile Phone Company in Sri Lanka recently announced that
Mobile Phone connections in the country will be soon reaching the 5
This remarkable connectivity level in Sri Lanka is indicative of Sri
Lankan penchant to be in touch with each other as a society which
underpins the strengthening of the democratic process in the country.
Connectivity develops a collective mind of a nation.
As no comprehensive and reliable data is available on the profile of
mobile users, using visual and anecdotal evidence one has to conclude
that the majority of mobile telephone users are young to middle aged
persons leaving out a very important cohort of Sri Lanka Society i.e.
the Senior Citizens'.
Following the enactment of Protection of Elders Rights Law No. 9 of
2000 and establishment of the National Council of Elders in 2002, a
silent revolution is spreading through our society.
The National Council of Elders with the assistance of Provincial
Authorities of Elders' protection has inspired nearly 10,000 village
based Elders Committees to be formed. Today, Elders Committees or Senior
Citizen Societies have developed into an islandwide movement
transcending political, ethnic and religious differences devoted solely
for the betterment of senior lives.
According to reports of the estimated 2.3 million senior citizens of
Sri Lanka a sizable portion are active in Elders Committees doing simple
projects to make their lives meaningful in the golden years.
Among the leading age related challenges for the elders in every
society is the inescapable loneliness and depression. Unlike in feudal
society where elders held the economic social leadership of the family
and village, the modern economic and social changes have resulted in
isolating elders as marginal appendages of the family activities.
Young people including family members and even other elderly friends
find it difficult to spend time to talk to elders whom they discard as
ashes of human society. Among the geriatric challenges facing elders'
empowerment programs, prominent program is to provide connectivity
support to elders to talk to others and remain mentally and socially
active during the newly added years.
The communication industry has by and large ignored the 2.3 million
strong market segments and continues to concentrate on the glamour of
youth. On the other hand elders focused mobile connectivity programs
will not only open the doors to elders market but would also be helping
to alleviate the loneliness and depression of Sri Lankan senior citizens
who laid the platform for the young generation to dance upon.
Securing unauthorised access to a computer - Is it an offence?
Question: I am a student following a Degree at the Sri Lanka
Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT).
I am a first year student at this institute. I want to find out
whether securing unauthorised access to a computer is an offence? I
await your kind reply. - A student from the SLIIT, Malabe
Answer: Yes, Under the Computer Crime Act No. 24 of 2007, any
person who intentionally does any act, in order to secure for
himself/herself or for any other person, access to
(a) any computer, or
(b) any information held in any computer
Knowing or having reason to believe that he/she has no lawful
authority to secure such access, shall be guilty of an offence and shall
on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand
rupees, or to imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to five years, or both such fine and imprisonment.
Can I obtain my NIC in one day?
Question: I am 22 years old, I lost my Identity Card. I want
to find out whether I could obtain my identity card in one day through
the "One Day Service" Counter? I await your kind reply.
Answer: The Registration of Persons Department had a "One Day
Service" counter earlier. But now they have limited the said service.
Under the "One Day Service" they allow process new identity cards to
persons who are under 20 years of age.
The Department does not issue new Identity Cards instead of the lost
ones through the "One Day Service" counter. Those persons will have to
apply for Identity Cards through the normal procedure.
To obtain Identity Card from the "One Day Service" Counter the
applicant himself/herself must come. If you need further details please
contact the Registration of Persons Department, C45, Keppitpola Road,
Colombo 5. Tel. No. 011 2508022, O11 2583199, 01125888043.
Land Acquisition Act
Question: I am a retired Principal living in the Southern
Province. I received a notice under Section 2 (1) of the Land
Acquisition Act that a portion of my land is to be acquired for a public
I learnt that the Minister has issued an Order to take immediate
possession. I fear that this is motivated by political animosity. Is
there and action I can take? - Sent by e-mail
Answer: Under the Land Acquisition Act it is possible to
acquire a private land for the purpose specified therein following the
The proviso to Section 38 empowers the Minister to take immediate
possession if there any urgency. It is required to mention the public
purpose for which the land is sought to be acquired.
If no public purpose is mentioned, then it is possible to challenge
by way of a writ application.
However, if the public purpose is disclosed and as the Section 38 has
been made, it is not possible to challenge this decision.
In any event if you are not properly paid compensation after due
inquiry, or if the officials are delaying the payment, you can file an
action in the Provincial High Court for a writ or mandamus to get the
Commission in partition cases
Question: There are commissions issued by the Civil Courts in
land cases. Could you please explain the purpose of this issuing
commissions with particular reference to commission issued with regard
Answer: In land and partition actions, plans and reports of
surveyors do a very significant role in proving and disproving fact in
In a partition case, it is imperative to have a preliminary plan and
report prepared before the hearing. The basic need of a preliminary
survey is to identify the corpus of the action.
