UNITED NATIONS

HRI

International Human Rights Instruments

Distr.GENERAL

HRI/CORE/LKA/200823 September 2008

Original: ENGLISH

CORE DOCUMENT FORMING PART OF THE REPORTSOF STATES PARTIES

sri lanka*

[23 April 2008]

CONTENTS

Chapter Paragraphs Page

I.GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE STATEOF SRI LANKA 1 - 1103

A.History, geography, demography, economy, government, social infrastructure, post-tsunami reconstruction1 - 593

B.Constitutional, political and legal structure of the State 60 - 11014

II.GENERAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROMOTION ANDPROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 111 - 22023

A.Acceptance of international human rights norms 111 - 11823

B.Legal framework for the protection of human rightsat the national level 119 - 13426

C.Framework within which human rights are promotedat the national level 13529

D.Education programmes and public information 193 - 22043

III.INFORMATION ON NON-DISCRIMINATION ANDEQUALITY AND EFFECTIVE REMEDIES 221 - 22847

Annexes

I.TREATY RATIFICATION AND REPORTING HISTORYSRI LANKA 50

II.PARTIAL LIST OF MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONSRELATING TO ISSUES OF HUMAN RIGHTS 54

III.INDICATORS FOR ASSESSING THE IMPLEMENTATIONOF HUMAN RIGHTS 60

IV.ANALYSIS OF CONFORMITY OF SRI LANKAN LAW WITH KEY INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTSON HUMAN AND LABOUR RIGHTS TO WHICH SRI LANKA IS A STATE PARTY 91

I. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE STATE of sri lanka

A.History, geography, demography, economy, government,social infrastructure, post-tsunami reconstruction

1. History

1.Recent investigations show that around c. 30000 B.C. the earliest inhabitants of Sri Lanka were the Mesolithic prehistoric people. They were Stone Age communities and were hunter‑gatherers. The Early Iron Age communities arrived from India and introduced the use of metal, ceramics, paddy cultivation and rudimentary irrigation around 1000 B.C.

2.During the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa, Buddhism was introduced in 247 B.C. by Arahat Mahinda, the son of Emperor Asoka of India. This is a significant event, which influenced the country’s political and socio-cultural evolution as well as its agricultural economy. Of the early settlements, Anuradhapura grew into a powerful kingdom engaged in foreign trade and diplomacy.

3.The Middle historic period is marked by remarkable architectural and hydraulic achievements. This period also witnessed the development of the island as the primary entrepôt for international trade in the Indian Ocean rim and its connections to the Mediterranean and the Far East. From the post 9th century AD, Sri Lanka experienced a number of invasions from neighbouring nations and the capital was moved constantly to different locations.

4.In the modern period, the Portuguese arrived in 1505, when the capital was established at Kotte, in the western lowlands. The Portuguese arrived to trade in spices and were displaced by the Dutch. The Dutch rule lasted from 1656 to 1796, and they were displaced in turn by the British. During this period the highland Kingdom, with its capital in Kandy, retained its independence despite repeated assaults by colonial powers who ruled parts of the country. In 1815 the Kingdom of Kandy was annexed by the British who established their rule over the whole island. Modern communications, Western medical services, education in English, as well as the plantation industry (coffee followed by tea, rubber and coconut) developed during British rule. By a process of peaceful, constitutional evolution, Sri Lanka regained its independence in 1948 and is now a sovereign republic, with membership in the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations Organization.

2. Geographical features

5.Sri Lanka, an island in the Indian Ocean is located to the south of the Indian subcontinent. It lies between 5° 55’ and 9° 55’ north of the Equator and between the eastern longitudes 79° 42’ and 81° 52’. The total land area is 65,610 sq. km. and is astonishingly varied. A length of 445 km. and breadth of 225 km. encompasses tropical beaches, rainforests, grass plains and other mini eco-systems. The relief features of the island consist of a mountainous mass somewhat south of the centre, rising to heights exceeding 2,500 metres, surrounded by broad plains. Palm fringed beaches surround the island and the sea temperature rarely falls below 27°C.

3. Demography

6.Sri Lanka has a population of 19.8 million of whom the majority are Sinhalese (74 per cent). Other ethnic groups are made up of Sri Lankan Tamils (12.6 per cent), Indian Tamils (5.5 per cent), Moors, Malays, Burghers (of Portuguese and Dutch descent) and others (7.9 per cent). Sri Lanka is a multi-religious country; Buddhists constitute 69.3 per cent, Hindus 15.5 per cent, Christians 7.6 per cent and Muslims 7.5 per cent (source: Central Bank, Country Profile 2006).

4. Economy

7.Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to have grown by 6.7 per cent in 2007. With this performance, economic growth has been above 6 per cent in three consecutive years for the first time. As a result, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which was US dollars 979 in 2003, has increased by 65 per cent since then to reach US dollars 1,615 in 2007. Along with this growth performance, unemployment declined to the hitherto lowest level of 5.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2007. Though the growth in 2007 was slower than the growth of 7.7 per cent recorded in 2006, the high growth in 2007 indicates the continuing resilience of the economy; its ability to grow amidst a number of challenges. The major challenges were the high international oil prices, the adverse weather conditions experienced in the first half of the year, intense competition for apparel exports in the major destinations and the unsettled security situation in the country.

8.The growth was reasonably broad based across the three major sectors viz. Agriculture, Industry and Services. As per the sectoral composition of the economy, the services sector accounted for 60 per cent of the GDP while the industrial and agricultural sectors accounted for 28 per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. The services sector is estimated to have made a significant contribution to the overall growth. Among the subsectors, post and telecommunications; cargo handling, ports and civil aviation; and banking, insurance, real estate and other financial services performed well in 2007. However, the hotels and restaurants subsector suffered due to lower tourist arrivals in 2007.

9.The agriculture sector grew moderately by 3.2 per cent, mainly due to weather setbacks impacting on tea and paddy cultivation. Performance in the rubber, coconut, minor export crops and livestock sectors were on par with expectations. The complete recovery in the fisheries sector to the pre-tsunami level contributed largely to the growth of the agriculture sector.

10.The industrial sector recorded a healthy growth of 7.4 per cent in 2007, benefiting from both external and domestic demand. All major sub sectors, namely, mining and quarrying; manufacturing; electricity, gas and water and construction, contributed positively to this growth. The manufacturing subsector, which is the largest sub sector of the industrial sector, contributed more than 60 per cent of the total industrial output. This sector mainly benefited from the apparel industry. Special concessions available under the European Union Generalised System of Preferences (EU-GSP+) scheme supported the commendable growth in the apparel sector in 2007.

11.To contain inflationary pressures on prices from excess demand, a relatively tight monetary policy was implemented in 2007. Consequent to the increases in policy rates by 300 basis points during the period 2004-2006, the Central Bank raised its policy interest rates by a further 50 basis points in February 2007. Further, the Central Bank continued to conduct aggressive open market operations on both overnight and permanent basis to maintain market liquidity at a level consistent with the reserve money targets. The Central Bank was able to achieve tight quarterly reserve money targets during 2007, containing the demand driven component of inflation. However, inflation that was on a downward trend during the first half of 2007, increased thereafter due to several factors, including the prices of oil and other commodities, which reached historically high levels and led to a substantial upward adjustment in prices of many domestic goods and services. The adjustment of domestic commodity prices such as that of oil to reflect market prices also adversely impacted on inflation, but considering the resultant price pass-through adjustments, they were considered the appropriate policy actions, on medium and long term bases.

12.The external sector displayed an impressive performance in 2007. Exports grew by 12.5 per cent in 2007 mainly supported by enhanced trading opportunities derived through trading agreements, improvements in the quality of exports and initiatives taken by the government and major exporters a few years ago. Persistently strong demand for apparel and tea had provided a basis for the strong trade performance in 2007. Tea exports crossed the US dollars 1.0 billion mark for the first time in 2007. Concessions received by way of the EU‑GSP+ scheme helped diversify markets and exported products as well as to expand backward integration in the apparel industry. Meanwhile, imports grew by 10.2 per cent, mainly reflecting the higher expenditure on oil and investment goods. The increased spending on investment goods was underpinned by the accelerated development projects launched by the government and projects undertaken by the private sector especially in the construction, telecommunication and information technology sectors. The trade deficit was US dollars 3,560 million in 2007. The sharp rise in worker remittances, which increased by 15.8 per cent to US $ 2,501 million, helped contain the current account deficit in 2007.

13.During the year, a remarkable increase was also seen in the foreign inflows to the government and foreign direct investment. This was mainly due to the government raising US dollars 500 million from its debut international bond issue and allowing investment by foreigners in Treasury bonds up to a sum of 10 per cent of the outstanding Treasury Bond stock. Increased inflows to the capital and financial accounts helped record a projected surplus in the overall Balance of Payments of around US dollars 550 million, in 2007. It may be noted that the successful completion of Sri Lanka’s debut international bond issue was a remarkable achievement as this bond was issued in the midst of several political and economic challenges. The country’s external reserves increased to US dollars 3,062 million in 2007.

14.The fiscal strategy of the Government continued to be in the direction enunciated in the “Mahinda Chintana” policy document, which was the forerunner to the “Ten-year Vision” framework of the Government. The gradual reduction of the overall budget deficit to a sustainable level is the centrepiece of the fiscal policy framework. The government debt to GDP ratio continued to decline to 86 per cent by end 2007. The revenue to GDP ratio has continued in its favourable trend for the third consecutive year in 2007, thereby confirming the success of the strenuous efforts made by the Government. Strengthening tax administration further, streamlining tax incentives and exemptions, enhancing tax compliance and strengthening enforcement would be among the major policy actions that need to be pursued with commitment over the next few years as well.

15.In 2007, the Central Bank took several measures to strengthen and improve the efficiency of the financial sector, improve risk management and enhance access to finance. With these initiatives, the outlook for financial system stability remains favourable, as the capacity of the financial system to withstand and manage risks at the institutional and infrastructure level is being continuously strengthened (S ource: Central Bank).

5. Government

16.Before the colonial period, Sri Lanka was a monarchy. Thereafter administrative and governmental reforms were introduced under the Portuguese, Dutch and British rulers. According to the recommendations of the Colebrook-Cameron Commission, the Executive Council and the Legislative Council- the first legislative bodies of colonial Ceylon - were set up by the Governor, Sir Robert Horton, in 1833. Universal Franchise was granted in 1931.

17.Sri Lanka regained its independence from the British in 1948. A Westminster system of parliamentary governance was then installed under the Soulbury Constitution of 1948. In 1972, a Republican Constitution was adopted with a single legislative body, the National State Assembly, the executive power being vested in the Prime Minister and a President as the Constitutional Head of State. Following, the enactment of a new Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in 1978, an Executive Presidential form of Government was introduced. The President is both Chief Executive as well as Head of State, and is elected directly in a national vote for a 6-year term of office.

18.The supreme national legislative body is the Parliament. It consists of 225 members. Sri Lanka enjoys a multiparty system and representatives of many political parties are in the present Parliament representing varying political philosophies, approaches as well as different communities and religions.

19.The 1978 Constitution introduced a radical departure to the previously existing electoral system and electoral districts. The previous system was based on constituencies with individual candidates nominated by recognized political parties or independent candidates. The candidate obtaining the highest number of votes in respect of the constituency was declared elected. This system, commonly described as the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, was changed in 1978 into a system of proportional representation.

20.Sri Lanka is divided into nine provinces to be administered by a Governor, appointed by the President and a Chief Minister and Board of Ministers, who are elected.

21.The people of Sri Lanka have succeeded in maintaining strong democratic traditions with regular elections since independence. Voter participation at elections is generally high and at the last general election in 2005 it was 75 per cent.

22.The overall authority for the conduct of the elections is vested in the Commissioner General of Elections which is an independent office under the Parliamentary Elections Act as amended. The 17th Amendment to the Constitution introduced a set of new provisions to the Constitution described as Chapter XIV A. Article 103, paragraph 1, of this chapter provides that there shall be an Election Commission consisting of five members appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The President is also empowered to nominate one such member as the Chairman of the Commission, also on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The Commissioner General of Elections continues to exercise the powers and functions vested in the Election Commission in terms of an interim provision contained in section 27 (2) of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.

23.The conduct of the election in respect of each electoral district is entrusted to a person designated as the “Returning Officer” who, in turn appoints a Presiding Officer to be in charge of each polling station within his electoral district.

24.The counting of votes and the declaration of results at general elections is contained in Part IV of the Parliamentary Elections Act. A Returning Officer of the district is in charge of the count within such a district and is empowered to appoint a counting officer to be in charge of each counting centre (section 49). The Returning Officer declares the result in terms of section 60 of the Act.

25.Sri Lanka has the practice of inviting foreign election observers to ensure free and fair elections.

6. Social infrastructure

26.Sri Lanka’s achievements in the area of social infrastructure are well recognized. Sri Lanka’s education and health indicators such as high literacy, maternal and infant mortality rates and life expectancy have shown a steady improvement over the years and have reached levels comparable even to high-income countries. The intervention of successive governments since independence to maintain universal access to free health care and education and to implement comprehensive social welfare safety net programmes have provided the foundation to realize these achievements. Programmes such as Janasaviya, Food Stamps and the present Samurdhi Scheme were not conceived purely as measures of social welfare; however in their totality, they have helped citizens of the country to realize their full potential consistent with the enjoyment of fundamental rights, including political and civil rights, economic, social and cultural rights, as well as the right to development. State policies have also helped to reduce income disparities among different socio-economic groups in the country. The Human Development Report 2006 of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) places Sri Lanka at 93 on the human development index (HDI) significantly above other States in the South Asian region.

27.It is a little known fact that throughout the years of conflict, humanitarian and developmental needs of the civilian population of the North and the East, including in conflict areas, were continuously met by the Government of Sri Lanka together with some assistance from the donor community. The administrative machinery including the free national health, education and infrastructure facilities in conflict areas are continuing to be maintained by the Government despite the fact that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) siphons off such funding for its own illegal purposes.

Education

28.The education system of Sri Lanka is renowned for having achieved near universal primary education and high levels of literacy. Successive Governments since independence have maintained high levels of expenditure on education, averaging about 5 per cent of GNP or more than 15 per cent of total government expenditure. This has resulted in adult literacy rising from 58 per cent in 1946 to 78 per cent in 1971, to 86 per cent in 1984 and to 89.3 per cent in 1992. The literacy rate for 2003/04 was 92.5 per cent comparable for males and females alike.

29.An important outcome of provision of free education is that for the first time, the large masses of people in the rural areas had access to education. After 1960, most of the entrants to the universities were from schools in the rural areas. As a result, people from the rural areas and the underprivileged have had greater access to jobs, thereby contributing to greater social equity as well as a more equitable distribution of income as a wider segment of the population gained access to employment and higher incomes.

30.Quantifying the benefits of the free education system is a complex process. However, there is little doubt that the broad-basing of literacy and civic awareness through free education is a prerequisite for enhancing the quality of life of the population and promoting democratic governance and public accountability. Free education has also contributed substantially to the other achievements of Sri Lanka in health, including fertility reduction and gender empowerment, which in turn has led to increasing productivity in various sectors of the economy.

31.The development of the education system to explore new frontiers of knowledge and match it with dynamic needs of the labour market is vital to achieve sustainable high economic growth and development. Key issues in the education system related to equity, quality, efficiency and effectiveness, are incorporated in the Ten-year Vision framework which plans to transform the education system into one that will promote both knowledge and technological skills required for rapid economic growth and development, as well as promoting values, and attitudes needed for building social peace and harmony.

Health care

32.The national health policy of Sri Lanka from the early 1950s has been governed by a commitment to provide comprehensive and free health care to the entire population. This policy has applied to both preventive and curative programmes. Successive Governments have maintained reasonably high levels of expenditure on health, averaging about 6 per cent of total government expenditure until the 1970s. In 1982, about 1.3 per cent of GNP (Gross national product) or 3.2 per cent of total expenditure was on health. The expenditure on health services rose from Rs. 50.2 million in the financial year 1949/50 to Rs. 104 million in 1956/57 and to Rs. 210 million in 1968/69. In 1974 the amount spent was Rs. 288.9 million and in 1984 Rs. 1,751 million. As noted in the Human Development Report 1995, public expenditure on health as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1990 was 1.8 per cent and percentage of (GDP) in 2003 was 1.6 %. In 2006, the total health budget increased by 29 per cent to Rs. 58 billion, about 2 per cent of the GDP.

33.It is generally recognized that free medical care contributed to an appreciable decline in the death rate from the late 1940s. Today, Sri Lanka has probably one of the lowest death rates among developing countries. Improved medical care has contributed to an increase in life expectancy in the country. For both males and females life expectancy has increased appreciably. In 1946, life expectancy for males was only 43.9 years, by 1953 it had risen to 61.9 years, to 66.9 years in 1977 and by 1984 to 67.5 years. In 2004 life expectancy was 74.3 years according to the Human Development Report. The life expectancy rate for females has been slightly higher throughout and in 2004 it was 77 years.

34.Similarly, the infant mortality rate has fallen from 264 per thousand in 1935 to 140 per thousand in 1950, to 46 per thousand in 1973 and to 33 per thousand in 1984. The Human Development Report 1995 registered the infant mortality rate in Sri Lanka as 18 per thousand live births in 1992 and 12 per thousand live births in 2004.

