[OPA AT YOUR SERVICE]
~~Questions and Answers~~
Rectification of a Deed of Gift
Question: I have gifted a block of land to two minors with life
interest on a Deed of Gift. Can I remove a conditional clause contained
therein in the said Deed and a fresh clause imposed instead, through a
Deed of Rectification.
-Arthur V. Dias - Talangama, Battaramulla
Answer: Yes, rectification of the Gift Deed is possible through a
Deed of Rectification. However it depends on the clause specially since
you are referring to a conditional clause. Some changes which may effect
the beneficiaries can only be done through Courts as such changes are
considered to have a major impact on the Gift Deed. We suggest that you
discuss with your lawyer with specific reference to the conditional
clause you wish to change.
Question: I am unmarried, I was 55 years on 06.11.2007. Therefore,
please be kind enough to let me know whether I have any benefits on the
- Abdulla Ziard-Nawalapitiya
Answer: Since you are unmarried you can claim a refund of your
contribution from the W&OP Fund. This can be done only at or after your
retirement. If you have retired at the age of 55 you can apply now for
the refund, if not you have to wait until you retire. You will however
be entitled to you pension as well.
Payment of Gratuity
Question: I wish to place the following facts for your kind
consideration and advice. I have been in employment in a private sector
establishment for a period of 10 years. Initially, I was paid a monthly
salary of Rs. 12,500, with annual increments of salary. It was decided
sometime back that all increments of salary will be by way of
allowances. The management periodically granted me increments of salary
and after a period of 10 years my monthly salary is Rs. 50,367 and the a
amount of Rs. 24,000 was fixed for the purpose of calculating monthly
EPF and ETF contributions. This was she practice followed. there was no
firm structure of the salary or a scale of salary applicable.
After serving for a period of 10 years now I wish to retire from
service owing to ill health. Based on these facts I would like to know
what my Gratuity payment entitlement will be at retirement. Also, please
let me know whether the employer could either reduce or increase the
payment of Gratuity. I shall appreciate it if you could kindly consider
these facts and advise me on this matter. Your co-operation in this
regard will be greatly appreciated.
- RMF, Kottawa
Answer: We presume that the Organisation you work for has a minimum
of 15 employees as this is a requirement for your being entitled to the
payment of gratuity. Although EPF and ETF contributions have been based
on the basic salary, i.e, excluding cost of living, etc., the gratuity
payment should be on the consolidated salary including cost of living
allowance, special living allowance or any other similar allowances.
Only an allowance of a reimbursable nature such as travelling are not
included for gratuity.
The Cost of Living of a month by month varying nature although not
included for EPF and ETF, if it is of a fixed nature, may have to be
included for EPF and ETF as well. In your case all increments of salary
have been treated as allowances, still these allowances have to be
included for the calculation of your gratuity.
Your employer should not reduce the payment of your gratuity as it is
your legal entitlement. However, your employer could increase your
gratuity. In our opinion you should get for 10 years (10 x half month
salary, i.e., half of Rs. 50,362) Rs. 251,835. You should consult the
Labour Department for a proper interpretation. They may even consider
the inclusion of the allowances for EPF and ETF calculation.
Waiting for response from Public Trustee
Question: With the consent of my two brothers I wrote to the Public
Trustee regarding a Trust. The “Ernest Hamilton Trust” to which our late
mother was named as beneficiary. Even though the relevant documents were
sent on three occasions twice by Registered post and once by Fax, there
has been no response what so ever from this Gentlemen to this day.
Since there has been no response to my query to this day, it has
created doubts in my mind whether the Public Trustee is an appointee for
the benefit of the General public or otherwise. A few years back, with
the collapse of the Pramuka Bank there appeared many articles in the
Daily News with regard to the mismanagement of Funds by the Public
Trustee holding Office at that time. (funds belong to the General public
deposited in Pramuka Bank instead of a State Bank).
I enclose herewith copies of the relevant documents for your kind
perusal soliciting your advice in this matter.
Thanking you very much, I look forward to an early response.
- Rolston Maloney, Tangalle
Answer: Sorry for the delay in attending to your matter due to a long
queue. We did contact the Public trustee Department and we must state
that the Public Trustee as well as the Deputy were very cordial and
helpful. You have apparently met them and they were very responsive.
They have agreed to look in to the balance funds to be distributed and
we are confident that they will do justice in due course. Their only
problem is replying every letter which will obviously consume a greater
part of their working time. We agree that you too cannot be coming to
their office all the way from Tangalle. We suggest you follow up your
matter by telephoning the Deputy Public trustee on Tel. 2582328.
Spot fines and collection of driving licence
Question: It would be much appreciated if you will please find me the
answers or solutions from the DIG, Motor Traffic or the Commissioner of
Motor Traffic for the worst dilemma we all motorists encounter when we
are to pay a fine and collect our Driving licence from the Police
I with much frustration wish to relate the torture which I had to
encounter when I was charged on the Gampola - Kandy highway while
driving my car. A three wheeler was plying at a very low speed (probably
10-20 Kmh). Presuming that it was going to halt, I had overtaken on a
Single Line knowing that the Traffic Police was just a few yards away.