But when a party seeks to survey a larger land or exclusion of land
or dispute the identity of the corpus it is very important to obtain
commissions on surveyors to identify and superimpose such land before
proceeding to the trail, as a court would be always be hesitant to issue
a commissions once the trial is commenced, although it has power to do
so even at the conclusion of the trail.
It has been a common ground observed in partition and land actions by
Appellate Courts, that practitioners without due regard to the
importance of such surveys, without such evidence being produced
attempts have been unsuccessfully made to secure orders or judgements in
In partition law, Sections 16 to 19 deal with such surveys while the
following Sections 428 and 669 of the Civil Procedure Code with very
wide discretion empowers the court to issue commissions to carry out the
"428. In any action or proceeding in which the court deems a local
investigation to be requisite or proper for the elucidating and matter
in dispute, or of ascertaining the market value of any property, or the
amount of any means profits or damages annual net profits, and the same
cannot be conveniently conducted by the judge in person, the court may
issue a commission to such person as it thinks fit, directing him to
make such investigation and to report to the court". "669.
The court may, on the application of any party to an action, and on
such terms as it thinks fit.
(a) make an order for the detention, preservation, or inspection and
survey of any property being the subject of such action;
(b) for all or any of the purposes aforesaid authorize any person to
enter upon or into any land or building in the possession of any other
party to such action; and
(c) for all or any of the purposes aforesaid authorize any samples to be
taken or any observation to be made or experiment to be tried, which may
seem necessary or expedient for the purpose of obtaining full
information or evidence.
Do I have to file separate action for ejectment?
Question: I got a judgement in my favour in an ejectment case
two months ago. The tenant named in the said action appealed against the
said judgment and the appeal is now pending before the High Court of
I want to eject the tenant from my premises. However, I understand
that I have to file a separate action before the original court. Please
Answer: It is advisable to meet a lawyer and get his advice to
file a writ of execution pending appeal. If you need further advice, you
can visit our Legal Aid Centre in Avissawella which is situated in the
Court Complex, Avisswella (Tel. No. 060-2362219) and meet our Legal
Officer who will be able to assist you in the matter.
Illegal parking on private road
Question: A private road is obstructed by illegal parking that
also poses a security threat. Three wheeler taxi drivers and an
unlicensed vehicle repair business and their customers are responsible
for the illegal parking.
The business performs repairs on the private road and is a menace for
the residents who reside on the private road. Please let me know -
(1) Is it illegal to park on an unnamed private road?
(2) Does a law exists which can be quoted that prohibits parking by
non-residents on the private road?
(3) Who can provide written confirmation that the road is a private
road? The trespassers claim a public road to justify their unlawful
parking, namely the garage/customers and three-wheeler taxi drivers.
(4) Who has the power to prevent the illegal parking, is it the Colombo
Municipal Council or Police?
(5)Can the Colombo Municipal Council/Wellawatte Police tow away
unauthorised vehicles and charge penalty fines for illegal parking to
discourage unlawful parking?
(6)Can the Colombo Municipal Council place a sign to indicate a private
(7) Can the Colombo Municipal Council issue resident parking permits for
the private road?
I would appreciate feedback on this very important matter.
Answer: (1) A private road can be used by the people who are
residing along the private road. The residents along the private road
could put a " No Parking" board.
(2) There is no such law.
(3) The Colombo Municipal Council has a road map which indicates whether
it is a public road or a private road. If it is a public road, the
confirmation is given by the Colombo Municipal Council.
(4) Public Road, it is the police.
(5) Any unauthorised parking in a private road, has to be stopped by the
police and not by the Colombo Municipal Council.
(6) The private users themselves can place a sign to indicate a private
(7) Colombo Municipal Council does not issue resident parking permits
for the private road.
Payment of maintenance through post office or bank
Question: In instances where an order for maintenance is made
by court, can payment of maintenance be made through Post Office or
Bank. Your early reply is kindly solicited.
Answer: Under the Maintenance Act. No 37 of 1999, it is stated
"where an order for maintenance is made under the provisions of this
Act, the Magistrate may direct the respondent, that the amount of the
payment due under such order, shall be deposited each month on or before
such date as may be specified in such order in favour of the person
entitled to such payment, at such post office or a bank as may be
specified in such order, and the amount so deposited may be drawn by
such person from such post office or bank.
It shall be the duty of such officer for the time begin in charge of
such post office or bank to pay that amount to the person entitled
thereto upon application made in that behalf."
Therefore you can request your lawyer who appeared for you, to ask
court that your maintenance payment be made through the Post Office or
Bank without going to courts.