35.Two distinctive aspects of Sri Lanka’s health system are that while it has an extensive coverage of the population through primary health-care facilities staffed by paramedical workers, it also provides a strong back-up referral system of clinics and hospitals staffed by both physicians and paramedical workers. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have focused on the primary health-care strategy of Sri Lanka as a cost-effective and successful model for developing countries to emulate.

36.Free health care based on the primary health-care system has led to the expansion and the availability of medical services and very high health awareness in all parts of the country. Along with free education, the Government has continued the development of medical schools that have maintained high standards and has provided the basis for the advancement of medical education and research. Sri Lanka has been able to develop a functional partnership of health work infrastructure combining governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental institutions to project and implement an island-wide primary health-care network which is perhaps unique in the developing world.

37.Furthermore, the Western-type health-care system coexists with a government regulated system of traditional Ayurvedic medicine. All economic groups make use of the Ayurvedic system. The traditional system complements the Western-type health facilities and has broadened the choice for the consumer.

38.The health sector Master Plan covering 2007 - 2016 highlights the policy and strategic framework for developing an innovative health-care system in the country. The policy ensures easy access to quality and modern healthcare services for all with emphasis on needs of the lower income groups and those most vulnerable in the society. There are 606 government hospitals with 61,835 beds in the country, which accounts to 3.1 beds per 1,000 persons. There were 9,648 qualified doctors in the state health sector, a doctor for every 2,061 persons and 20,549 qualified nurses, a nurse for every 968 persons. The health policy framework also recognizes the role of the private sector for providing an efficient and cost effective healthcare service. Sri Lanka has been successful in controlling communicable diseases such as malaria, encephalitis, measles, polio, leprosy, etc. Several health projects were in progress in 2006. A modern blood bank was set up. An ultra modern Neuro Trauma Treatment unit is under construction at the National Hospital, Colombo. A “Linear Accelerator” for cancer treatment has been established at Maharagama. Under the post-tsunami reconstruction programme 285 projects have been identified for development. A total of 97 projects had been completed by end 2006. In the budget 2007, it has been proposed to upgrade all health centres in the estate sector as a special project. Under the Suwa Udana programme, mobile health clinics as well as health promotion and educational programmes, were conducted at divisional levels. Further, action has been taken to upgrade 17 hospitals located in rural areas. The “amazing health infrastructure” of Sri Lanka was complimented by WHO as ensuring that there were no epidemics and no victim was left uncovered, during the unprecedented Tsunami crisis in 2004.

Housing

39.Sri Lanka had taken the lead in highlighting the international importance of housing through such initiatives as 1987 as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless Year (IYSH) which was adopted by the United Nations.

40.The long-term housing development policy, as indicated in the Ten-year Vision, envisages meeting a large part of the backlog and growing demand for houses. The policy aims at providing government assistance for needy groups as well as ensuring planned human settlements.There are several government institutions engaged in facilitating housing development for targeted groups.The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA), the main public sector institution that implements housing programmes especially targeting low‑income households, has introduced several new housing programmes. NHDA completed 46,021 housing units under various housing development programmes in 2006. Real Estate Exchange Ltd. (REEL) is planning to uplift the living standards of shanty dwellers of about 66,000 in urban centres within the next 10 years by providing them with better housing and other infrastructure facilities. The REEL has initiated construction of 910 housing units during 2006.

Social equity and social protection programmes

41.Sri Lanka enjoys the most extensive social protection coverage in the South Asian region. Safety net programmes are aimed at helping the low income families to cope with poverty. The Samurdhi programme is the main safety net programme currently implemented by the Government to support the poor to maintain their living standards, while also helping them to emerge from poverty. The Samurdhi programme was further strengthened in 2006. The Samurdhi Authority of Sri Lanka (SASL) launched various income generation programmes, community development programmes as well as capacity building programmes during the year to support the Samurdhi beneficiaries to escape from poverty and low standard of living. The Janapubudu programme issued 97,068 loans amounting to Rs. 1,369 million to finance small scale enterprises. The Gampubudu programme aimed at upgrading infrastructure facilities of villages, the Diriya Piyasa to address the shelter problem of the beneficiaries and the agricultural development programmes to increase the income levels of beneficiaries were implemented by the SASL in 2006. The cash grants to Samurdhi beneficiaries were increased by 50 per cent in 2006. The value of nutrition pack given to pregnant women was increased to Rs. 500 and a special nutrition programme was launched for children of Samurdhi and other under-privileged families through the supply of a glass of fresh milk daily to each child aged between 2 to 5. Safety net programmes need to be further streamlined aiming at empowering the poor to extend their contribution to the development of the economy. Population in conflict affected areas also has to be protected by providing effective relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction services.

42.Compared to several other developing countries, Sri Lanka has been successful in achieving reasonable levels of income distribution and raising the living standards of the poorer section of the community, thereby harmonizing limited economic growth with redistribution. The use of conventional statistical indicators such as growth rates and per capita income to assess the progress of Sri Lanka seems to be inadequate in the light of achievements in social welfare and income distribution. What is of significance in the case of Sri Lanka is that there has been equitable distribution of income promoting equality even as a relatively poor country.

43.Government policies in the past three decades have contributed to the transference of income to the domestic agricultural sector in many ways including extensive land reform, government resettlement and land distribution, etc.

44.The wages of plantation workers, in the earlier period, were always lower than those of their counterparts in the urban areas. However, family income in the estate sector was considerably higher than in the rural sector. Affirmative action deriving from the general welfare policies of the Government was responsible for this. Although the estate population, as a whole, has been poor, subsidies and government welfare expenditure have helped to sustain reasonable levels of nutrition and health standards. Furthermore, plantation workers have been assured of work throughout the year, unlike in other occupations where there is greater uncertainty in regard to the number of days of work available.

45.Changes in income and the ownership of wealth have also been effected through tenurial reforms and the creation of institutions for the development of agriculture. The Paddy Lands Act of 1958 constituted a significant landmark in rural rehabilitation and economic development. The system of tenure of paddy lands which prevailed before 1958 had been in operation in Sri Lanka from time immemorial. Of the total paddy land, nearly 400,000 acres were cultivated by 300,000 tenant farmers. The system of tenancy that prevailed before was unsatisfactory because adequate incentives for cultivation were lacking in view of the fact that landlords ultimately received the bulk of the crop, very often even without bearing any part of the cost of production. The Paddy Lands Act gave security of tenure to tenant farmers. The Act has, to some extent, relieved indebtedness because farmers have enjoyed a bigger share of the crop and have been in a better position to repay their debts.

46.The diffusion of wealth has figured as a vital component of economic policy in Sri Lanka because income from property has constituted a major share of total income. Hitherto, property had been owned by a relatively small segment of the total population. When the first phase of the land reform programme was initiated in 1972 only some 5,000 landowners in a population of 13 million were affected by the ceiling on land ownership. These figures are an index of the concentration of land ownership. In the rural areas, paddy lands constituted the most important form of wealth and about 33 per cent of these lands were cultivated by tenant farmers who did not own the land. This implied that the bulk of the paddy lands in the country were owned by cultivators.

47.The concentration of economic power that arose from the ownership of land weakened with the introduction of land reform in 1972. Land reform was found necessary to diffuse the ownership of land and property in order to provide a base for the further development of the country’s agricultural economy. The Land Reform Law of 1972 stipulated a ceiling on the amount of agricultural land which could be owned by persons in Sri Lanka. The ceiling was 25 acres of paddy land or 50 acres of other agricultural land. After 26 August 1972, any land owned in excess of this ceiling was automatically vested in the Land Reform Commission. The total extent of agricultural land declared to the Commission was in the region of 1.2 million acres. Of this, about 638,000 acres were under the major crops, tea, rubber, coconut and paddy. Of the declared total, the Land Reform Commission acquired under the law 559,377 acres; approximately one third of this acreage was uncultivated land, while tea accounted for nearly one fourth, rubber about 15 per cent and coconut about 10 per cent of the area under cultivation.

48.The Government income distribution strategies have been put into operation through labour legislation and the minimum wage machinery. The minimum wages are determined by the Wages Boards established under the Wages Boards Ordinance. Today there are 43 Wage Boards covering vital trades and substantial part of the working population of the country. In addition to the minimum wages determined by the Wages Boards, over the years, there were many instances of Government intervention by way of legislation or Emergency Regulations in increasing wages. The latest legislation was enacted in 2005, and consequently, each worker became entitled to a salary increase of Rs. 1,000 per month.

49.In addition to the minimum wages there are productivity linked wages such as: bonuses linked to profits/production; incentives for exceeding norms; attendance bonuses; buy back of leave; special increments etc. Some workplaces also offer fringe benefits, which include risk allowances, subsidized travel; additional holidays and leave with pay; overtime and better terms and conditions.

50.In terms of the Industrial Disputes Act, the employers and the workers in the organized sector could enter into collective agreements in order to pay higher wages than the minimum wage, and to make the workers entitled to better terms and conditions of employment.The said Act also empowers the Minister of Labour to extend the terms and conditions of employment agreed between employers and workers in certain establishments in a trade, to cover all the workers in that trade.

51.The legislation also provides protection for different contingencies the workers encounter during their employment, and after retirement. The Employees Provident Fund Scheme and the Employees Trust Fund scheme are the largest social security schemes in the country which provide coverage to all formal sector workers. The Employees Provident Fund scheme provides contributory lump-sum payment to workers at the time of retirement, total disablement etc., while the Employees Trust Fund Board provides benefits at the time of retirement, change of employment, disablement, and medical coverage for critical illnesses.

52.For the benefit of the informal sector workers contributory pension schemes, namely, Farmers Pension and Social Security Benefits Scheme, Fishermen’s Pensions scheme, tea small holders “Tea Shakthi Pension Scheme”, and for self-employed and low income earners, Pension and Social Security Scheme, are in operation.

53.In respect of female workers, maternity protection is ensured through the Maternity Benefits Ordinance and the Shop and Office Employees Act. The law provides income support, required leave and health protection to the mother and the child.

54.Since independence, successive Governments in Sri Lanka have continued policies of providing extensive benefits to all segments of the population. These have included safety net programmes, free education, free medical care and subsidized prices for public transportation and housing. Since these liberal welfare measures have been available over a long period, Sri Lanka occupies an advanced position in terms of the quality of life of the population, even as a comparatively poor country (see Physical Quality of Life index first developed by the Overseas Development Council as well as the more recent Human Development Report).

7. Post‑tsunami reconstruction

55.The 2004 Tsunami was catastrophic. It claimed 35,322 human lives, displaced over 500,000 persons, damaged or destroyed about 100,000 homes and resulted in over 150,000 persons losing their livelihoods. The cost of Tsunami damage to the economy has been estimated at around 4.5 per cent of the GDP.

56.Notwithstanding the enormous negative impacts of the Tsunami, the reconstruction process presented opportunities for building back better. The Government was able to quickly restore basic services. The power supply to affected areas was restored within two months after the Tsunami. Emergency water supplies were provided to affected areas and immediate repairs were completed. Housing, including transitional and permanent housing remains one of the most complex areas of post-tsunami reconstruction. 73,697 fully and partially damaged houses had been reconstructed by December 2007 and 13, 127 are in progress. Restoration of infrastructure is on-going. Progress of reconstruction is being monitored in order to address any inadequacies.

57.The Ministry of Health has been successful in preventing the outbreak of disease among affected populations in the initial Tsunami aftermath and over the past two years. School attendance of children previously enrolled at Tsunami damaged schools and schools damaged through use as internally displaced persons (IDP) camps was quickly normalized. Support for reconstruction of directly damaged schools was successfully mobilized and 57 per cent of schools are in various stages of construction. The Government has recently accessed funding to repair the four damaged universities. To date livelihoods restoration has been via cash grants, cash for work, asset replacement and microfinance systems.

58.Mechanisms and campaigns for strengthening the prevention of abuse, exploitation and neglect of children and women in Tsunami affected areas were developed and Disaster Relief Monitoring Units Helpdesks have been established in nine Tsunami affected districts to monitor services and address grievances.

59.A number of initiatives were launched to strengthen disaster risk management capacity at all levels including the enactment of the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Act in the Parliament in May 2005 and a Cabinet Minister being tasked with the portfolio of Disaster management. A Disaster Management framework was created that led to a policy shift from response based mechanisms to a proactive approach towards risk. At the community level, risk reduction was encouraged through awareness campaigns and a number of initiatives to encourage volunteerism in disaster management.

B. Constitutional, political and legal structure of the State

1. Constitutional, political and legal structure

60.Sri Lanka is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations. The Constitution in article 1 states that “Sri Lanka is a Free, Sovereign, Independent and Democratic Socialist Republic and shall be known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”. Upon gaining independence from Britain in 1948, Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) became a dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations, a loose alliance of mostly former British colonies. The Head of State was formerly the British monarch, represented by a Governor General.

61.In 1972 the country adopted a new Constitution that formally changed its name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka and established it as a Republic. An appointed President replaced the British monarch as the Constitutional Head of State. In 1978 Sri Lanka enacted a new Constitution that established the popular direct election of an Executive President.

62.For all its years as an independent country, Sri Lanka has had an active multiparty system, democratically elected Governments, and peaceful transfers of power. Universal adult suffrage has been in place since 1931. Women were given the right to vote as far back as 1931. The minimum voting age is 18.

63.The 1978 Constitution changed the formal name of the country from the Republic of Sri Lanka to the Democratic Socialist Republic (DSR) of Sri Lanka and established a presidential form of Government similar to that operating in France under the Fifth Republic. The Constitution contains 172 articles divided into 24 chapters. The Constitution of Sri Lanka establishes a Democratic Socialist Republic in Sri Lanka, which is also a unitary state. The Government is a mixture of the presidential system and the parliamentary system. The President of Sri Lanka is the Head of State, the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, as well as Head of Government, and is popularly elected for a six-year term. In the exercise of duties, the President is responsible to the Parliament of Sri Lanka, which is a unicameral 225‑member legislature. The President appoints and heads a Cabinet of Ministers composed of elected members of Parliament.

64.The President appoints the Prime Minister, who leads the ruling party in parliament and shares many executive responsibilities, mainly in domestic affairs.

65.Members of Parliament are elected by universal (adult) suffrage based on a modified proportional representation system by district, for a six-year term. The party that receives the largest number of valid votes in each constituency gains a unique “bonus seat”. The President may summon, prorogue, or end a legislative session and dissolve Parliament any time after it has served for one year. The Parliament reserves the power to make all laws.

66.The Constitution recognizes and guarantees a broad range of fundamental rights including: freedom of thought and conscience; religious freedom; freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex or caste; freedom of speech; basic legal protection including freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention; freedom to engage in any lawful occupation; and freedom of movement and travel. These rights are guaranteed to stateless persons who have been resident in Sri Lanka for 10 years following promulgation of the Constitution. Exercise of the fundamental rights, however, can be restricted in situations where national security is at risk or when the otherwise lawful actions of persons (such as speech or publication) detract from racial or religious harmony or endanger “public health and morality.” As per article 15, paragraph 7, exercise and operation of all the fundamental rights declared and recognized by articles 12, 13, paragraphs 1 and 2, and 14 shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national security, public order and the protection of public health or morality, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, or of meeting the just requirements of the general welfare of a democratic society.

67.The Constitution contains a section devoted to directive principles of state policy. These encompass a broad range of policy goals, including the establishment of a “democratic socialist society” and a just distribution of wealth; economic development; and the raising of cultural and educational standards. The directive principles also include a commitment of decentralizing the country’s administration and promoting national unity by eliminating all forms of discrimination. The duties of citizens (including the fostering of national unity) are also enumerated.

68.Amendment of the Constitution requires the vote of two-thirds of Parliament. In addition, measures that affect “the independent, unitary, and democratic nature of the State,” the Buddhist religion, fundamental rights, or the length of the term of office of President or Parliament must be approved by a popular referendum. Bills judged “inconsistent with the Constitution” cannot become law unless two-thirds of Parliament approve.

69.Under the Constitution, the highest court is the Supreme Court, headed by a Chief Justice and eleven associate judges. The Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court judges are appointed by the President. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judges can be removed on grounds of incompetence or misdemeanour by a majority of Parliament, whereas High Court judges can be removed only by the Judicial Service Commission consisting of the Chief Justice and two Supreme Court judges. The Supreme Court has the power of judicial review of Bills; it can determine whether an Act of Parliament is consistent with the principles of the Constitution and whether a referendum must be taken on a Bill.

70.Sri Lanka has the framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Sri Lanka is both Head of State and Head of Government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the Government. Legislative power is vested in Parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the Executive and the Legislature.

71.The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution which came into effect on 19 November 1987 provides for a considerable degree of devolution to the Provincial Councils. The Thirteenth Amendment (Ninth Schedule) provides for three lists of subjects and functions, for purposes of devolution, i.e. Provincial Council List, List reserved by the Centre and the Concurrent List. Every Provincial Council may, subject to the provisions of the Constitution, make statutes applicable to the Province for which it is established, with respect to any matter set out in the Provincial Council List. Parliament may make laws with respect to any matter set out in the Concurrent List after such consultation with all Provincial Councils as Parliament may consider appropriate in the circumstances of each case. A Provincial Council has no power to make statutes on any matter set out in the Reserved List.

