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Wednesday, 3 March 2011

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Opa At Your Service

Home for psychiatric patient

Question: My elder daughter-a psychiatric patient has been suffering from sychiasofremia for the last several years without any sign of recovery. Therefore would you please through the columns of your worthy organization being published in the Daily News on Thursdays of the week, find out a sanatorium or whatever relief centre where I can keep her and take treatment until she recovers from the malady. Further for your information that I have taken steps to bestow my W & OP on her after my demise as/my wife passed away several years ago.

Awaiting a reply through your columns of the Thursday column of the above organization which is doing a humanitarian service to the general public throughout the year.

An early solution to my problem is greatly appreciated.

Answer: There is a private home called the Sir James and Lady Pieris Chesitre Home at No 17, Siripala Road, Mt. Lavinia which is a home for handicapped persons but we understand that they do not have any specialist to handle mental patients;

However, this can be assessed by their doctor and a decision taken. You should write to the Chairman, Board of Management, Sir James and Lady Peiris Chestire Home, No 17, Siripala Road, Mt. Lavinia. Alternatively the Psychiatric Social Worker (PSW) section at the Angoda Mental Hospital, Mulleriyawa, New Town will also assist you to find a home for your child. You are requested to call over at this Hospital on any Monday and discuss with the PSW officers who will be very helpful.

They need to find out more details about the patients gender etc and details of a guardian if any, after your demise and so on. It is best that you call over and discuss with them. The telephone numbers for your contact is 011-2578234 up to 2578238 and ask for PSW section.


Cheque issued without funds

Question: A thousand apologies for the mistake in the date: A million thanks for replying my query. I was pleasantly surprised and kept reading the answer over and over again.

Is it possible for me to speak to you on the phone? If not please could you also tell me?

1) The lawyer I have consulted told me not to go through police as the Police will not get back all the money at once! As the borrower will be asked how much she can repay and if she says Rs 10,000 a month at a time then it will be so.

2) Five others have also lent her money one friend has already gone to the Mirihana Police and she had promised to pay her money of Rs 200,000 in 50,000 but installments not yet paid as she is known to the police. I wonder if the Police will / can accept her (borrowers) version of payment, as mine is a big sum.

3) If I go through a lawyer, the lawyer says that he can, according to the law (file a case) seize or sell her property and get back the money. Is this possible? As she has borrowed almost 30 lakhs!

I am given misleading information by many people. As such kindly tell me the most advisable thing to do as I do not want to make this public!

Answer: You are left with two alternatives and it is left to you to decide which one you wish to pursue. We would suggest that you first go to the Fraud Bureau and based on the success or otherwise decide as per your lawyer’s advice. The Fraud Bureau will take this up as a criminal case and if the borrower does not pay as agreed with the Fraud Bureau they will take the borrower to courts.

Only failing the above you should consider fileing a case which will be a civil case and it will take a long time to settle. Provided the borrower has fixed assets such as land and property you may succeed. Also you have to spend on lawyer’s fees as well. However, please note that you cannot take both actions at the same time and you can take civil action following criminal action but you cannot take criminal action if you fail with the civil action.


Citizenship for child born overseas

Question: My son went to England as a student three years ago. He got married and his wife also went as dependent.

Two months ago they had a baby there. Please inform me if the baby can become a UK citizen automatically. Both parents are Sri Lankan. If not what must the parents do.

Answer: As the child was born in UK and the birth registered the child automatically become a UK citizen unless there has been any change to this recently by the UK Government. Your son could check this up in the UK.

You must advise your son to register the birth of his child with the Sri Lankan Embassy in the UK. Once he fills in the relevant forms and provides copies of the child’s birth certificate, the two parent’s birth certificate, Marriage certificate and copies of passport to confirm that they were in UK at the time of the birth of the child, the child’s birth will be registered with the Registrar General’s Department. After this your son can apply to the Department of Immigration and Emigration Sri Lanka, through the Sri Lankan Embassy in UK to register the child as a Sri Lankan Citizen also. The child will be entitled to both UK and Sri Lankan citizenship up to the age of 18 years after which the child has to renounce one.


Teacher transfers

Question: I am an English assistant teacher attached to a national school. I have been serving at the same school for over 10 years.

I understand that the teachers who have been serving for more than eight years would be transferred to another school of their choice. I am eager to know the following regarding the above matter.

* Whether this scheme would work out or not if yes, from when?

* I wish to get a transfer to a school that comes under the purview of Provincial Council. Is it possible?

* Will the teachers be given a transfer to schools which they prefer?

* There are teachers who have served in most difficult areas and less difficult areas. Would this be considered when giving transfers?

I appreciate the service done by you in solving problems faced by us.

Answer: We did contact the Teachers’ Transfer Section of the Education Ministry regarding your question. We have been informed that though there is a proposal similar to what you have described that is transfer for teachers in the same school for a specified period of time; this has not been finalized or implemented.

There apparently is a shortage of teachers in the National Schools and you may have read in the newspapers about the shortage of school principals. There are the reasons given for no decision being taken about this matter. Unofficially even the forthcoming elections to Local Government authorities was also given as a reason for the delay.


