OPA at your service
Questions and Answers
Submission of NIC
Question - My question is about the submission not production of the
identity card. As you are aware according to Section 22 (3) of the
Registration of persons. Act No. 32 of 1968 as amended, it is an offence
to acquire or submit, deface, alter or affect in any manner the National
Identity Card (NIC) issued to a person. It is a punishable offence with
a fine of Rs. 1,000 and beyond a sentence ranging from three months to
one year or both. Also it applies to both the person who obtains the
identity card as well as the person who hands it over.
However, the Manager of the Commercial Bank Branch at Katubedda
refuses to acknowledge this law and insists that I hand over the
National Identity card and not show it only. I pointed out the legal
aspect and also that payment of savings withdrawals are made on personal
application and that the owner could/should be identified against the
specimen of the signature which is the bank’s possession.
Moreover to facilitate on line transactions the specimen of the
customer’s signature is obtained on the pass book itself as well and the
bank branches are equipped with advanced technology to identify the
customer against the specimen in the Pass Book. I admit that the
identity card is required for ease of payment but then the law of the
land should be complied with and the bank should be satisfied with
production only. Please let me know the correct legal position with
regard to the NIC holders’ rights, through your esteemed column in the
Answer: You are correct in saying that submission of one’s NIC is an
offence under Section 22 (3) of the Registration of Persons act No. 32
of 1968 as amended. However one is expected to produce the NIC for
examination and verification purpose. At a security check point it may
take a minute or two for examination and return. In a bank it may take
even half an hour as the officers authorizing the transaction will
insist on sighting the NIC, this is apart from the cashier or person at
Within the last decade due to emergency regulation and PTA which may
supersede other legal requirements the NIC is retained and returned when
a person enters a government office and exits after the transaction of
the business. The private sector was requested to take such safety
precautions. Therefore you need not fear of violating the legal
provision in his sense. We also contacted head of the legal section of
the Dept. of Registration of Persons and the interpretation given is
that security is more important and that handing over the NIC for a
couple of hours or its return within the same day is acceptable.
Outstanding grievances with LRC
Question: I, Brigadier (retired) Gamini Angammana counts 27 years of
active service in the regular Army spanning from 1965 to 1992 mainly in
the battle areas to name a few operations lead by me during Eelam II.
* Kilinochchi rescue operation
* Jaffna Fort rescue operation
* Elephant Pass rescue and expansion operation
Eventhough there are many an encounters and situations that I faced
in the battlefield, as a soldier I do not want to blow my own
I wish to place on record that I did retire after 27 years of
service, to go into cultivation. I am legally entitled for 19.50 Acres
of land which L.R.C. has accepted in principle. And I was allocated 12
Acres of land from Balangoda out of which I could survey only 7A 01R15p
as balance five acres has been encroached by the Villagers.
Balance seven acres out of my total entitlement. L.R.C. has allocated
to me from Doloswale (Galle Gewal Madiya) and as advised when I went to
the property I found this land too has been encroached by the Villagers.
I did communicate this situation to the Director Land Ceilings and her
advice to me was to accept this land and go in for litigation with the
squatters. I explained to her that my lifespan will not be sufficient to
My request to you is to assist me to get my balance acreage from
Doloswale tea & rubber estate which has been acquired from my
grandmother. My LRC Ref. is R/143.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Answer: We at the OPA consider it a great pleasure to serve persons
like you who have served the country to make it a peaceful place to live
in after three decades of armed conflict. It is sad to note that you
have not been given your fair share. It is unfair for the LRC to request
you or expect you to now go in for a legal battle with the squatters
having spent 27 years of your life time in battle.
We are quite aware that the Director Land Ceilings at the LRC is not
helpful at all and quite an unhelpful person from our experience as
well. However, the Chairman and especially the Executive Director are
very helpful. We spoke to the Executive Director about your case and he
seems to be very familiar with your name.
He agreed to look into your matter and requested you to meet him on
any Wednesday being public day. When you meet him you may mention to him
that you have come to meet him at the request of the OPA. We too will
follow up your case but you must keep us informed of what is happening.
Dedicated Tamil TV Channel
Question: One of the TV Channels provides good Tamil programmes for
all of us. Some channels which give Tamil programmes do not have good
reception. But the one which can is now full of sports. We have almost
forgotten the nice programmes telecasted over in it. It’s sad thing for
me and the many viewers like me. The weekends have become so dull,
So why not transfer all that Sports to another channel or have a
sports channel separately or not telecast sports beyond our country or
some curtailing or alternative done to give us that uninterrupted Tamil
Answer: From your description it is obvious that you are referring to
Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. It is their “Eye Channel” that shows
sports and also provides Tamil programme as “Nethra Channel”.
We spoke to the Rupavahini Corporation and they are quite aware of
this problem. The corporation has to carry on amidst certain
constraints, thus this problem cannot be sorted within the next year or
two. The plan is to go digital by 2015 and at that stage there will be
dedicated channels in each language and for sports. Right now they do
not have the funds to have as many channels and everything will have to
be changed once they go digital. In fact the sad news for viewers is
that they will have to change their TV sets to digital by 2015.
Right now Rupavahini has to provide sports too for the sports loving
public and sports beyond our country could be test cricket played in the
UK where Sri Lanka is playing the England team or the IPL played in
India where several of our cricketers are participating. Apart from
satisfying the sports lovers, Rupavahini makes more money from
advertising. So for the time being you have to bear with the status co.