72.On 22 January 2008, the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) identified a course of action to achieve maximum and effective devolution of power to the provinces in the short term. This envisaged an interim arrangement on restoration of democratically elected Provincial Councils in the North and the East. One of the key areas identified by the APRC was that under the Thirteenth Amendment, Provincial Councils were set up throughout Sri Lanka and powers were devolved to the Council under a Provincial List and a Concurrent List.

73.The APRC observed that the implementation of subjects and functions devolved on the provinces through the Concurrent List had not taken place due to the fact that most of these subjects and functions were retained by the Centre as if they also belonged to the Reserved List which contained subjects and functions exclusively assigned to the Centre. Although the Constitution under article 154 had envisaged a consultative process between the Provincial Councils and the Centre with regard to devolution of powers under the Concurrent List, there had been shortcomings. Accordingly, the APRC recommended that the Government should endeavour to implement the ThirteenthAmendment in respect of legislative, executive and administrative powers overcoming these existing shortcomings. The APRC also recommended immediate elections for the Provincial Council in the Eastern Province. Accordingly nominations for Provincial Council Elections in the East have been fixed for 27 March 2008. It was also recommended, taking into account the existing conditions in the Northern Province, an alternative arrangement for the people in that part of the island to enjoy the fruits of devolution through an interim council that reflects the ethnic character of the area and which will aid and advise the Governor.

2. Statutory and customary law

74.Sri Lanka has been subject to centuries of Portuguese, Dutch and British domination. From the time of independence in 1948, the legal system of Sri Lanka has developed into a rich, varied complex system comprising a mixture of Roman Dutch law which is the Common Law, the English law which applies in commercial matters and personal laws namely Muslim Law, Kandyan Law, and Thesavalamai law (Jaffna Tamils). The basis of Criminal Law and procedure is the English common law included in statutory provisions, while the basis for resolving civil matters is governed by Roman Dutch Law. After Sri Lanka was colonized by the British Empire, British laws were gradually applied throughout the nation. Sri Lanka has an adversarial system of justice. The Attorney-General is the principal law officer of the State. Sir Richard Ottley, Chief Justice, in 1830 answering a question addressed to him by a Royal Commission of Inquiry said that the laws, in the Island are multifarious”. In Casim vs. Dingihamy (1906) 9 NLR at p. 274, Middleton PJ, it was mentioned that “Ceylon is a polygenous country with diverse systems of law”. In any such legal system there are bound to be some disparities in the interplay of different legal principles and values.

75.In 1997, the Government introduced legislation to the effect that no marriage will be valid unless both parties to the marriage have completed 18 years of age. However, the provision regarding consent to the marriage of a minor was not changed. Courts have interpreted the law to effect an absolute prohibition on the marriage of any person who has not completed the age of 18. The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) forwards complaints regarding underage marriages to the Registrar General to take action against Registrars who solemnize these marriages. The Registrar General has issued a circular to all Registrars of Marriages to check the intended partners’ identity cards or birth certificates to ascertain the age (Age of Majority (Amendment) Act No. 17 of 1989).

76.Thus no person under the age of 18 can contract a legal marriage even with the consent of the parents or guardians. This has given rise to some social problems since there are instances where girls and boys under the age of 18 have sexual intercourse with the consent of both parties, sometimes resulting in pregnancy. Even where the parties are willing to marry in such cases the law presently in force does not allow them to do so and reports from the police indicate that the girl is left with an illegitimate child and left to manage all attendant social, financial and other problems on her own.

77.Sri Lankan law decrees that a man who has sexual intercourse with a woman with or without her consent when she is under 16 years of age commits rape, unless the woman is his wife who is over 12 years of age and is not judicially separated from him. The reference to 12 year-old here is a result of the Muslim Customary Law which allows a woman of 12 to contract a legal marriage.

78.Under the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, which is a codification of customary Muslim laws and practices, it is not necessary to obtain in writing the consent of a Muslim bride.

79.Therefore though the law conforms to international standards regarding the minimum age for marriage except in the case of Muslims, there are attendant problems that call for considered action and resolution, while taking into account the sensitivities of particular ethnic or religious groups.

80.The Sri Lankan legal system has long recognized the equality of married women being able to enjoy the status of an equal partner (femme sole) in terms of full rights relating to ownership of property independent of their spouses and also independent capacity to contract. Non-discrimination on the grounds of sex is a seminal principle underlying the corpus of human rights law in Sri Lanka. In the area of inheritance, some discrimination against women still exists in certain personal laws, entrenched in the customs, traditions and culture of the various ethnic groups of Sri Lanka.Several initiatives taken by the Government to create awareness on the subject as a prelude to changing the personal law has met with resistance from those very ethnic groups.

3. Administration of justice

81.The structure of the Courts of Law:

(a)Supreme Court;

(b)Court of Appeal;

(c)High Court exercising Civil Appellate Jurisdiction;

(d)High Court exercising original criminal jurisdiction;

(e)District Courts;

(f)Magistrate’s Courts;

(g)Primary Courts.

82.The Constitution prescribes in article 105 that institutions for the administration of justice which protect and enforce the rights of the people, shall be the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and the other courts of first instance, tribunals or such institutions as Parliament may from time to time establish. The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal are each a superior court of record.

83.Articles 107-117 of the Constitution contain provisions guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary. They provide, inter alia, for the appointment of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and every other judge of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, by the President. Every such judge holds office during “good behaviour” and shall not be removed except by an order of the President, made after an address of Parliament, supported by the majority of the total number of the members of the Parliament, has been presented to the President for such removal on a finding of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

84.For further details on the constitution of the above courts, judges, appointment procedure, jurisdiction of courts, sittings, rules of courts, etc. please see Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms website: www.justiceministry.gov.lk.

Human rights

85.The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights was established in terms of the gazette notification issued on 20 February 2006. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs works in close coordination with the Human Rights Ministry in promoting human rights in the country and also coordinate in activities with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other international and regional human rights institutions.

86.Please see Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms website: www.justiceministry.gov.lk for the following additional information:

(a)Development of Human Rights in Sri Lanka;

(b)Constitution of 1972;

(c)Constitution of 1978;

(d)Fundamental Rights recognized in the Constitution;

(e)Language Rights;

(f)Institutions responsible for the protection and promotion of Fundamental Rights;

(g)Proposed reforms.

Sri Lanka police service

87.Please see the official website of the Sri Lanka Police service (www.police.lk) for a comprehensive, history, organizational chart, crime statistics and also information concerning their Human Rights Division, Women and Child Bureau, etc.

88.The Sri Lanka Police has placed great emphasis in recent years on striving to enhance capacity building and the professionalism of the Service. The importance of policing in any peace process is widely acknowledged.

89.Swedish assistance was sought and a programme to enhance capacity in civilian policing, crime scene investigation and related areas was initiated in 2005. Training in human rights and professionalism is given high priority. Another important area of focus is community policing and training in aspects of community policing has been undertaken in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

90.In January 2008 a newly built child-friendly District Head Office for the Children and Women’s Bureau in Anuradhapura was handed over to the Police. It will become the coordinating head office of the Children and Women Desks of 23 police stations in the district. It was built with the assistance of non-governmental organizations (NGO) involving all stakeholders.

91.Yet another significant step in the 141 year old history of the Sri Lanka Police was taken recently when the Service welcomed its first ever batch of Tamil stream Police at a passing out parade of 175 new police constables (125 men and 50 women) trained at the Kallady Police Training College in Batticaloa. The college is the first training school to be established In the Eastern Province of the country. This batch of recruits were Tamil Sri Lankans from Batticaloa and Ampara Districts, the first recruits taken specifically from these areas and trained in the Tamil medium. They were deployed back into their communities.

92.It has been a matter of regret in recent years that the Sri Lankan security forces have not been clearly multi-ethnic in composition. Though applications have always been called from all citizens of the country, for various reasons, including diffidence caused by previous language policies, very few Tamils have joined in the recent past. More recently, there have been fears amongst Tamils, given the strategy of terrorist groupsthat Tamils serving in security forces were specifically to be targets of attack, being denigrated as traitors. Tamil officers serving in the Department were threatened by the LTTE to force them to leave the service, and renewed attempts by the Government to recruit Tamil officers to the service did not have desired results. It seemed likely then that Sri Lanka’s proud record of a multi-ethnic police force, with two recent Inspectors General of Police being Tamil, would not easily to be maintained.

93.The Government however is committed to the attainment of such objective and in the short term it is certainly essential to have Tamil officers serving in Police Stations in North and East as per the ratio of the population in the respective areas. Another important aspect is to give an opportunity to Tamil youth in these areas to serve their own communities, which will more easily allow the force to show the required concern and commitment. These new training policies are in keeping with the commitment of the Government to fully implement the official languages policy, and develop confidence in all citizens that they are full stakeholders in government institutions. They will provide the backbone of the reawakening that the Government brings to the East now, and which it is hoped will soon be extended to the North.

94.Training of these new recruits commenced on 8 October 2007 at Kallady Training Centre and the trainees were provided four months of training which included community policing aspects and language training. The intake of Tamil youths into the service, to transform them into sensitive and skilled Police officers for work in their respective areas, will immensely help the full implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution which the Government has decided on. The next intake of 250 men and women will take place shortly and a similar programme would also shortly target the Estate Sector area in the middle of the country too.

Legal Aid Commission

95.The Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka was established by Law, No. 27 of 1978. The Commission comprises nine members, three of whom are appointed by the Minister of Justice and six members nominated by the Bar Council of Sri Lanka. The Legal Aid Commission offers legal aid to the needy people island wide irrespective of nationality, cast, creed, religion, locality or political affinity.

96.The Legal Aid Commission gives legal advice and provides representation in litigation and assistance for and on behalf of deserving persons including the services of Attorneys-at-Law and also other assistance as may be necessary for the conduct of legal proceedings. The powers and functions of the Legal Aid Commission include areas such as research in respect of legal aid, making of submissions to law reform agencies both in Sri Lanka and abroad and also to the State, provision of information to the public on the availability of legal aid, cooperating with institutions and bodies responsible for the education and training of persons providing legal aid, etc.

97.The Legal Aid Commission at its inception carried out its functions on a small state grant supplemented with limited funding from funding agencies. However, the year 2006 ushered in a new era for legal aid with the Commission receiving for the first time an enhanced grant of Rs. 27 million from the State. Additional funds were also received from certain funding sources.

98.The number of Legal Aid centres increased in 2006 from a mere 12 to 33 and further in 2007. The introduction of developmental legal aid desks and the legal aid page in the newspapers have been two important areas in the work of the Legal Aid Commission. The statistics given below reveal the nature of cases filed in 2006.

Litigation - Summary of court cases

Pending cases brought forward from 2005

19 332

Total No. of cases filed in 2006

3 902

Total No. of cases concluded

739

No. of cases pending at end of year 2006

11 308

Source: Legal Aid Commission.

Statistics based on nature of cases 2006

Sup. Court/App. Court/High Court

390

Quazi

26

Bail

283

Maintenance

1 120

S 66/S 81 Applications/MC matters

24

Divorce

466

Victims of crime

130

Accident compensation motor traffic

331

Guardianship

20

Labour

180

Domestic violence

46

Partition

16

Land

388

Special/Miscellaneous

247

Testamentary/Child abuse 1 + 3

04

Money

231

Total

3 902

Source: Legal Aid Commission.

99.Each Legal Aid Centre has a Panel of Lawyers who are paid on a case by case by basis. The developmental legal aid is a novel concept concentrating on sectors of society that need special protection. Thus the Legal Aid Commission has the following desks:

(a)Traditional desks:

Human Rights Bureau;

Prisoners Rights Desk;

Apprentices Training Programme Desk;

Bench and Bar Programme and Young Lawyers Training Programme Desk;

Awareness Programme for Public, Janadiviyata Neethiya Programme Desk;

(b)Newly introduced Developmental Legal Aid Desks:

Migrants Workers Rights Desk;

School Programme Desk (Awareness Programmes, Essay Competition, Establishment of Legal Circles etc.);

Women Rights Desk;

Child Rights Desk;

Elders Rights Desk;

Anti-Corruption Desk;

Internally Displaced Persons Desk (2007);

Labour and Industrial Disputes Desk (2007);

Consumer Protection Desk;

Disabled Persons Rights Desk;

Additionally there is a desk comprising lawyer who handle the question/answer pages of the Daily News and Lankadeepa news papers.

100.Thus in totality there are 16 desks established in the head office. Their work is implemented via the head-office and island wide centres.

Witness protection

101.Intensive work involved in drafting national legislation on Assistance and Protection for Victims and Witnesses of Crime began in mid 2006. The Attorney-General’s Department, presented a preliminary draft of a proposed bill to the Law Commission of Sri Lanka in late 2006. Consultations were held with a number of stakeholders and the Law Commission began considering the proposals in early 2007. The preliminary draft bill went through a number of modifications and since then a cabinet paper submitted by the President has been approved by the Cabinet. The Legal Draftsman has sent the draft bill to the Ministry of Justice which is in the process of finalizing it. It is expected to be enacted in the near future.

102.It is important to note that Victim and Witness Assistance and Protection programmes established by legislation are a rare phenomenon in the context of developing countries. Such systems have been introduced in the developed world in the last two decades, with the allocation of high levels of resources and funding which developing countries can ill afford. It is therefore significant that Sri Lanka, a developing country, facing terrorism and all the consequent problems associated with combating it, is striving to ensure thathuman rights and the rule of law prevails and is making every possible effort to introduce such a system.

103.The Bill seeks to establish a National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crime and Witness and an Advisory Commission. The Authority is charged with the duty of promoting inter alia, the recognition of, and respect for, the rights and entitlements of victims of crime and witnesses and protecting such rights and entitlements.

104.A high powered Advisory Commission on Victims of Crime and Witnesses is established to advise the Board and the Director General of the Authority on the policy and overall direction to be adopted by the Authority, the general performance and discharge of duties and functions of the Authority and the manner in which the duties and functions of the Authority should be given effect to.

105.The Bill seeks to establish the Victims of Crime and Witnesses Assistance and Protection Division of the Sri Lanka Police Department.

106.The Bill also seeks to establish the Victims of Crime and Witnesses Protection Fund for the purpose of paying compensation to victims of crime, dependants of victims of crime who had died as a result of such crime, and for the purpose of paying the expenses incurred by a victim of crime in receiving medical treatment and necessary assistance, and also for the purpose of paying monies necessary to provide protection and for the performance and discharge of the functions of the Authority under the Act.

4. Non-governmental organizations

107.The National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organization was established to ensure that all the NGOs which are functioning in Sri Lanka are duly registered. Since NGOs were expected to play a complementary role to that of the Government, and in recognition of its selfless nature, the presence and operation of NGOs was welcomed by the Government.

108.There were, however, no specific laws and regulations governing the operation of NGOs in Sri Lanka. In 1980 the Government enacted the Voluntary Social Services Organizations (Registration and Supervision) Act which sought to introduce a system of registration and supervision of activities of NGOs. However, this Act was not strictly implemented and the registration of NGOs was not strictly followed.

109.Following public concerns and complaints against certain NGOs by their employees, in 1990, the thenPresident appointed a Commission to go into the activities of NGOs and to make recommendations for their proper functioning. Pursuant to the recommendations made by this Commission, regulations were passed under the Public Security Ordinance obligating compulsory registration of NGOs which have a turnover of Rs. 50,000 and above. However, with the lapse of the Emergency Regulations, this system too lapsed. In 1995 the Ministry of Health, Highways and Social Services proposed certain amendments to the 1980 Act. The draft legislation provided for the establishment of an NGO Advisory Council and appointment of Interim Boards of Management to administer the affairs of NGOs. In 1998 the draft legislation was approved by the Parliament. (Act No. 8 of 1998). A Secretariat for NGOs was established in 1996 in the Ministry of Health, Highways and Social Services.

110.A Parliamentary Select committee is inquiring into a range of allegations against NGOs/international non-governmental organizations (INGO) particularly relating to irregular disbursement of funds intended for Tsunami victims. The NGO secretariat is presently functioning under the purview of the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare. Please see the NGO secretariat website www.ngosecretariat.gov.lk for details.

II.GENERAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROMOTION andPROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

A. Acceptance of international human rights norms

1. Core human rights instruments and their optional protocols

111.Sri Lanka has become a party to all seven core international human rights instruments and several optional protocols. Please see information on the status of ratification at annex I.

Reservations and declarations

112.Sri Lanka has made declarations in respect of three conventions as follows (see http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/ratification/1.htm).

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

113.Sri Lanka is a State party to the above Convention (entry into force 1 July 2003) which seeks to ensure minimum international guarantees relating to the human rights of migrant workers and their families. However, major labour recipient countries are yet to become parties to this Convention. Since Sri Lanka is a labour exporting country, it is vital in the interest of Sri Lankan migrants that labour recipient countries accede to the above Convention in order to ensure a strong legal framework for the protection of the rights of migrant workers through adherence to international minimum standards.

114.Sri Lanka has made following declaration:

Article 8, paragraph 2

“The right of non-Sri Lankans to enter and remain in Sri Lanka shall be subject to existing visa regulations.”