Belling Cooker

Question: I gave my Baby Belling Cooker for repairs to a well-known company, as they were the importers of Belling products.

Before starting on the repair, I had to pay the full cost of the repairs. (Rs 5,975) which I did immediately as I wanted the repair done without delay.

It’s over two months now since I gave my cooker for repairs and every time I give them a telephone call, they say the item is under repairs and they will contact me when ready. I have lost all faith in this institution. When I requested them to refund my money and return my cooker, they gave a very evasive reply. Please help me to get back my cooker and money to enable me to get it repaired elsewhere. My Job No. HOABOV 00201.

Answer: We had been in contact with the Agents for the past two weeks and there was a delay in them finding out the correct position regarding the repairs to your Belling Cooker. The job number you have given is also incorrect. The correct number should be Job No. HOABOV5111W007.

Now we have been informed that the spare parts ordered are not available and as such they will return your cooker and refund the repair charges paid by you in advance. Please contact the Manager Services on Tel. 4527767 or 0714150132.

They require the receipt of your payment as well in order to make the refund and you may have to make two trips as you will not get your refund on the same day.


Non payment of EPF balance

Question: It is with great regret I write to you as my legally due EPF for the period from 15/05/1997 to 1/4/1998 has not been refunded to me although my application was made in October 2003 and followed up by a reminder in December 2003 and July 2007.

My EPF No. is A 19624-58

The employer is the Grill Room Dematagoda. I have obtained a refund of Rs 19938/45 in August 2003.

As my employer failed to continue the contribution from 1996 to 2000, a case was filed by the Labour Commissioner at the Colombo Magistrate’s Courts under case No. 37984/5 and the amount due was settled in June 2003.

I also have with me as per copy attached the advice sent to the EPF Division of the Central Bank by the Labour Commissioner with a list of beneficiaries and the amounts. My dues as per this list are Rs 18,310 can the OPA assist me to obtain this long over due balance refund.

Answer: We refer to our answer to your question that appeared in the Daily News – OPA page on Thursday, February 17, 2011.

We followed up your matter with the Deputy Labour Commissioner of the Colombo Central Division on the 6th Floor of the Labour Secretariat at Narahenpita.

Deputy Commissioner Soysa has carried out extensive work regarding your case and according to her this additional information required by the EPF section of the Central Bank is now available with her.

She also informs us that an additional amount is due to you from another court case. She would like you to call over at her office and meet her at your earliest. Preferable on a Friday as she will be able to spare more time for you.


Demarcation of boundaries

Question: While expressing my sincere appreciation of the services that you are rendering to the public through your column may I seek your advice regarding my problem.

I have instituted action against a certain person for demarcation of boundaries is respect of our lands. A commission was issued by court on a private Surveyor for the demarcation of boundaries.

As we were not satisfied with the demarcation of boundaries we applied for a commission to the Surveyor General.

The papers were referred by the Surveyor General’s office which in turn referred the papers to its local branch office.

The demarcation of boundaries was carried out by the branch office by marking the four corners of the land in dispute. According to the points so marked it is clear even to the naked eye that a good portion of the building that the defendant is constructing falls within the encroachment.

My lawyer however informs me that according to the report of the commission no part of the building stands within the encroachment.

I wish to know what is the relief available to me. Can I apply for a fresh commission on the Surveyor General to resurvey the land through another branch of the Surveyor General’s Department?

Answer: We are not clear of the current status. Has the Commission given its determination? We do not understand what you mean by applying for a commission to the Surveyor General. Usually it is the Courts that appoint a commissioner and it is unlikely that the Surveyor General would have been directed to do so.

May be on a request made by you the Surveyor General would have directed the branch office to carry out a survey and mark the four corners of the boundaries.

You can make a request to the Court to inspect the premises if you are not satisfied with the demarcation made by the private Surveyor appointed by the courts. Alternatively you can request for a fresh commission.

Your attorney-at-law is the best person to advise you and if you are not convinced with his or her advice, you may seek advice from another attorney at law or notary public.


Act of incorporation

Question: I have observed that several organizations like social organizations welfare organizations, religious organizations, foundations under the names of individuals have been incorporated by Parliament and some are seeing Acts of Incorporation by Parliament.

Could you please explain the benefits that organizations gets, from such organization being incorporated by an Act of Parliament.

Answer: Incorporation by an Act of Parliament has its own advantages as well as certain disadvantages. First it must be an organization, the purpose of which must be of national interest to be considered for incorporation.

Such organization has to specify its purpose, activities and the composition and qualification of its members etc.

Once accepted and incorporated by an Act of Parliament, this organization will be bound by the provisions in that Act.

One of the disadvantages is to act or move outside the provision of the act.

Any new activity outside to provisions will not confirm to the Act. Therefore there will be restriction on the activities and its membership outside the provisions in the Act.

The advantages being the organization becoming legal entity, recognition by the State and the nation. Even recognition by NGOs for funding etc.

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