My justification to the Police Officer as to why I had overtaken was out
of favour and instead I was charged.
Anyway, I had to accept my offence and surrender my Driving Licence
(For the first time) and received a Document of proof for the licence
received. I was really misguided by the Police officer attached to the
Kandy Police that I pay a fine of Rs. 550 at my Post Office with the
Document provided, but later it was known that I should first collect
the Fine Document from the Police station.
In fact all this hassle could be really avoided saving precious time,
expenses etc., of any motorist whoever is involved in Spot Fines
violating Driving Rules. I suggest the following on behalf of the
thousands involved in driving vehicles in Sri Lanka.
1. Spot Fines is welcome for whatever the charge is based. But an
offer or choice to be given to the person concerned to pay the Fine at a
Police Station convenient to him or her.
2. As at present, e.g., if a spot fine is imposed on a Motorist at
Trincomalee who’s permanent residence is Kandy, he/she has to get back
to Trincomalee to pay the fine and get back the driving licence, what a
“disgrace”. The time, expenses etc., involved going all the way to the
Police Station concerned is agonizing considering the present day Cost
3. In my case too, my closest Police Station was Gampola (where I
live), Peradeniya and then Kandy but instead the Police Officer
instructed me to go and pay the fine at the Dawulagala Police and
collect my Driving Licence, isn’t is absurd?
- M.A.J. Samath, Gampola
Answer: We discussed this matter with the relevant officers of the
Police Department. Spot fines are covered under the Motor Traffic Act.
Section 215. Accordingly, the spot fine can be paid only at Post
Of course Post Offices are closed after working hours and holidays
which cause inconvenience to drivers who cause inconvenience to others
by not following traffic regulations.
The Police Department acknowledging the inconvenience caused to
offending drivers have proposed an amendment to the Parliament enabling
spot fines to be paid at Police Stations which will be possible any day
and any time.
In your case the policeman would have given you a temporary permit
and since the policeman was not carrying with him, the book to issue the
paper ‘fine’ in lieu of prosecution, you had to collect it from the
Once the fine is paid at any post office you can produce the receipt
to the Police Station involved with the spot fine and collect you
licence. It is not practiced for each traffic policeman to be carrying
with him a book of fine in lieu of prosecution, we understand. The
purpose of your having to go to the specific Police Station is because
your licence will be available for collection only at that Police
Repatriation of proceeds from sale of property
Question: I have given a land as dowry to my elder daughter at her
wedding in 1997 by a Deed of Gift. Soon after the marriage she
accompanied her husband to Singapore and acquired permanent residency in
that country. In course of time they acquired Singapore citizenship.
Last year they chose to migrate to Australia and are at present
permanent residents in Australia. As my daughter is no longer a citizen
of Sri Lanka can she dispose of her dowry property here and take the
proceeds in foreign currency? Will the exchange control approve the
outflow of foreign currency to the tune of US$ 90,000 (approx).
Please oblige me with a proper legal procedure for the transaction.
- R. Canagaratnam, Wattala
Answer: From what we understand, your daughter now being an
Australian citizen is required to obtain approval from the Exchange
Control Section of the Central Bank of Ceylon, in order to sell the
property to another Sri Lankan.
We say another Sri Lankan as any sale to non-citizen will involve a
100% tax for the buyer. She could write to the Exchange Control
Department and obtain prior approval for the sale. Having sold the
entire proceeds has to be deposited in a block Account as directed by
the Exchange Control Department.
Thereafter the Exchange Control Department will grant permission to
repatriate a maximum of value equivalent to US$ 150,000. They will make
into account any funds already taken out at the time of migration or
thereafter in allowing or determining the amount that can be repatriated
out of the proceeds of sale. You should contact the Exchange Control
Department for an accurate picture as our information is merely a
Is it an offence not to attend Courts?
Question: A job agent (name of Agency and the owner withheld) has
taken Rs. 1 million obtain to employment in Canada. He has failed to
fullfill his promises. Then I went to his office but he never came to
office. I contacted him by phone and he said that he will send a cheque
for Rs. 200,000 for expenses incurred when my son was in Ivory Coast.
The cheque was dishourned.
I reported this to the Foreign Employment Bureau. They took my
statement and filed a case at the Fort MC. Case No. 87332 was called 3
or 4 times but the job agent never came to Court, An open warrant has
been issued. The case has been going on for the last 1 year. As my
daughter is disgusted over this case she is asking me not attend Court.
Please let me know whether it is an offence if I fail to attend
- S.G. Wijesuriya - Colombo 6
Answer: Based on a complaint made by you the Foreign Employment
Bureau has filed a case. Therefore, it is only the Foreign Employment
Bureau who can withdraw the case. Even if you request them to withdraw,
they may not as they are duty bound to prosecute errant employment
It is also your civic responsibility to proceed with this case. You
can request the Foreign Employment Bureau to inform you when the trial
is fixed and attend Courts for the trial only and until then you may
skip attending Courts.
The Courts will now await the return of the warrant before fixing the
Trial. If you do not attend Courts on the day of the Trial, warrant can
be issued on you as you are a witness to this case.