Article 29

“According to the Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948, citizenship rights flow from the father and in the event a child is born out of wedlock, from the mother. A child will be deemed to be a citizen of Sri Lanka if he and his father were born in Sri Lanka before 1.11.49 or if at the time of his birth the father was a Sri Lankan.” This position is now changed by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act No. 16 of 2003. This Act recognizes the right of a mother who is a Sri Lankan citizen to pass citizenship to her children irrespective of the nationality of the father. Hitherto, only a father could pass Sri Lankan citizenship to his children. According to the Act, children born even before the passing of the legislation but after November 15, 1948 will have the right to Sri Lanka citizenship even if only the mother is a Sri Lankan citizen.

Article 49

“Resident visas to expatriate workers are allowed in respect of identified professions where there is a dearth of qualified personnel. Existing visa regulations do not permit migrant workers either to change their professions or the institutions in which they have been authorized to work, which is the basis on which the visa is issued.”

Article 54

“Protection against dismissal, quantum of remuneration, period of employment, etc., are governed by the terms of individual contracts entered into between the worker and the organization which employs him. A visa issued to an expatriate worker under the visa regulations is limited to a pre-identified job assignment.”

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict

115.The following declaration has been made:

“The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka [...] declares in accordance with article 3 (2) of the Protocol that under the laws of Sri Lanka:

(a)There is no compulsory, forced or coerced recruitment into the national armed forces;

(b)Recruitment is solely on a voluntary basis;

(c)The minimum age for voluntary recruitment into national armed forces is 18 years.”

Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

116.Sri Lanka was one of the few countries in the Asian region to become a party to the Optional Protocol. In 1997 Sri Lanka acceded to the Optional Protocol as the Government was committed to continue to honour its international treaty obligations in the area of human rights, including the Optional Protocol.

117.The declaration made by Sri Lanka at the time of accession is as follows:

“The Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka pursuant to article 1 of the Optional Protocol recognize the competence of the Human Rights Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals subject to the jurisdiction of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, who claim to be victims of a violation of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant which results either from acts, omissions, developments or events occurring after the date on which the Protocol entered into force for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka or from a decision relating to acts, omissions, developments or events after that date. The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka also proceeds on the understanding that the Committee shall not consider any communication from individuals unless it has ascertained that the same matter is not being examined or has not been examined under any other procedure of international investigation or settlement.”

Derogations, restrictions, or limitations

118.In Sinharasa vs. AG (SC Case 182/99), the Supreme Court in its judgement held that Sri Lanka subscribing to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1980, while per se not inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or written law of Sri Lanka, the “accession to the Covenant binds the Republic qua state, but no legislative or other measures have been taken to give effect to the rights recognized in the Covenant as envisaged in article 2. Hence the Covenant does not have internal effect and the rights under the Covenant are not rights under the law of Sri Lanka. A substantial part of the civil and political rights referred to in the Covenant have been given legislative recognition in the Constitution of Sri Lanka, as well as in certain other legislation enacted by the Parliament. Hence Sri Lanka as a State Party to the Convention took immediate steps to enact appropriate legislation to give effect to those civil and political rights referred to in the aforesaid Covenant, for which no adequate legislative recognition was hitherto given. Enabling legislation has been enacted to give effect to the Covenant, by way of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act No: 56 of 2007. The Supreme Court in its judgement also held that the accession to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant was unconstitutional. The Attorney-General is examining the Supreme Court judgement with a view to regularizing the position with regard to the Optional Protocol.

B.Legal framework for the protection of human rightsat the national level

1. Constitutional provisions

119.The preamble to the Constitution of Sri Lanka assures to “all peoples, freedom, equality, justice, fundamental human rights, and the independence of the judiciary, as the intangible heritage that guarantees the dignity and well-being of succeeding generations of the People of Sri Lanka, and of all the people of the world” who strive for “the creation and preservation of a just and free society”.

120.Articles 10 to 16 of the Constitution set out the fundamental rights which the people and citizens of Sri Lanka enjoy under constitutional protection. The Constitution is structured to promote and preserve the best democratic features which have gained universal acceptance. Almost all the important rights enumerated in the International Bill of Human Rights have been incorporated in the Constitution in chapter III entitled “Fundamental rights”:

(a)Article 10: Provides for freedom of thought, conscience and religion to every person in Sri Lanka;

(b)Article 11: Provides for freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

(c)Article 12: Provides that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under the law;

(d)Article 12, paragraph 3: Provides that no person shall be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment and places of worship of his own religion on grounds of race, religion, language, caste or sex;

(e)Article 14: Provides for the right of freedom of speech and expression including right to publication, freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, freedom to form and join trade unions, freedom to manifest a person’s religion or belief by practise, teaching, worship or observance, whether in public or private, freedom to promote a person’s culture and language, freedom to engage in any profession, trade, occupation, business or enterprise, freedom of movement and residence within Sri Lanka and the right of return to Sri Lanka.

121.For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, the 1978 Constitution made fundamental rights enforceable before the highest Courts in the land. Under article 126 of the Constitution the Supreme Court has the sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine any question relating to the infringement or imminent infringement by executive or administrative action of any fundamental rights declared and recognized by the Constitution (arts. 17,126). Furthermore, if in the course of any hearing, the Court of Appeal, which is next to the Supreme Court in the hierarchy of courts, is of the view that fundamental rights have been violated, then the Court is required to refer forthwith the matter for determination by the Supreme Court.

122.Where any person alleges that any fundamental right has been infringed or is about to be infringed by executive or administrative action, he may himself or by an attorney-at-law on his behalf, within one month, apply to the Supreme Court by way of a petition asking for relief or redress in respect of such infringement. The Supreme Court is vested with the power to grant such relief or make such directions as it may deem just and equitable in the circumstances. The Court has held that its jurisdiction to grant relief is very wide and extensive. Further, the Supreme Court has constantly, including in the recent past, expanded the fundamental rights jurisdiction by broad interpretations to the rights recognized in the Constitution. Article 11 of the Constitution guarantees that no person shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment while article 13, paragraph 4 provides that, no person shall be punished with death or imprisonment except by order of a competent court, made in accordance with procedure established by law. Though the right to life has not been expressly incorporated under the Constitution , Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in several important fundamental rights actions (Silva vs. Iddamalgoda, 2003 (2) SLR, 63., Wewalage Rani Fernando and others, SC (FR) No. 700/2002, SCM 26/07/2004) in recent times has implicitly recognized the right to life. Thus the provisions of Chapter III of the Constitution has been creatively interpreted by the Supreme Court on these occasions and recognized this right as an implied right guaranteed under the Constitution. The interpretation of the concept of Right to Life, was further advanced to include the right not to be “disappeared” in a judgement of the Supreme Court (Kanapathipillai Machchavalan vs. OIC, Army Camp, Plantation Point, Trincomalee and Others, SC appeal No: 90/2003, SC (Spl) L.A. No: 177/2003, SCM 31.0.2003).

123.The High Court of Sri Lanka as per article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act No. 56 of 2007, exercises jurisdiction over the enforcement of the human rights recognized under the Act. Any person aggrieved by such order made by the High Court in any petition filed under section 7 of this Act, shall have a right of appeal to the Supreme Court against such order.

124.The Constitution also empowers the Court of Appeal to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari and procedendo. The availability of such remedies acts as a powerful deterrent against the unbridled abuse and misuse of power by the State and its agencies.

2. National Human Rights Commission(See paragraphs 143 to 152 below)

3. Special protection systems

125.With the passage of enabling legislation with regard to the International Conventions signed or acceded to, special protection systems/mechanisms have been put into place, i.e. the National Child Protection Authority, Probation and Child Care Authority, Women’s Bureau, Foreign Employment Bureau, etc.

4. Sri Lanka Law Commission

126.The review of legislation already in force and the consideration of amendments or enactment of new legislation in order to bring the legal system in accordance with international standards of human rights is undertaken by the Sri Lanka Law Commission. The Commission is charged with the general duty of keeping under review the law, both substantive and procedural with a view to its systematic development and reform, the codification of the law, the elimination of anomalies, the repeal of obsolete and unnecessary enactments and generally the simplification and modernization of the law. It is also the duty of the Commission to keep under constant review the exercise by bodies other than Parliament of the power to legislate by subsidiary legislation with a view to ensuring that they conform to all established principles and to the rule of law. The question of supplementing the existing legislation in the light of Sri Lanka’s accession to international instruments relating to human rights is also considered by the Commission.

5. Proposed Human Rights Charter

127.Sri Lanka has commenced work on drafting a Human Rights Charter that will strengthen the human rights protection framework in the country and bring Sri Lanka’s human rights guarantees in line with its international obligations. The process includes engaging with community-based organizations, NGOs and members of the public. The draft Charter and the process of consultation will foster a national discourse on human rights.

6. Commission of Inquiry

128.The Commission of Inquiry Act No. 17 of 1948 provides for the appointment of commissions of inquiry into various matters. Presidential commissions of inquiry have been appointed under the terms of this act as and when significant human rights violations have been alleged to have been committed. Some recent Commissions are listed below:

(a)Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) was established by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in November 2006 to inquire into alleged serious violations of human rights occurring in Sri Lanka since August 2005;

(b)The work of the COI is observed by a group of international observers (International Independent Group of Eminent Persons, IIGEP) established in February 2007. The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) was associated with defining the mandate and terms of reference of the COI and IIGEP according to international norms and standards.

129.The work undertaken by the COI , in this regard, particularly in the absence of subject specific legislation in Sri Lanka, pioneered the development of the concept of Witness Protection and is regarded as pivotal both for the work of the COI and in the national scheme in the long term.

130.The COI has established a Victim and Witness Assistance and Protection Unit (VWAPU) which is seen as critical in terms of giving witnesses sufficient confidence in the proceedings to come forward and testify without undue hindrance, fear of reprisals, intimidation, harassment and retaliation.

131.Following the November 2006 establishment of the COI, the nomination of an International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) by February 2007 the COI developed the VWAPU by finalizing and adopting a number of constitutional documents relating to the unit as follows:

(a)The Mandate, Organizational Structure and the Rules of Procedure of the Victim and Witness Assistance and Protection Unit;

(b)The Scheme for providing Assistance and Protection to Victims and Witnesses.

132.The VWAPU is now fully staffed and also draws upon the assistance of legal advisors and a multi disciplinary team in relevant areas of expertise. They have also developed working methodologies to provide assistance and protection to victims and witnesses. The COI and staff from the VWAPU have visited several scenes of crime in the Eastern and North Central provinces where they have met with victims and witnesses and explained the scheme of assistance and protection to them.

133.A phased fast track training proposal was developed and senior members of the VWAPU were funded by the Government to undergo the first phase which involved a comprehensive training programme in NSW Australia where they were able to have practical and personal interaction with related legal/judicial and law enforcement agencies involved in assistance and protection of victims and witnesses. The training was enhanced by the fact that the members of the delegation are drawn from those working in agencies in the Criminal Justice System which have direct links with victims and witnesses i.e. the Attorney-General’s department, the Police, the Legal Aid Commission and the National Centre for Victims of Crime.

134.It is also opportune that (OHCHR) as September 2007, advised through its representative in Colombo, that in response to the initial request from the Minister of Human Rights for assistance in March 2007 and after perusing the VWAPU Phased Fast Track Programme, it was in a position to confirm support and contribute to the funding for Phase 2 of the programme. This phase envisages facilitation of a mentoring programme. Mahanama Thilakaratne Commission was established in 2006 to inquire into allegations of disappearances. The mandate given to the Commission by the President was to probe incidents of abductions, disappearances and unexplained killings throughout Sri Lanka in the recent past.

C.Framework within which human rights are promotedat the national level

1. Parliament of Sri Lanka

135.The Constitution vests the legislative power of the people in Parliament consisting of elected representatives of the people for a period of six years at a time. Parliament has the power to make laws, including laws repealing or amending the Constitution. However, certain provisions in the Constitution need the approval of the people at a referendum before they can be repealed or amended.

136.The President may from time to time summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament. However, he cannot dissolve Parliament until a year has lapsed after the previous general elections.

137.Please see the official website of the Parliament of Sri Lanka www.parliament.lk for details.

Constitutional Council

138.In terms of article 41 (A) (1) of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, the Constitutional Council should consist of the following:

(a)The Prime Minister;

(b)The Speaker of Parliament;

(c)The Leader of the Opposition;

(d)One person appointed by the President;

(e)Five persons appointed by the President, on the nomination of both the Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition;

(f)One person nominated upon agreement by the majority of the Members of Parliament belonging to political parties or independent groups other than the respective political parties or independent groups to which the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition belongs and appointed by the President.

139.The tenure of office of the members appointed under article (41) (A) (1) (e) and (f) above terminated in late 2004 and early 2005.

140.In terms of the article 41 (A) (5), the President should make the respective appointments upon receipt of written communication of the nominations by the Speaker under subparagraphs (e) and (f) above.

141.However, no nomination was received under subparagraph (f), resulting in the non‑constitution of the Constitutional Council. Therefore in April 2006, the President appointed the Public Service Commission, the National Police Commission and the National Human Rights Commission, as it was essential that these Commissions had to be operational, out of necessity to facilitate the smooth running of the administration, while upholding the rule of law.

142.A Select Committee of Parliament was appointed in July 2006 with a mandate of assessing the operation of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, and making recommendations to resolve its procedural shortcomings and further strengthening of its objectives. The Committee is still sitting and the final report is awaited. It is expected that some anomalies in the Seventeenth Amendment can be rectified, once the report is submitted to Parliament, through an amendment to the Constitution.

2. National Human Rights Commission

143.The National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) was established by the Human Rights Commission Act No. 21 of 1996 and came into operation on 1 July 2000. It is vested with monitoring, investigative and advisory powers in relation to human rights. It has been set up as a permanent national institution to investigate any infringement or imminent infringement of a fundamental right declared and recognized by the Constitution and to grant appropriate relief. The powers of the Commission will complement the existing national framework for the protection of human rights. Unlike Supreme Court jurisdiction, there are no time limits for filing a complaint before the National Human Rights Commission.

144.The Commission has a network of 10 Regional offices to facilitate the discharge of its functions throughout the island. It has developed a Strategic Plan 2007-2009 which gives priority to:

(a)To protect human rights and uphold the rule of law, strengthen the monitoring mechanisms through efficient and effective visiting mechanisms, various fact finding missions, researches, public hearings, meetings, etc.;

(b)To improve and adopt new investigating and inquiring techniques to handle fundamental rights cases;

(c)Strengthening the Human Rights Commission Act No. 21 of 1996;

(d)Formation of a team on bill ’ s watch, to evolve a mechanism on the human rights aspect of any law;

(e)Special attention will be given to vulnerable groups; especially IDPs who were affected by the armed conflict and Tsunami, elders, migrant workers, disabled, women and children;

(f)Develop an appropriate human rights education system through developing a strong human rights network among government institutions and INGOs, impartial and non‑controversial NGOs and United Nations Agencies, providing public awareness on fundamental rights and other human rights issues, introducing human rights in schools, establishing human rights units in schools, preparation of HRCSL manuals, documents and leaflets, annual reports;

(g)Strengthening labour rights through discussions and extending human rights education for the government sector as well as to the private sector;

(h)Improve the administrative efficiency through capacity building of the Commission;

(i)As necessitate assisting the peace process.

145.The vision of the Commission is to ensure human rights for all, and promote and protect the rule of law.

146.The Mission of the Commission is to develop a better human rights culture in Sri Lanka through protecting and promoting human rights adhering to universally recognized human rights norms and principles with a special emphasis on the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Sri Lanka Constitution, for the citizens of Sri Lanka, with the coordination and cooperation of all stakeholders that work towards protecting and promoting human rights for all.

147.In the area of dispute resolution, the Commission has the jurisdiction to inquire into any allegation regarding the infringement or imminent infringement of administrative and executive action of fundamental rights at its own initiatives, or on receiving a complaint from a person aggrieved or a body of persons concerned with the protection of human rights, acting bona fide.

148.There is provision to enable the Supreme Court to refer to the Commission such complaints pertaining to the violation of fundamental rights as they deem appropriate and, conversely, for the Commission to refer allegations of a serious nature to the Supreme Court.

149.In the year 2007 (1 January-31 August), the Head Office of the Commission received 5,054 cases and had investigated 3,031 while the balance did not fall within the mandate of the Human Rights Commission.

150.The Constitutional Council (see paragraphs 138 to 142 above) established by the Seventeenth amendment to the Constitution has not been fully constituted and, according to a ruling by the Supreme Court and the advice of the Attorney-General, such a body cannot function until all its members are in place. Accordingly, in response to what is obviously a flaw in the Act, Presidential appointments were made in the way in which such appointments had been made by previous Presidents before the Seventeenth Amendment was passed. Meanwhile a Parliamentary Select Committee has made recommendations to render the Seventeenth Amendment more practicable, so that the situation that has arisen because of the Speaker’s inability to make a selection will be avoided henceforth.

151.It is worth noting that UNDP in a recent stock-taking report says, “While all of the Commission’s stakeholders would prefer (some strongly so) that the appointments had been made in accordance with the Constitution, no-one was able to identify any instances where the failure to do so had demonstrably affected Commissioner’s performance of their responsibilities. Some commentators did observe that the current Commission exhibited a much lower profile than its predecessor. That in itself might indicate a reluctance to challenge the Executive. There is another, perhaps more likely, explanation for this, however. The Commission comprises three retired judges and two lawyers. The judicial tradition is to ‘listen, not talk’, lest the judge compromise the need to appear non-partisan and free from bias.” (SCOPP report of 8 January 2008, website ref: www.peaceinsrilanka.org.)