Copy of Birth Certificate
Question : My grandson was born in Italy and his birth was
registered in that country. However, his parents got the Sri Lankan
birth registration to him through the Embassy in Italy. Now my grandson
is 18 years old and his Birth Certificate is damaged.
I wish to Know whether my grandson could apply for a copy of his
Birth Certificate. Your reply is greatly appreciated.
Answer: Yes, your grandson can obtain a copy of his Birth
Certificate. He should go to the Central Record Room, Maligawatte,
Colombo 10. They will issue an application form to him where he has to
complete it and hand it over to them.
On receipt of the completed application form, the Central Record Room
will issue a copy of the Birth Certificate immediately. If you need
further details, you can call the Central Record Room on Telephone No.
Declaring option for Widower's and Orphans' Pension Scheme
I am a retired Government teacher. I was appointed on a pensionable
post on 02.08.1982. I could not contribute to the Widower's and Orphans'
Pension Scheme. I have now decided to contribute to this scheme. Could
you please let me know the procedure to do so.
Under the Pensions Circular 08/2007 of the Department of Pension, the
final date for declaring option for admittance to Widowers and Orphans
Pension Scheme by female officers appointed pensionable post before
01.08.1983 and who were in public service to the said date was extended
up to 31.12.2005 by Pensions Circular 8/2005 and up to 30.06.2006 by
Pension Circular 6/2006.
In terms of Gazette Notification No. 1489/21 dated 23.03.2007 the
final date was extended up to 31.12. 2007 in respect of female officers
who could not declare option during above period.
Following persons are entitled to declare option:
1. Female officers who presently in service and opt to declare option.
2. Retired female officers who opt to declare option.
3. Female officers who died before final date to declare option. At this
instance, form General 86 'A' can be signed by widower or orphans,
guardians of orphans.
However, in your case, you cannot contribute to the Widower's and
Orphan's Pension Scheme because the period has lapsed.
No school essay competition in North Western Province
The annual islandwide Essay Competition conducted by the Legal Aid
Commission (LAC) with the support of Sri Lanka Telecom will not be held
in 2008 due to financial constraints. This year's topic for the essay
competition was "Computer, Internet and Globalisation" was meant to
encourage the analytical thinking of students relating to global trends
impacting the young.
The Provincial Competition would cover schools in the Kurunegala and
AGM of Voet Inn with the support of the Provincial Ministry of
The Annual General Meeting of Voet Inn Attorneys-at-Law will be held
at the Cey-Nor Seafood Restaurant at 6.30 p.m. on August 30. Disclaimer
All Attorneys-at-Law who are past Voet Inners are cordially invited.
The answers to questions are the legal views of individual lawyers
and the Legal Aid Commission only compiles them for the Daily News Legal
Your questions should be addressed to - Daily News Legal Aid Page,
Chairman, Legal Aid Commission, No, 129, Hulftsdorp Street, Colombo 12.
E-mail: [email protected] - Website: www.lawaid.org
AC centres and telephone numbers
01. Head Office 2433618, 5335281
02. Tsunami Regional Center 060-2137153
03. Welikada Prison 5335329
04. Bandarawela 057-2224733
05. Matale 060-2664588/071-4447151
06. Avissawella 060-2362219
07. Ratnapura 045-2226899
08. Negombo 031-5677111
09. Kalutara 034-5628860
10. Gampaha 033-5677998
11. Polonnaruwa 027-2222293
12. Anuradhapura 025-2224465
13. Kandy 081-2388978
14. Kurunegala 037-2229641
15. Galle 091-2226124
16. Hambantota 047-2221092
17. Nuwara Eliya 052-2235260
18. Moneragala 055-2276891
19. Ampara 063-2223496
20. Kegalle 035-2231790
21. Chilaw 032-5672457
22. Akkaraipattu 067-5675333
23. Balapitiya 091-2255753
24. Matara 041-2233815
25. Vavuniya 024-2221899
26. Trincomalee 026-5676023/026-2222293
27. Kalmunai 067-2223710
28. Jaffna 021-2224444/077/735910
29. Batticaloa 065-2226359
30. Panadura 038-5677100
31. Kuliyapitiya 037-2284611
32. Mahiyangana 055-2258332
33. Mahawa 037-2275075
34. Horana 034-2265244
35. Mathugama 060-2444262
36. Attangalla 033-2297020
37. Dambulla 060-2682238
38. Deniyaya 060-2428006
39. Mawanella 035-2247272
40. Marawila 032-2254443
41. Warakapola 037-2277075
42. Juvenile Court, Bambalapitiya 2507687
43. Nugegoda 2809068
44. Welimada 060-2577019
45. Kantalai 077-4444260
46. Tambuttegama Tel.not fixed yet