152.The Ministry for Disaster Management and Human Rights has made it clear that assistance in strengthening national human rights mechanisms is eminently desirable, and has suggested areas in which technical assistance might be forthcoming.

3. Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights

153.Please see the official website of the Ministry of the Disaster Management and Human Rights www.dmhr.gov.lk for details.

154.The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights (M/DM&HR) was established in 2006 and, for the first time in the nation’s history, provided an institutional focal point in the executive branch of Government for the promotion of human rights. Its delineated mandate (Government Gazette Extraordinary No. 1482/9 of 29 January 2007 at pp. A33, A34 issued in terms of article 44, paragraph 1 (a) of the Constitution) in relation to human rights is:

(a)Supervision of the activities of non-governmental organizations and social welfare voluntary agencies in relation to disaster management, provision of relief and promotion of human rights;

(b)Facilitation of and assistance to non-governmental organizations and social welfare voluntary agencies, in the fields of disaster management and human rights;

(c)Promotion of human rights; and

(d)Coordination with OHCHR and other international and regional human rights bodies.

155.Due to inadequate staffing at the initial stages, an ad hoc human rights Unit was established which is gradually supporting the establishment of a fully-fledged, permanent Human Rights Division in the Ministry. Some of the work of the Unit to date involved:

(a)Supporting the development of an overall strategic framework, an action plan, programmes and projects for the Ministry’s work on human rights;

(b)Substantive, organisational and logistical support to human rights mechanisms established by or under the Ministry, including those described below.

Inter-ministerial committee on human rights (IMCHR)

156.The IMCHR, chaired by Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, consists of the high-level representatives from the Ministries of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order; Foreign Affairs; Justice and Law Reforms; Constitutional Affairs and National Integration, Disaster Management and Human Rights, Attorney-General’s Department, the Secretariat for Coordination of the Peace Process, Human Rights Commission, Armed Forces, Police, and Prisons. In addition relevant line-ministries are requested to attend meetings when required. Its main functions are to:

(a)Direct relevant law enforcement authorities to investigate into alleged violations of human rights reported to the Committee and call for reports on such investigations;

(b)Direct law enforcement authorities and other Government officials to implement decisions of the Committee and to report on action taken;

(c)Initiate regular consultations, as appropriate, with the HRC, and civil society; and

(d)Make recommendations with regard to the promotion and protection of human rights in Sri Lanka and implement such recommendations through appropriate government agencies;

(e)Through issue-specific subcommittees, discuss and recommend measures on human rights related policy issues. (A subcommittee on the Official Languages Policy has been established, and subcommittee on developing a database collating information on alleged gross violations of human rights - killings, abductions, disappearances).

Advisory Body to the Minister of Human Rights

157.The Advisory Body to the Minister of Human Rights, which consists of members of civil society and key government officials, was established to prevent, mitigate and/or respond to alleged violations of human rights. The mandate of the Body includes:

(a)Reporting violations, imminent violations or alleged violations of human rights with a view to addressing such violations and/or taking steps to prevent such violations from occurring or being continued to be perpetrated;

(b)Assisting the Ministry in verifying the above and if necessary, engage in fact finding missions for this purpose;

(c)Visiting places of detention, ascertaining the welfare of detainees, and reporting to the Minister of steps to be taken;

(d)Conducting field missions to places where there is civil unrest or tension; assisting to defusing and mitigating such conflicts or potential conflicts and recommending measures that can be taken to mitigate such conflict or tension;

(e)Advising the Minister of any laws, regulations, directives, procedures, administrative and other practices which need to be implemented in order to protect human rights;

(f)Advising the Minister of any international human rights treaty obligations and instruments which the Government needs to comply with, and measures that could be taken to give effect to such obligations.

Coordination of humanitarian assistance

158.The Government of Sri Lanka has been providing humanitarian assistance to IDPs through the respective District Secretaries. The M/DM&HR has been complementing the efforts of the Government by coordinating assistance from international humanitarian agencies, including the United Nations agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

National IDP Coordination Meetings

159.M/DM&HR has been holding regular IDP Coordination Meetings at a national level, which are chaired by Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights. The meetings are attended by representatives of key government ministries and agencies, District Secretaries, the armed forces (Sri Lanka Army, Navy, Air force and the Police), United Nations agencies, ICRC, INGOs and NGOs. Some of the key issues that have been/are being addressed are as follows:

(a)Facilitation of issues/constraints raised by government agents with Ministry of Defence (MOD) and other line Ministries;

(b)Facilitation of funding, assistance needed for IDPs by raising the needs with the United Nations, I/NGO and donor community;

(c)Issues of access for United Nations and I/NGOs to the cleared and uncleared areas;

(d)Ministry of Defence clearance for expatriate staff of I/NGOs;

(e)Facilitating requests for clearance of restricted items such as fuel, cement, steel and other construction material required for IDP related and development projects with Commissioner General of Essential Services (CGES), MOD and Joint Operations Headquarters (JOH);

(f)Issues arising on registration of IDPs;

(g)Ensuring safety and security of IDPs in camps;

(h)Issues rising from resettlement of IDPs;

(i)Facilitating between the United Nations, I/NGOs and Government agents, Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development (M/NB&EID) with regard to the supply of essential services, (e.g., food, medicine, non-food relief items, etc.);

(j)Confidence-building and stabilization measures for IDPs, e.g., protection and security, livelihood, civil-military liaison, etc.

Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA)

160.A decision was made in October 2006, following the President’s meeting with the Ambassadors of the Co-Chair countries, that a Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) be chaired by Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights and meet once a month to discuss issues concerning humanitarian assistance.

161.The CCHA deals with important policy issues and its membership is limited. Secretaries from the following ministries are represented: Defence; Foreign Affairs; Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development; and Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services. Presidential Advisor Mr. Basil Rajapakse, Commissioner General of Essential Services, and Secretary-General of the Secretariat for the Coordination of the Peace Process also attend.

162.The international community is represented by the Head of the co-chairs, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC); the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the Head of Office for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); the Head of Office of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO); ICRC Head of Delegation, and Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies.

163.Five subcommittees have been formed under the apex body of the CCHA. These subcommittees are co-chaired by a representative of the Government and a United Nations agency, and address the following areas:

(a)Logistics and essential services (co-chairs: CGES and World Food Programme (WFP));

(b)IDPs: Resettlement and welfare (co-chairs: Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services and UNHCR);

(c)Livelihoods (co-chairs: Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and International Labour Organizations);

(d)Education (co-chairs: Ministry of Education and UNICEF);

(e)Health (co-chairs: Ministry of Health and WHO).

164.The subcommittees meet regularly, discuss and resolve all operational issues that fall within their respective area, and submit a monthly report to the CCHA indicating policy areas that the CCHA needs to address as well as any issues that cannot be implemented by the respective subcommittee.

165.The CCHA has been instrumental in gaining access and providing humanitarian assistance to IDPs in the north and the east of Sri Lanka. It provides a forum for key decisions to be made and implemented as all relevant stakeholders attend the meeting. Moreover, the subcommittees established under the CCHA allow for broader consultation with specialised agencies.

166.Though the National Coordination Meeting on IDPs and the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance focus on providing assistance to recently displaced persons; both have been used as a platform to lobby for Tsunami related activities and long-term development projects.

Mode of Operations for all stakeholders involved in humanitarian and development work in Sri Lanka (a subcommittee established under the CCHA)

167.A subcommittee, developed under the CCHA and consisting of government, donor, United Nations and I/NGO representatives was convened in order to agree on and draft the terms of reference [highlighting the scope, and laying the framework] for the development of a Mode of Operations for all stakeholders involved in humanitarian and development work in Sri Lanka. The Mode of Operations is currently being drafted.

Steering group and six subcommittees to draft a new human rights charter for Sri Lanka (Committee and subcommittees appointed under the IMCHR)

168.In accordance with an election pledge made by the President, the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights appointed an expert committee - representing both Government and civil society - to draft a new constitutional Human Rights Charter for Sri Lanka.

169.The expert committee has held many meetings to deliberate over key human rights protections that should form part of the constitutional framework. In order to draft specific provisions of the Charter, and bring on board more experts, the group created the following six subcommittees:

(a)Civil and Political Rights;

(b)Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights;

(c)Women, Children and Marginalised/Vulnerable Groups;

(d)Criminal Justice;

(e)Group Rights;

(f)Enforcement.

170.As part of a national process of consultation, to ultimately express the will of the people of Sri Lanka, the Ministries of Disaster Management and Human Rights, and Constitutional Affairs and National Integration have committed to a national consultation process on the draft Charter. Once a draft is finalized, a notice will be published in newspapers in all three languages calling for public representations. Workshops will also be held throughout the country to inform the public about the proposed Charter, and secure a draft which reflects the will, aspirations and vision of the people.

Working Group to study the implementation of the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief (WG appointed under the IMCHR)

171.The Working Group was set up under the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights to study the recommendations highlighted in the report of Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief (E/CN.4/2006/5/Add.3). The Working Group has met on a number of occasions and identified specific policy recommendations. It is currently in the final stages of its deliberations and will report its findings/recommendations in the form of a report.

172.Other areas of focus:

(a)Strengthening the Ministry’s partnerships and programmes with the United Nations and other donor agencies, I/NGOs and community-based organizations involved in human rights work and disaster management. This includes drafting of project proposals, MOUs and progress/final reports for collaboration between the Ministry and donors/agencies;

(b)Conducting substantive research and providing policy guidance advisory service on key areas, including legislative reform - reviewing draft bills, drafting briefings, etc.;

(c)Coordinating and facilitating collaboration of UNDP with the Ministry on human rights. This includes, facilitating collaboration of UNDP with the Ministry under the umbrella proposal for “strengthening human rights in post-tsunami recovery”;

(d)Providing capacity-development to Ministry officials on relevant human rights themes and on human rights based approaches (HRBA) to recovery and development with a view to advancing a more rights-friendly and rights-based approach to the Ministry’s work;

(e)Working in collaboration with other government agencies and institutions to identify and give effect to international treaty obligations, including support to working group on treaty body recommendations;

(f)Providing advice on and responding to public complaints and communications from United Nations agencies, I/NGOs, donors and community-based organizations on specific human rights issues;

(g)Providing human rights messaging and communication material for the Minister and Ministry, including public information;

(h)Research and coordination for parliamentary select-committees, namely on man‑made disasters, and the forthcoming select committee on: the revision of the act constituting and enabling the HRC; and the constitutional jurisdiction of the Court under Chapter XVI of the Constitution especially the consideration of post-enactment legislative review by the Supreme Court.

173.Apart from continuing with this existing work, in 2008 the Ministry will attempt to devise for the first time an overarching human rights promotion and protection framework for the country for the period 2009 to 2013. This will be done under a programme of assistance currently under discussion with and utilizing the expertise of UNDP and OHCHR. One main objective of the envisaged technical cooperation is the development of a National Action Plan on Human Rights in keeping with the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of 1993.

174.The National Action Plan (and its process of preparation) is expected to:

(a)Enable the Government to assess Sri Lanka’s human rights needs, leading to the a development of a broad vision and strategy on the advancement of human rights;

(b)Set realistic goals and targets for the promotion and protection of human rights;

(c)Strengthen the human rights protection system in Sri Lanka by enhancing the capacity of national institutions engaged in human rights-related work to address human rights concerns;

(d)Support and advance sustainable peace in the country by strengthening institutions that enable people to channel their grievances in a non-violent manner and thus reduce the risk of social tension;

(e)Ensure better protection of economic, social and cultural rights which will lead to the concerns of minority and vulnerable groups being addressed;

(f)Improve rule of law, strengthen the administration of justice and strengthen the independence of the judiciary;

(g)Raise awareness - leading to a greater understanding of human rights and their value to individuals and communities (raise awareness amongst government officials, security forces, grass roots civil society organizations and the general public placing a primary focus on duty-bearers);

(h)Mainstream human rights in government planning: policy, programming and process - and ensure conflict sensitive planning;

(i)Increase coordination amongst government ministries and agencies - thereby avoiding duplication of effort and at the same time raising general awareness of the human rights initiatives being supported by different agencies leading to responsive institutions of the state that protect and promote human rights;

(j)Develop tools to plan the management of resources for the promotion and protection of human rights;

(k)Provide the country with a modality for evaluating performance with regard to human rights obligations;

(l)Inform donor agencies and governments of the implementation of projects and create a consolidated and strategic basis for national development frameworks that has human rights at its core leading to improved linkages between human rights and development;

(m)Enable Sri Lanka to better meet its international obligations - treaty implementation and improved frequency of submission of reports to treaty monitoring bodies, leading to an expansion of human rights protection for all Sri Lankans.

4. Ministry of justice and law reforms

175.The Constitution prescribes in article 105 that institutions for the administration of justice which protect and enforce the rights of the people, shall be the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and the other courts of first instance, tribunals or such institutions as Parliament may from time to time establish. The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal are each a superior court of record.

176.Articles 107-117 of the Constitution contain provisions guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary. They provide, inter alia, for the appointment of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and every other judge of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, by the President. Every such judge holds office during “good behaviour” and shall not be removed except by an order of the President, made after an address of Parliament, supported by the majority of the total number of the members of the Parliament, has been presented to the President for such removal on a finding of proved misbehaviour or incapacity.

5. Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration

177.The Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration is mandated to implement the Official Languages Policy enshrined in “the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Chapter IV).

178.The Ministry has taken the following measures towards the effective implementation of this Policy.

179.Bilingualization of the Public Service, Public Administration Circular Number 3/2007 dated 9 February 2007, provides incentives for Public Officers presently in services to acquire competency in the Second Language.

180.In terms of Public Administrative Circular No 7/2007, dated 28 May 2007, officers joining the Public Service on or after 1st July 2007 are required to acquire the competency in the Second Language within a period of five years from the date of joining the Public Service.

181.The National Institute of Language Education and Training has been established by Act No. 26 of 2007, with the objective of producing:

(a)Competent teachers to teach Sinhala, Tamil and English to those who are desirous of acquiring such knowledge;

(b)Competent translators and interpreters in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages who shall constitute the National Translators Service and the National Interpreters Service to be established by written law;

(c)Qualified trainers to train language teachers, translators and interpreters in the Sinhala, Tamil and English Languages;

(d)Trained persons with trilingual capabilities for the efficient provision of services to the public.

182.The Ministry during the period 15 September 2007 to 30 October 2007 held Mobile Services in all Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the Eastern Province, (Trincomalee 11, Baticaloa 12 and Ampara 22) in collaboration with other ministries and agencies and provided the following services to the people in Eastern Province. The services provided included the issuance of free national identity cards, birth certificates, marriage and death certificates, free legal advice, identity cards to senior citizens and conducted awareness programmes to the youth on the availability of vocational training and as to the opportunities for youth to engage in development activities.

183.Eighty programmes have been conducted in the year 2007 in all parts of the country to promote ethnic harmony and as a confidence building measure among the different communities. The programmes carried out included youth camps, joint shramadana activities and awareness programmes addressing students, religious leaders and civil society, drawing of posters and pictures promoting peace, etc.

6. Attorney-General’s Department

184.The Attorney-General’s Department is headed by the Attorney-General who is the Chief Law Officer of the State. The Department functions with a cadre of 199 professionals which includes the Attorney-General, the Solicitor General, 5 Additional Solicitors General, 20 Deputy Solicitors General, 40 Senior State Counsel, and 80 State Counsel, 2 State Attorneys, 5 Senior State Attorneys, 10 Assistant State Attorneys and 1 Accountant. In the year 1884 this office was established by law consequent to a decision of the Supreme Court.

185.The Department continues to perform its traditional role of advising Government and its Institutions and representing Government and its Institutions in litigation. In the performance of its work, the Department operates in distinct branches. These are the civil branch, the criminal branch, the State Attorneys branch, the Supreme Court branch, and the Corporation branch. There are also special units to which specially identified responsibilities have been assigned. These are, the Missing Persons Unit (which handles matters relating to persons who are alleged to have disappeared), Non-Summary Unit (which was set up to expedite non-summary inquiries in Magistrate’s Courts), the EER Unit (which handles cases under Emergency Regulations), the Habeas Corpus Unit (which handles cases filed in relation to missing persons) Child Abuse Unit and the Public Petitions Unit (which handles public petitions).

186.The major functions of the Department are:

(a)Institution and defence of civil actions for and on behalf of the Republic, Ministers and Public Officers;

(b)Institution and conduct of criminal proceedings for and on behalf of the Republic;

(c)Examination of Bills for their consistency with the provisions of the Constitution;

(d)Providing on request, legal advice or opinions to State institutions;

(e)Appearance before the Supreme Court in proceedings in the Supreme Court in its exercise of jurisdiction in relation to constitutional, fundamental rights, consultative and breach of parliamentary privilege matters;

(f)Appearance in court and assisting court in respect of disciplinary proceedings against members of the Bar.

7. Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman)

187.The Constitution of Sri Lanka also provides that Parliament shall by law provide for the establishment of the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman), charged with the duty of investigating and reporting upon complaints or allegations of the infringement of fundamental rights and other injustices by public officers and officers of public corporations, local authorities and other like institutions, in accordance with and subject to the provisions of such law.

188.The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration Act No. 17 of 1981 established the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. Under the provisions of this Act, if the Committee of Parliament set up to consider petitions presented by members of Parliament is of the view that any petition presented to it by a member of Parliament discloses an infringement of a fundamental right or other injustice by a public officer or an officer of a public corporation, local authority or other like institution, it may refer such petition to the Commissioner for investigation and report.

189.Under the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration Act No. 17 of 1981, when a petition is presented by the Public Petitions Committee of Parliament, the Parliamentary Commissioner will investigate the matter and upon the conclusion of the investigation, he will determine whether there has been or there is likely to be an infringement of a fundamental right or other injustice. The Commissioner will then report his determination together with his reasons to the Public Petitions Committee with a recommendation for appropriate relief. The Public Petitions Committee may, after consideration of a report made to it by the Commissioner, report to Parliament its opinion on the action to be taken.

190.Apart from the Constitution itself, there are other mechanisms which supplement the fundamental rights jurisprudence.

8. Human rights directorates in the armed forces and the police

191.A Directorate on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of the Sri Lanka Army conducts awareness programmes on human rights and humanitarian law for the security personnel. Up to the end of 2007, 95 per cent of Army personnel have received such training. Based on this model, the other armed services have developed training programmes for service personnel, whilst this model, which has widely been deemed successful, has been suggested for police training too. The IMCHR is currently discussing measures to enhance levels of training in cooperation with other state institutions as well as the ICRC. Focal points for this initiative will be the human rights cells in all 3 armed services which report directly to the respective service commanders. Furthermore Civil and Military Liaison Officers (CMLOs) have also been appointed for all conflict-affected areas and the Government is looking into the establishment of a CML Directorate at the central level. A National Committee on International Humanitarian Law has also been established under the chairmanship of the Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to examine, inter alia, the necessity for domestic laws to implement international humanitarian law conventions and possible subscription to international humanitarian law conventions. The National Committee has wide participation of relevant line ministries and departments, such as the Ministry of Defence, the armed services, the Attorney-General’s Department and the Legal Draftsman’s Department, etc. A direct outcome of the work of the National Committee was the framing of legislation to give effect to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 in the form of the Geneva Conventions Act No. 4 of 2006 and Sri Lanka’s ratification of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Representatives of ICRC are also invited to participate in the discussions of the National Committee when required.

192.The Sri Lanka Police Department operates a Human Rights Division which seeks to strengthen the role of the law enforcement authorities in protecting human rights. With this goal the police has embarked on a programme to train staff on intelligence led policing, enhancing capacity building and establishing guiding policies of transparency, development of human rights/humanitarian law and legal processes and policing with the community. A Special Investigation Unit has been established to inquire into and prosecute alleged instances of torture. Women’s and Children’s Desks have been opened in almost all Police Stations in the country. These Desks are opened throughout the day, under the charge of a female officer and are expected to provide speedy redress to victims.

D. Education programmes and public information

1. Sri Lanka Foundation

193.The Sri Lanka Foundation was established by statute by the Government with the aim and object of protecting human rights, promotion of international understanding and cooperation and universal respect for the observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction.

194.The Human Rights Centre of the Foundation is directly involved in human rights education and dissemination of information. The Centre as early as 1983 together with the National Institute of Education introduced human rights concepts into the school curriculum. International agreements and covenants form part of the reference material. In addition to the formal education programme the Centre has also undertaken to introduce the World Council for curriculum and Instruction Project on human rights to a number of selected schools in Sri Lanka. The programme envisages the improvement of awareness of human rights among schoolchildren.

195.The “Social justice through legal literacy” programme of the Centre holds seminars for adults - peasants, workers, women’s groups and local council members - on the law and its procedures concerning problems encountered by these groups in their daily life. The Centre has also from time to time conducted seminars of the armed forces on the need to adhere to human rights norms.

196.In commemoration of the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, the Centre published a compilation of United Nations instruments on human rights in all these languages. This collection will serve as a valuable guide to which easy reference could be made. A project to promote human rights through the electronic media is also under way.

197.Apart from the efforts of the State, a number of NGOs are involved in promoting awareness among the public and relevant authorities of international human rights norms. A half page is devoted to raising awareness on human rights in the Daily News, a leading newspaper, free of charge.

2. United Nations Information Centre (UNIC)

198.The United Nations Information Centre in Sri Lanka serves as a focal point in the dissemination of United Nations-related information. Its responsibilities include maintaining a close relationship with the Government, Ministries, research institutions and officials and responding to the different needs for information on the United Nations. The UNIC also assists the press and broadcasting media in producing news about the United Nations. It also works closely with the education system providing supplementary material to help in teaching about the United Nations system. It also organizes seminars and workshops for master teachers and students. Its reference library is a source of United Nations official documents and is open to the public and researchers.

3. United Nations Association of Sri Lanka

199.The United Nations Association of Sri Lanka has published Sinhala and Tamil versions of the Charter of the United Nations which is now being circulated to all public libraries and high school libraries, universities and libraries of institutions.

4. International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka

200.The International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka conducts lectures and seminars for the armed forces on international humanitarian law and the law of war.

5. Centre for the Study of Human Rights

201.The Centre for the Study of Human Rights of the University of Colombo, which has been in operation since October 1991, works closely with local and international NGOs and educational institutions to design and facilitate human rights education and research. The Centre is in the process of translating important human rights documents into Sinhala and Tamil as most of the literature is only available in English. The pilot project on human rights education for the armed forces and police undertaken by the Centre hopes to further sensitize service personnel to human rights issues. The Centre initiated a Human Rights Outreach Education Project for the community which promotes human rights awareness in a manner which integrates human rights into the thinking process of the participants. The current programmes are given in their Annual Report 2006 and in the website: www.cshr.org.

6. Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka

202.The Human Rights Commission has undertaken the following activities.

Raising human rights awareness among public officials and other professionals

203.The series of continuous programmes are being conducted to create awareness among law enforcement officers and detention centres. There is a “hot line” operative for 24 hours to handle cases of allegations on violations of human rights.

Promotion of human rights awareness through educational programmes and Government‑sponsored public information

204.A series of training programmes are being carried out all over the country. In addition Research Programmes have been undertaken on topics of importance to the well being of the society. Police Officers, Prison Officers, Senior School Children and Principals and Teachers of Schools are given education on Human Rights. These programmes have increased the intake of petitions over and above 100 per day. Public Hearings on economic and social issues are being conducted.

Promotion of human rights awareness through the mass media

205.The Commission participates at the discussions sponsored by TV and Radio. Short films have been displayed on Women’s and Children’s Rights. TV spots have been developed. There is a difficulty in obtaining prime time for such spots and assistance of the Government media is looked for.

7. International observers

206.Sri Lanka has also afforded many opportunities to United Nationsspecial procedure mechanisms and international human rights organizations to visit Sri Lanka in order to evaluate and make implementable recommendations on the observance of human rights in the country. The International Committee of the Red Cross has been afforded facilities to operate in the north and east and in other areas stricken by the conflict.Sri Lanka has also regularly afforded parliamentary teams from the Commonwealth, the European Union and other organizations the opportunity of monitoring the conduct of presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.

8. All Party Representative Committee (APRC)

Seeking a political and peaceful settlement of conflict

207.The Government of Sri Lanka has taken a number of initiatives to facilitate the realization of a negotiated settlement to resolve the national problem. Significant among them is the endeavour to develop constitutional proposals with broad support. The main aim has been to find an indigenous solution to end decades of internal strife, and enable all people to live in dignity and peace in Sri Lanka.

208.President Mahinda Rajapaksa has emphasized the fact that the task of finding a political solution to the national question requires a multi-party effort and an inclusive approach. President Rajapaksa invited representatives of 15 political parties on 19 January 2006 at the Presidential Secretariat in an All Party Conference on the peace process. The President in explaining the objectives of the deliberation emphasized the importance of developing a consensus among political parties represented in Parliament with a view to commencing peace talks.

209.Unity through discussion was apparent in the first report of the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) which was presented to President Rajapaksa on 23 January 2008. The report, entitled “Action to be taken by the President to fully implement relevant provisions of the present constitution as a prelude to the APRC proposals”, was signed by representatives of all but one of the 14 parties that constitute the APRC. The fourteenth member, the representative of the Western Peoples Front has confirmed the party will remain in the APRC and participate in the final stages of the deliberations which will lead to the APRC proposals for the long term.

210.The first of the measures recommended is to recognize the shortcomings in the implementation of subjects and functions devolved on the Provinces through the Concurrent List and to endeavour to implement the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in order to overcome the existing shortcomings, secondly the recommendation of immediate elections for the provincial Council in the Eastern Province, thirdly, the recommendation of an alternative arrangement for the people in the Northern Province of the island to enjoy the fruits of devolution through an Interim Council which will aid and advise the Governor, fourthly, the full implementation of Chapter IV of the Constitution on language.

211.Though a wide divergence of views were prevalent at the initial meetings, after lengthy negotiations in which various viewpoints were put forward, and listened to with respect, the APRC has achieved a level of consensus not seen before in political discussion. The possibility of achieving the goal of a political solution to the national question is enhanced through this process.

212.The President in accepting to fully implement the relevant provisions of the Thirteenth Amendment and in presenting the APRC document to the Cabinet requested full cooperation to implement it urgently. This makes clear the current political will, missing in successive Governments since 1987, to make a success of the Thirteenth amendment which should, had it not been for the initial intransigence of the LTTE, laid the foundation for settling the problems that had arisen.

213.The APRC and its chairman have strived to actively seek within a united country, ways of meeting the aspirations of the Tamil speaking people, in particular in the North and East of the country. These people suffered worst from the failure to take their interests into account in national decision making, though it is also true that people in all areas outside decision making centres did not have their interests adequately considered in many instances. Stress laid in the report on satisfactory implementation of constitutional provisions regarding language rights indicates the importance of ensuring that all citizens feel they are adequately empowered in the context of a united country.

214.APRC members were unanimous in opting to continue their deliberations soon after they presented their first report to the President on the 23 January 2008. They met on 28 January as scheduled for the 64th meeting and pledged to work together in the same spirit of cooperation and to continue with the process of confidence building which had enabled them to overcome mutual distrust and reach consensus on many issues under discussion. This is in keeping with their aim to finalize the set of proposals that would be the basis for a new Constitution and provide a final solution to the National question. It is important to note in this connection that for the first time, proposals have emerged from within a multiparty consultative process.

9. Civil society

215.There are many NGOs working on human rights related work, however very few are registered. According to the Human Rights Commission, there is no bar for any organization to report on any violation and they are entertained, investigated and recommendations made. The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights has several working committees where NGOs are represented and active.

10. Budget allocation and assistance

216.Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights has advised that given the relative paucity of public funding for human rights promotion and protection, there is a need to buttress funds and local capacities through technical cooperation and capacity building including making requests for such assistance from bilateral and multilateral sources.

217.The Human Rights Commission comments on their budget that the Government meets about 40 per cent of expenditure and 60 per cent received from the donor agencies. Donor agencies such as UNDP have signed agreements of cooperation. However the funds are forthcoming on piecemeal basis and follow a procedure of reimbursement, which has caused some inconvenience in initiating programmes and for their continuity.

11. Reporting process at the national level

218.With regard to national reporting in respect of treaty bodies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates action with the Ministries of Justice and Disaster Management and Human Rights. The consultation process for such reporting will also include concerned line Ministries, national institutions, academia and civil society organizations. A treaty body reporting working group is currently engaged in finalizing Sri Lanka’s periodic reports under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the Optional Protocol to Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Follow-up to concluding observations of human rights treaty bodies

219.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs usually summons a meeting of all relevant stakeholders as a first step to follow up on the concluding observations of human rights treaty bodies. In addition, key issues are also taken up at the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights chaired by the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, which is a regular standing body, at which any issue could be raised. The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights also has an Advisory Committee including several civil society leaders who may also bring up any key issue with regard to the concluding observations of human rights treaty bodies.

220.At the request of the Government, the OHCHR conducted a workshop on this subject in Colombo from 26 -28 April 2005, which was welcomed by all participants.

III.INFORMATION ON NON-DISCRIMINATION ANDEQUALITY AND EFFECTIVE REMEDIES

221.Sri Lanka has signed the following treaties and conventions having a bearing on the Principle of non discrimination:

(a)Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

(b)International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

(c)International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;

(d)International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;

(e)ILO Convention No. 100 (1951) concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value;

(f)ILO Convention No. 111 (1958) concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation.

222.The right not to be discriminated is enshrined in theConstitution as a fundamental right.

Article 12

(a)All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

(b)No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds:

“Provided that it shall be lawful to require a person to acquire within a reasonable time sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any employment or office in the Public, Judicial or Local Government Service or in the service of any public corporation, where such knowledge is reasonably necessary for the discharge of the duties of such employment or office.

Provided further that it shall be lawful to require a person to have sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any such employment of office where no function of that employment or office can be discharged otherwise than with knowledge of that language.”

(c)No person shall, on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex or any one such ground, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment and places of public worship of his own religion.

(d)Nothing in this Article shall prevent special provision being made, by law, subordinate legislation or executive action, for the advancement of women, children or disabled persons.

223.The Supreme Court is vested with sole and exclusive jurisdiction under article 126, paragraph 1 of the Constitution to hear and determine any question relating to the infringement or imminent infringement by executive or administrative action of any fundamental right recognized under the Constitution.

224.Under article 126, paragraph 4, the Supreme Court has the power to grant relief or make directions in a just and equitable manner when its jurisdiction is invoked.

225.In addition to the Constitution vesting in the highest Court, namely the Supreme Court jurisdiction pertaining to allegations of violations of fundamental rights including the right not to be discriminated, the following institutions are also vested with statutory power to deal with allegations of such violations:

(a)The National Human Rights Commission;

(b)The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman);

(c)The National Police Commission (deals with complaints against Police officers).

226.In addition to the above, constitutional and statutory mechanisms, administratively the Government of Sri Lanka has also set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Rights and an Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Human Rights to monitor the human rights situation in the country. A Human Rights Ministry has been set up to ensure that the Constitutional obligation on all organs of Government to respect, secure, and advance Fundamental Rights is carried out. Under the said Ministry an Advisory Committee has been established which consists of several representatives of civil society. The Advisory Committee can give advice to the Government of Sri Lanka on any issue relating to human rights.

227.The above clearly demonstrates that the Government of Sri Lanka has taken steps to give Constitutional recognition to the right of non-discrimination and equality. Further, it has entrusted the highest court with jurisdiction to make determinations in this regard. In addition, various statutory as well as administrative bodies have been established to ensure that those who are aggrieved by alleged violations of discrimination or inequality have been provided with an effective remedy within the domestic framework.

228.Please also see at Annex IV an analysis of conformity of Sri Lankan law with key international instruments on human rights and labour rights of which Sri Lanka is a State Party. Each initial report submitted by Sri Lanka under the different international instruments also contains a detailed article by article review of such conformity.

Annex I

TREATY RATIFICATION AND REPORTING HISTORYSRI LANKA

Human Rights Treaty

Ratification/ Accession (a)

Reporting History

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

11 June 1980 (a)

Human R ights Committee Initial report : Due September 1981, submitted March 1983 CCPR/C/14/Add.4; CCPR/C/14/Add.6), examined October 1983. Second periodic report : Due September 1986, submitted March 1990 (CCPR/C/42/Add.9); examined April 1991. Third periodic report : Due September 1991, submitted July 1994 CCPR/C/70/Add.6; CCPR/C/116), examined July 1995. Fourth and fifth periodic report : Due September 1996, submitted September 2002 (CCPR/C/LKA/2002/4); examined October 2003. Sixth periodic report : Due September 2007.

First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant (individual complaints procedure)

3 October 1997 (a)

Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant (Abolishing the death penalty)

-

International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

11 June 1980 (a)

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Initial report : Due June 1990, submitted March 1996 (E/1990/5/Add.32), examined April 1998. Third periodic report : Due June 2000.

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

18 February 1982 (a)

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Initial report : Due March 1983, submitted January 1984 (CERD/C/101/Add.6), examined August 1984. Second periodic report : Due March 1985, submitted July 1985 (CERD/C/126/Add.2), examined March 1986. Third, fourth, fifth and sixth periodic report : Due March 1987, submitted August 1993 (CERD/C/234/Add.1), examined March 1995. Seventh, eight and ninth periodic report : Due March 1995, submitted September 2000 (CERD/C/357/Add.3), examined August 2001. Tenth and eleventh periodic report : Due March 2003. Eleventh and twelfth periodic report : Due March 2005.

Declaration under art icle 14 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination allowing for individual complaints

-

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

3 January 1994 (a)

Committee against Torture Initial report : Due February 1995, submitted October 1997 (CAT/C/28/Add.3), examined May 1998. Second periodic report : Due February 1999, submitted March 2004 (CAT/C/48/Add.2), examined May 2005. Third periodic report : Due February 2003.

Declaration under art icle  22 of the Convention against Torture allowing for individual complaints

-

Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (allowing in ‑country inspections of places of detention)

-

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

5 October 1981

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Initial report : Due November 1982, submitted July 1985 (CEDAW/C/5/Add.29; CEDAW/C/5/Add.29/Amend.1), examined April 1987. Second periodic report : Due November 1986, submitted December 1988 (CEDAW/C/13/Add.18); examined January 1992. Third and fourth periodic report : Due November 1990/94, submitted October 1999 (CEDAW/C/LKA/3-4); examined January 2002. Fifth periodic report : Due November 1998. Sixth periodic report : Due November 2002.

O ptional P rotocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women allowing for individual complaints

15 October 2002 (a)

Convention on the Rights of the Child

12 July 1991

Committee on the Rights of the Child Initial report : Due August 1993, submitted March 1994 (CRC/C/8/Add.13), examined June 1995 . Second periodic report : Due August 1998, submitted September 2000 (CRC/C/70/Add.17), examined May 2003 . Third and fourth periodic report : Due August 2008 .

Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict

8 September 2000

Initial report : Due February 2004 .

Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

8 May 2002 (signed)

International Convention on the Protection of the Rig hts of All Migrant Workers and M embers of Their Families

11 March 1996 (a)

Committee on Migrant Workers Initial report : Due July 2004 .

Declaration under art icle  77 of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rig hts of All Migrant Workers and M embers of Their Families allowing for individual complaints

-

For declaration and reservations, please consult:

http://untreaty.un.org/ENGLISH/bible/englishinternebible/partI/chapterIV/chapterIV.asp.

Annex II

PARTIAL LIST OF MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONSRELATING TO ISSUES OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Sri Lanka is a State party to the following:

A. Main international human rights conventions and protocols

1

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966

2

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966

3

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1965

4

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979

5

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984

6

Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989

7

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, 1990

8

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, 2000

9

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography, 2000

10

Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, concerning individual petition, 1966

11

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, concerning individual complaints and inquiry procedures, 1999

B. Other United Nations human rights and related conventions

1

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948

2

Slavery Convention, 1926 as amended 1955

3

Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, 1949

4

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 2000, and its Protocols against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, and to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

C. Conventions of the International Labour Organization ratified by Sri Lanka as at 12.07.2007

Convention

Ratification date

Status

Reservations made at the time of ratification

No. 4 (1919) concerning Employment of Women during the Night

08.10.1951

Denounced on 16.02.1954

Nil

No. 5 (1919) Fixing the Minimum Age for Admission of Children to Industrial Employment

27.09.1951

Denounced on 11.02.2000

Nil

No. 6 (1919) concerning the Night Work of Young Persons Employed in Industry

26.10.1950

Denounced on 16.02.1954

Nil

No. 7 (1920) Fixing the Minimum Age for Admission of Children to Employment at Sea

02.09.1950

Denounced on 11.02.2000

Nil

No. 8 (1920) concerning Unemployment Indemnity in Case of Loss or Foundering of the Ship

25.04.1951

Ratified

Nil

No. 10 (1921) concerning the Age for Admission of Children to Employment in Agriculture

29.11.1991

Denounced on 11.02.2000

Nil

No. 11 (1921) concerning the Rights of Association and Combination of Agricultural Workers

25.08.1952

Ratified

Nil

No. 15 (1921) Fixing the Minimum Age for the Admission of Young Persons to Employment as Trimmers or Stokers

25.04.1951

Denounced on 11.02.2000

Nil

No. 16 (1921) concerning the Compulsory Medical Examination of Children and Young Persons Employed at Sea

25.04.1951

Ratified

Nil

No. 18 (1925) concerning Workmen’s Compensation for Occupational Diseases

17.05.1952

Ratified

Nil

No. 26 (1928) concerning the Creation of Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery

09.06.1971

Ratified

Nil

No. 29 (1930) concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour

05.04.1950

Ratified

Nil

No. 41 (1934) concerning Employment of Women during the Night

02.09.1950

Denounced on 31.03.1966

Nil

No. 45 (1935) concerning the Employment of Women on Underground Work in Mines of all Kinds

20.12.1950

Ratified

Nil

No. 58 (1936) Fixing the Minimum Age for the Admission of Children to Employment at Sea

18.05.1959

Ratified

Nil

No. 63 (1938) concerning Statistics of Wages and Hours of Work in the Principal Mining and Manufacturing Industries, Including Building and Construction, and in Agriculture

25.08.1952

Denounced on 01.04.1993

Nil

No. 80 (1946) for the Partial Revision of the Conventions Adopted by the General Conference of the International Labour Organisation at its First Twenty-eight Sessions for the Purpose of Making Provision for the Future Discharge of Certain Chancery Functions Entrusted by the Said Conventions to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations and Introducing therein Certain Further Amendments Consequential upon the Dissolution of the League of Nations and the Amendment of the Constitution of the International Labour Organisation

19.09.1950

Ratified

Nil

No. 81 (1947) concerning Labour Inspection in Industry and Commerce

03.04.1956

Ratified

Nil

No. 87 (1948) concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise

15.09.1995

Ratified

Nil

No. 89 ( Revised 1948) concerning Night Work of Women Employed in Industry

31.03.1966

Denounced on 25.01.1982

Nil

No. 90 (Revised 1948) concerning the Night Work of Young Persons Employed in Industry

18.05.1959

Ratified

Nil

No. 95 (1949) concerning the Protection of Wages

27.10.1983

Ratified

Nil

No. 96 (Revised 1949) concerning Fee-Charging Employment Agencies

30.04.1958

Ratified

Nil

No. 98 (1949) concerning the Application of the Principles of the Right to Organise and to Bargain Collectively

13.12.1972

Ratified

Nil

No. 99 (1951) concerning Minimum Wage Fixing Machinery in Agriculture

05.04.1954

Ratified

Nil

No. 100 (1951) concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value

01.04.1993

Ratified

Nil

No. 103 (Revised 1952) concerning Maternity Protection

01.04.1993

Ratified

Nil

No. 105 (1957) concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour

07.01.2003

Ratified

Nil

No. 106 (1957) concerning Weekly Rest in Commerce and Offices

27.10.1983

Ratified

Nil

No. 108 (1958) concerning Seafarers’ National Identity Documents

24.11.1995

Ratified

Nil

No. 110 (1958) concerning Conditions of Employment of Plantation Workers

24.04.1995

Ratified

Nil

No. 111 (1958) concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation

27.11.1998

Ratified

Nil

No. 115 (1960) concerning the Protection of Workers against Ionising Radiations

18.06.1986

Ratified

Nil

No. 116 (1961) concerning the Partial Revision of the Conventions Adopted by the General Conference of the International Labour Organisation at its First Thirty-two Sessions for the Purpose of Standardising the Provisions regarding the Preparation of Reports by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office on the Working of Conventions

26.04.1974

Ratified

Nil

No. 131 (1970) concerning Minimum Wage Fixing, with Special Reference to Developing Countries

17.03.1975

Ratified

Nil

No. 135 (1971) concerning Protection and Facilities to be Afforded to Workers’ Representatives in the Undertaking

16.11.1976

Ratified

Nil

No. 138 (1973) concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment

11.02.2000

Ratified

Nil

No. 144 (1976) concerning Tripartite Consultations to Promote the Implementation of International Labour Standards

17.03.1994

Ratified

Nil

No. 160 (1985) concerning Labour Statistics

01.04.1993

Ratified

Nil

No. 182 (1999) concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour

01.03.2001

Ratified

Nil

D. Conventions of the Hague Conference on Private International Law

1

Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1973

2

Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, 1993

E. Geneva Conventions and other treaties on international humanitarian law

1

Geneva Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, 1949

2

Geneva Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, 1949

3

Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1949

4

Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 1949

Annex III

INDICATORS FOR ASSESSING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

A. Demographic indicators

The last census of population and housing was taken on 17 July 2001. The census in 2001 which is the 13th in the series was conducted after a time-lag of 20 years. The census enumeration was able to carry out completely in 18 districts. These include all the 17 districts in Western, Central, Southern, North Western, North Central, Uva and Sabaragamuwa provinces and Ampara district in Eastern province. In Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts no enumeration was done. In Mannar district, out of 5 Divisional Secretariat (D.S.) divisions only one was enumerated partially. In Vavuniya district, out of 4 D.S. divisions, one was enumerated completely and 2 were enumerated partially. In Batticaloa district, out of 12 D.S. divisions, 5 were enumerated completely and 6 were enumerated partially. In Trincomalee district out of 11 D.S. divisions, 7 were enumerated completely and 2 were enumerated partially.

Population size, growth rate, density

Year

Mid-year population (thousands)

Population growth rate (%)

Densitypersons/km²

Total

Male

Female

2001 a

18 797

9 359

9 438

1.2

300

2002 b

19 007

9 392

9 615

1.3

303

2003 b

19 252

9 510

9 742

1.2

307

2004 b

19 462

9 615

9 847

1.2

310

2005 b

19 668

9 718

9 950

1.2

314

2006 b

19 886

9 826

10 060

1.2

317

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

a Estimated.b Provisional.

Proportion of population in rural and urban areas

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Urban

16.30

Rural

83.70

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Population distribution by religion and ethnicity, in rural and urban areas

(i)Population by ethnic group and sector based on census of population and housing 2001a

Total

Urban

Rural

Estate

All Ethnic groups

16 929 689

2 467 301

13 547 710

914 678

Sinhala

13 876 245

1 570 364

12 197 794

108 087

Sri Lanka Tamil

732 149

342 748

292 851

96 550

Indian Tamil

855 025

47 592

106 834

700 599

Sri Lanka Moor

1 339 331

448 712

883 252

7 367

Burgher

35 283

15 227

19 643

413

Malay

54 782

25 362

28 654

766

Other

36 874

17 296

18 682

88

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

(ii)Population by religion and sector

Total

Urban

Rural

Estate

All Religions

16 929 689

2 467 301

13 547 710

914 678

Buddhist

12 986 548

1 303 026

11 574 68

108 883

Hindu

1 312 970

290 161

302 042

720 767

Islam

1 435 896

494 446

931 159

10 291

Roman Catholic

1 035 740

316 925

664 753

54 062

Other Christian

150 182

59 404

70 873

19 905

Other

8 353

3 339

4 194

820

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

a Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts in which the 2001 census enumeration was not completed are not included here.

Age composition

Age

Population (in thousands)

2003

2004

2005

2006

Total

19 252

19 462

19 668

19 886

0-4

1 663

1 683

1 701

1 719

5-9

1 712

1 732

1 750

1 769

10-14

1 750

1 770

1 789

1 809

15-19

1 844

1 897

1 917

1 938

20-24

1 770

1 791

1 809

1 830

25-29

1 502

1 519

1 535

1 552

30-34

1 444

1 459

1 475

1 491

35-39

1 424

1 440

1 455

1 472

40-44

1 319

1 333

1 348

1 362

45-49

1 165

1 178

1 190

1 204

50-54

1 048

1 061

1 072

1 084

55-59

771

779

787

795

60-64

568

574

580

587

65-69

472

477

483

438

70-74

347

350

354

358

75 and over

414

419

423

428

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Estimated mid-year population by age and sex

Age

Population (in thousands)

2003

2004

2005

2006

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

0-4

846

817

856

827

865

836

874

845

5-9

865

847

875

857

884

866

894

875

10-14

84

856

904

866

913

876

924

885

15-19

60

924

971

926

982

935

992

946

20-24

875

895

885

906

894

915

904

926

25-29

723

779

731

788

739

796

747

805

30-34

704

740

711

748

719

756

727

764

35-39

694

730

702

738

709

746

717

755

40-44

647

672

654

679

661

687

668

694

45-49

571

594

577

601

583

607

590

614

50-54

513

535

519

542

525

547

531

553

55-59

371

399

375

404

379

408

383

412

60-64

276

292

279

295

282

298

285

302

65-69

219

253

221

256

224

259

226

262

70-74

162

185

163

187

165

189

167

191

75 and over

190

224

192

227

194

229

197

231

Source:Department of Census and Statistics.

Dependency ratio (in percentage)

2003

2004

2005

2006

Young

25.2

Old

6.5

Ratio (Per 100 working population)

46.5

Source:Department of Census and Statistics.

Statistics on births and deaths

Year

Crude rate per 1,000 population

Birth rate

Death rate

2001

18.9

6.0

2002

19.1

5.8

2003

18.9

5.9

2004

18.5

5.8

2005

18.1

6.5

2006

15.51

6.5

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Number of deaths by sex

Year

Male

Female

2001

76.46

42.212

2002

67.988

42.649

2003

69.794

44.516

2004

68.279

44.289

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Live birth by sex, sex ratio at births

Year

Male

Female

Mail birth per 1,000 female births

2000

178 254

169 495

1 052

2001

183 409

175 174

1 047

2002

185 714

177 835

1 044

2003

185 886

177 457

1 047

2004

183 807

176 413

1 042

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Life expectancy at birth by sex

Sex

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Male

71

71.5

71.7

71.7

Female

76

76.8

77

76.4

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Fertility rate

2000-2004 average

2005

2006

Total

1.9

1.84

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Average household size

Sector

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

All

4.2

4.31

4.31

Urban

4.5

Rural

4.1

Estate

4.2

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Proportion of single parent households and households headed by women

20.3 per cent (Source: Census of Population and Housing 2001).

B. Social economic and cultural indicators

1. Income distribution

Share of household consumption expenditure on food,housing, health and education - 2005

By sector

Expenditure item

Average monthly Rs.

Average monthly (percentage)

Sri Lanka

Sector

Sri Lanka

Sector

Urban

Rural

Estate

Urban

Rural

Estate

Total expenditure

1 915

26 529

18 292

12 688

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Food

7 593

9 471

7 326

6 738

39.6

35.7

40.1

53.1

Housing

2 054

4 431

1 735

663

10.7

16.7

9.5

5.2

Health

827

787

867

262

4.3

3.0

4.7

2.1

Education

473

812

431

209

2.5

3.1

2.4

1.7

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

By main population groups

Expenditure item

Average monthly Rs.

Average monthly (percentage)

Sinhala

Tamil

Muslim

Other

Sinhala

Tamil

Muslim

Other

Total expenditure

19 744

15 051

19 538

21 207

100

100

100

100

Food

7 766

8 463

10 348

9 336

39.3

56.2

53.00

44.00

Housing

2 123

1 034

2 034

2 694

10.8

6.9

10.4

12.7

Health

918

330

707

821

4.6

2.2

3.6

3.9

Education

513

322

312

382

2.6

2.1

1.6

1.8

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Proportion of population below the national poverty line

Population below income poverty line - 25 per cent (1990-2003) (Source: Human Development Report 2006).

Proportion of population below the minimum level of dietary consumption

Proportion - 51.3 per cent (2002) (Source: Millennium Development Goals Country Report - 2005).

By sector - poverty head count ratio (in percentage)

Urban

Rural

Estate

Total

2002

7.9

24.7

30

22.7

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

By sex - poverty head count ratio (in percentage)

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Male

23

Female

22.4

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Gini coefficient (relating to distribution of income orhousehold consumption expenditure)

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Total

0.47

0.46

0.46

0.47

Urban

0.48

0.48

Rural

0.45

0.45

Estate

0.34

0.34

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

2. Health

Prevalence of malnutrition under five years of age(percentage based on the data collected in 2000)

Height for age - stunted

13.5

Weight for height - wasted

14

Weight for age - underweight

29.4

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Infant and maternal mortality rates

Per 1 000 population

Maternal death rate

Under‑5 mortality rate

Infant mortality rate

2001

0.2

14.74

12.2

2002

0.1

13.39

11.2

2003

12.00

11.2

2004

14.00*

12.0*

Male - 16/ Female - 12

2005

12.0

2006

Male - 15.18/Female - 12.70

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

* Human Development Report 2006.

Percentage of contraceptive prevalence

1996-2004

% of Married women ages 15-49

70

Source: Human Development Report 2006.

Source: Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition.

HIV/AIDS statistics

Reported HIV/AIDS casesNational STD/AIDS control programme 2006

Quarter

Cumulative HIV casesat the beginning quarter

HIV/cases reported during the quarter

Cumulative HIV cases at the end of the quarter

Cumulative HIV cases by gender

Cumulative AIDS cases at the end of the quarter

Cumulative AIDS cases by gender

Reported AIDS deaths

M

F

M

F

1st Quarter

743

28

771

450

321

213

152

61

3

2nd Quarter

771

14

785

457

328

213

152

61

3

3rd Quarter

785

30

815

473

342

220

156

64

3

4th Quarter

815

23

838

487

351

226

159

67

2

Source: Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition.

Reported HIV/AIDS casesNational STD/AIDS control programme 2007

Quarter

Cumulative HIV casesat the beginning quarter

HIV/cases reported during the quarter

Cumulative HIV cases at the end of the quarter

Cumulative HIVcases by gender

Cumulative AIDS cases at the end of the quarter

Cumulative AIDS cases by gender

Reported AIDS deaths

M

F

M

F

1st Quarter

838

24

862

501

361

232

164

68

6

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Source: Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition.

Male to female ratio of reported HIV cases- 1.4:1

Cumulative AIDS deaths reported- 161

Cumulative vertically transmitted HIV cases reported- 27

Cumulative foreign HIV cases reported- 63

Number of HIV tests carried out during 2006- 319,614

HIV seropositivity rate for 2006- 0.03 %

Source: Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition.

3. Education

Net enrolment ratio in primary and secondary education

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

Total

96.3

98.4

98.5

97.1

97

Male

97.1

99

Female

95.6

98

Source: Department of Census and Statistics.

Education attainment (2003)

%

Non Schooling

7.4

Primary

29.1

Secondary

42.2

Tertiary

21.3

Excluding North and East Province

Source: Millennium Development Goals Country Report - 2005.

Pupil teacher ratio in public funded schools

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Total

22

21

21

21

19

Source: Ministry of Education.

Literacy rate (2003/04)

2003/04

Total

92.5

Male

94.5

Female

90.6

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

4. Labour statistics

Labour force, labour force participation and unemployment rate

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

Household population, labour force and labour force participation

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

Employment by economic activity

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

Status of employment

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

Trade unions 1995-2005

Source: Department of Labour.

HRI/CORE/LKA/2008page PAGE 05. Economy

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

Source: Central Bank Annual Report 2006.

C. Indicators of the political system

Number of recognized non-governmental organizations

No. (June 2007)

Total

1 190

International NGOs and NGOs receiving foreign funds

324

NGOs those conducting projects on local funding

866

Source: National Secretariat of NGO - Sri Lanka.

Number of recognized political parties

53 (Source: Department of Election).

Proportion of population eligible to vote (2001)a

Administrative district

Percentage

1

Colombo

64

2

Gampaha

63

3

Kalutara

68

4

Mahanuwara

67

5

Matale

69

6

Nuwara-Eliya

60

7

Galle

71

8

Matara

71

9

Hambantota

71

10

Jaffna b

-

11

Mannar

47

12

Vavuniya

66

13

Mulativu

43

14

Kilinochchi

45

15

Batticaloa

59

16

Ampara

62

17

Trincomalee b

-

18

Kurunegala

73

19

Puttalam

64

20

Anuradhapura

67

21

Polonnaruwa

68

22

Badulla

64

23

Moneragala

64

24

Ratnapura

62

25

Kegalle

71

Source: Department of Election.

aLast census enumeration was held in 2001.bPopulation figures not available.

Number of complaints on the conduct of elections registered, the type of alleged irregularity

Complaints are being observed by the Election Commission and other monitoring bodies and the data can be found in reports of Election Commission.

Distribution of legislative seats by party

Name of the Party

Total No. of seats

United Peoples Freedom Alliance

105

United National Party

82

Ilankai Tamil Arasukadchi

22

Jathika Hela Urumaya

9

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress

5

Up-Country Peoples Front

1

Eeelam People Democratic Party

1

Total

225

Source: Department of Election.

Percentage of women in parliament

In the 5th Parliament (2000-2003)

4.44

In the 6th Parliament (2004-to date)

5.78

Source: Parliament Library.

Proportion of national and subnational elections held within the schedule laid out of law (1999-2006)

Name of the election

Date of poll

Term of office of the elected body

Parliamentary elections

2000.10.102001.12.052004.04.02

6 years (100 per cent)

Presidential election

1999.12.212005.11.17

6 years (100 per cent)

Provincial Council elections a

19992004

6 years

Local authorities elections

20022006

4 years (100 per cent)

*

Source: Department of Election.

a Out of nine Provincial Councils Elections were held except Northern and Eastern Provinces.

Average voter turnouts in the national and sub national elections by administrative units

Administrative Units

1993

1994

1999

2000

2001

2004

2005

Provincial Council Elections

Presidential Election

Parliamentary Elections

Presidential Election

Provincial Council Elections

Parliamentary Elections

Parliamentary Elections

Parliamentary Elections

Provincial Council Elections

Presidential Election

Colombo

67.5

70.9

77.5

74.3

64.4

76.0

76.3

74.71

47.8

76.7

Gampaha

73.2

75.7

81.5

78.3

68.1

79.7

80.3

77.68

51.1

80.7

Kalutara

72.9

75.5

82.1

79.6

70.7

81.7

81.6

79.58

56.2

81.4

Mahanuwara

76.7

79.7

83.6

79.2

72.4

79.5

76.0

76.46

54.8

79.6

Matale

70.1

78.8

84.3

77.7

71.6

79.9

77.9

76.66

56.7

79.0

Nuwara-Eliya

78.8

79.5

83.6

81.2

77.2

82.8

82.3

80.70

67.7

80.7

Galle

73.5

74.6

81.2

78.9

74.3

81.2

81.0

79.79

56.5

81.9

Matara

70.0

71.1

78.7

75.0

70.8

79.2

79.4

76.84

54.4

80.9

Hambantota

69.2

67.3

79.6

73.8

71.2

80.5

79.4

77.28

55.9

81.4

Jaffna

-

2.9

2.3

19.1

-

21.3

31.1

47.38

-

1.2

Vanni

-

22.4

25.3

31.2

-

42.1

46.7

66.64

-

34.3

Batticaloa

-

64.3

72.4

64.2

-

71.7

68.2

83.58

-

48.5

Digamadulla

-

75.7

81.2

79.5

-

80.3

82.5

81.42

-

72.7

Trincomalee

-

60.0

68.7

63.7

-

68.5

79.8

85.44

-

63.8

Kurunegala

77.1

78.8

84.1

77.3

79.7

79.0

78.9

76.55

58.1

80.5

Puttalam

70.3

70.8

77.3

69.5

76.0

73.1

71.5

69.15

52.3

71.6

Aunuradhapura

76.8

78.3

83.9

77.5

69.4

78.5

77.4

76.52

61.4

78.9

Polonnaruwa

74.3

77.1

83.6

79.2

71.4

81.9

80.4

77.91

61.5

80.4

Badulla

79.1

79.2

84.0

80.0

75.4

81.8

81.5

78.33

64.6

81.2

Monaragala

78.1

78.6

85.7

79.9

72.0

83.0

82.0

78.00

60.3

81.1

Rathnapura

79.4

81.2

87.2

82.1

73.3

83.0

83.4

80.42

57.5

83.8

Kegalle

73.8

76.8

82.8

78.1

70.0

79.6

80.1

78.35

58.5

81.1

Total

70.4

76.2

73.1

75.6

76.0

75.96

73.7

Source: Department of Election.

D. Indicators on crime and administration of justice

Number of incident of violent death and life threatening crimes reported

Year

Number

2005

59 391

2006

61 196

Source: Department of Police.

Number of prisoners convicted/unconvicted

Category

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Convicted

18 715

22 239

25 023

27 681

26 898

22 904

Un-convicted

70 610

73 486

82 187

88 535

87 456

60 484

Total

89 325

95 725

107 210

116 216

114 354

83 388

Source: Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms.

Direct admissions to prisons and training schools

(Rate of admissions of convicted and unconvicted prisoners), 1999-2005

Year

EstimatedPopulation(Sri Lanka)in ‘ 000

Convicted

Prisoners

Unconvicted

Prisoners

TotalAdmissions

Rate of Admissions per 100,000 of Population

Daily AveragePopulation

OffendersPlaced onProbation

Convicted

Unconvicted

Convicted

Unconvicted

1999

19 043

22 466

77 374

99 840

117.9

406.3

8 442

7 960

513

2000

19 359

18 715

70 610

89 325

96.7

364.7

8 167

8 245

517

2001

18 732

22 239

73 486

95 725

118.72

392.3

8 186

9 030

526

2002

19 009

25 023

82 187

107 210

131.64

432.4

7 930

9 775

525

2003

19 252

27 681

88 535

116 216

143.78

459.9

9 269

10 917

523

2004

19 462

26 898

87 456

114 354

138.21

449.4

9 819

10 842

575

2005

19 668

33 034

96 007

129 041

168.0

488.1

10 898

11 216

*530

Source: Registrar General’s Office, Dept. of Probation and Child Care Services, and Department of Prisons.

* Provisional.

Number of persons and rate (per 100,000 persons) who were arrested/broughtbefore a court/convicted/sentenced/incarcerated for violent or other serious crimes (such as homicide, robbery, assault and trafficking)

2005

2006

Cases recorded

59 391

61 196

Total true cases

59 075

60 932

Plaints filed

14 860

13 207

Accused unknown

19 061

18 310

Otherwise disposed of

1 681

1 561

Ending in conviction

2 269

2 251

Ending in discharge acquitted

350

288

Total disposed

23 366

22 410

Investigation pending

24 263

28 650

Pending in courts

11 446

9 872

Total pending

35 709

38 522

Source:Department of Police.

Number of reported cases of sexual motivated violent

2005

2006

Rape/innocent

1 540

1 463

Unnatural offence grave sexual abuse

490

418

Source: Department of Police.

Statistics relating to the custody of remand prisoners (2002-2005)

Name & l ockup

2002

2003

2004

2005

Total No. of l ockups u nder SP

No. of a dmissions

Total No. of l ockups u nder SP

No. of a dmissions

Total No. of l ockups u nder SP

No. of a dmissions

Total No. of l ockups u nder SP

No. of a dmissions

Kalutara Remand Prison

2

2

2

2

Kalutara

9 415

3 871

1 989

2 298

Panadura

7 425

3 083

-

-

Negambo Remand Prison

2

2

2

2

Chilaw

1 617

341

617

771

Puttalam

1 895

4 699

4 752

5 753

Bogambara Prison

3

3

3

3

Matale

7 585

4 984

7 574

6 614

Gampola

1 356

1 183

1 299

1 168

Hatton

829

830

2 114

2 830

Mahara Prison

2

2

2

2

Gampaha

645

1 011

896

3 740

Kuliyapitiya

6 023

7 116

6 552

8 591

Jaffna Remand Prison

3

3

3

3

Point pedro

-

-

-

-

Mullativu

-

-

-

-

Killinochchi

-

-

-

-

Galle Remand Prison

2

2

2

2

Balapitiya

6 899

5 831

6 786

6 943

Elpitiya

3 606

4 417

4 659

5 750

Batticoloa Remand Prison

2

2

2

2

Kalmune

1 139

806

-

-

Ampara

2 194

3 850

3 978

4 103

Anuradhapura Remand Prison

2

2

2

2

Vavuniya

826

676

1 376

5 235

Mannar

327

1 267

993

927

Badulla Remand Prison

1

1

1

1

Nuwaraeliya

1 326

2 436

3 108

3 092

Tangalle Remand Prison

2

2

2

2

Hambantota

3 109

4 022

4 221

7 259

Embilipitiya

4 538

5 221

7 843

8 829

Kuruwita Remand Prison

2

2

2

2

Balangoda

2 120

2 480

3 127

2 358

Awissawella

9 672

8 253

9 380

8 294

Kegalle Remand Prison

2

2

2

2

Maho

4 290

4 305

5 272

3 430

Kurunegala

8 861

15 809

8 900

7 852

Total

25

85 697

25

86 491

25

85 436

25

95 837

Source: Department of Prisons.

Annual admissions of convicted and remand prisoners, 1997-2005

Year

Admissions

Ratio

Remandees percentage of the total inmate population

Convicted

Remand

Total

Convicted

Remand

Total

1997

18 143

71 350

89 493

1

4

5

79.7

1998

20 807

76 930

97 737

1

4

5

78.7

1999

22 466

77 374

99 840

1

3

4

77.4

2000

18 715

70 610

89 325

1

4

5

79.0

2001

22 239

73 486

95 725

1

3

4

76.8

2002

25 023

82 187

107 210

1

3

4

76.7

2003

27 681

88 535

116 216

1

3

4

76.2

2004

26 898

87 456

114 354

1

3

4

76.5

2005

33 034

96 007

129 041

1

3

4

74.4

Source: Department of Prisons.

Direct admissions of convicted prisoners according tonarcotic drugs & excise offences, 2001-2005

Offence

Year

2001

Per cent

2002

Per cent

2003

Per cent

2004

Per cent

2005

Per cent

Narcotic Drug Offences

8 002

36.0

9 817

39.2

10 388

37.5

10 326

38.4

13 435

40.7

Excise Offences

4 893

22.0

5 143

20.6

7 062

25.5

7 467

27.8

8 373

25.3

Other Offences

9 344

42.0

10 063

40.2

10 231

37.0

9 105

33.8

11 226

34.0

Total

22 239

100.0

25 023

100.0

27 681

100.0

26 898

100.0

33 034

100.0

Source: Department of Prisons.

Period spent on remand by prisoners awaiting trial - 2005

Under 6 months

6-12 months

12-18 months

18 months to 2 years

Over 2 years

Total

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

T otal

On 2005.03.31

High Courts

368

19

183

2

140

3

92

10

162

10

945

44

989

District Courts

61

7

40

3

31

2

4

-

10

-

146

12

158

Magistrate Courts

6 618

360

1 327

53

468

39

366

22

555

74

9 334

548

9 882

Other Courts

29

7

-

2

-

2

-

4

-

44

-

44

Total

7 076

386

1 557

58

641

44

464

32

731

84

10 469

604

11 073

On 2005.06.30

High Courts

368

19

165

14

136

11

83

13

138

19

890

76

966

District Courts

32

6

21

3

10

-

8

-

6

-

77

9

86

Magistrate Courts

6 691

362

1 442

67

639

43

385

21

542

56

9 699

549

10 248

Other Courts

31

-

9

-

1

-

3

-

12

-

56

-

56

Total

7 122

387

1 637

84

786

54

479

34

698

75

10 722

634

11 356

On 2005.09.30

High Courts

366

20

182

11

128

2

125

6

152

3

953

42

995

District Courts

39

3

22

3

16

-

9

-

5

-

91

6

97

Magistrate Courts

6 734

388

1 332

75

614

47

385

38

573

72

9 638

620

10 258

Other Courts

38

-

2

-

4

-

5

-

3

-

52

-

52

Total

7 177

411

1 538

89

762

49

524

44

733

75

10 734

668

11 402

On 2005.12.31

High Courts

427

29

161

6

106

3

100

4

149

23

943

65

1 008

District Courts

41

10

30

1

7

-

7

-

1

-

86

11

97

Magistrate Courts

6 899

403

1 390

62

676

44

463

32

674

55

10 102

596

10 698

Other Courts

43

-

9

-

1

-

-

-

1

-

54

-

54

Total

7 410

442

1 590

69

790

47

570

36

825

78

11 185

672

11 857

Source:Department of Prisons.

Length of sentences, 2001-2005

Length of sentence

Year

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

No. of convicted prisoners

Percentage of total convicted prisoners

No. of convicted prisoners

Percentage of total convicted prisoners

No. of convicted prisoners

Percentage of total convicted prisoners

No. of convicted prisoners

Percentage of total convicted prisoners

No. of convicted prisoners

Percentage of total convicted prisoners

Under 1 month

1 130

5.1

1 083

4.3

1 845

6.7

2 096

7.8

3 229

9.8

1 month to 3 months

2 893

13.0

4 058

16.2

5 187

18.8

5 527

20.5

5 893

17.8

3 months-6 months

4 842

21.8

6 270

25.1

6 726

24.3

6 042

22.5

6 404

19.4

6 months-1 year

5 712

25.7

5 032

20.1

5 756

20.8

4 614

17.2

5 085

15.4

1 year-1 1/2 years

3 198

14.4

3 767

15.1

3 467

12.5

5 100

19.0

7 824

23.7

1 1/2 years-2 years

1 466

6.6

1 645

6.6

1 520

5.5

1 077

4.0

1 879

5.7

2 years-3 years

1 045

4.7

1 069

4.3

1 034

3.7

843

3.1

887

2.7

3 years-5 years

1 121

5.0

1 160

4.6

1 274

4.6

894

3.3

1 051

3.2

5 years-10 years

489

2.2

553

2.2

475

1.7

422

1.6

449

1.3

Over 10 years

343

1.5

386

1.5

397

1.4

283

1.0

333

1.0

Total

22 239

100.0

25 023

100.0

27 681

100.0

26 898

100.0

33 034

100.0

Source:Department of Prisons.

Grave crime offences against persons (1999-2005)

Type of offences

Year

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Offences against persons

1.Abduction/kidnapping

851

814

767

739

829

868

953

2.Grievous hurt

2 080

1 966

1 813

1 848

1 854

1 922

1 749

3.Homicide/abetment to commitsuicide

1 801

1 711

1 576

1 347

1 310

1 377

1 221

4.Attempted homicide

626

642

655

504

489

502

466

5.Hurt by knife etc.

5 682

5 288

5 367

4 784

4 921

4 880

4 666

6.Rape/incest

1 309

1 202

1 283

1 247

1 371

1 432

1 540

7.Unnatural offences/grave sexualabuse

171

182

391

303

249

419

429

8.Offences under the offensiveweapons act

133

158

408

278

312

332

482

9.Procuration/trafficking

-

-

29

37

9

16

15

10.Cruelty to children and sexualexploitation of children

-

-

353

338

463

471

451

Total

12 653

11 963

12 642

11 425

11 807

12 219

11 972

Estimated mid-year populationin 000’s

19 043

19 359

18 732

19 009

19 252

19 462

19 668

Rate of admission per 100,000 ofpopulation

66.4

61.8

67.5

60.1

61.3

62.8

60.9

Source: Police Department

Source: Department of Prisons.

Discharge of convicted prisoners, 2003-2005

Basis of discharge

Year

2003

2004

2005

Male

Female

Total

Per cent

Male

Female

Total

Per cent

Male

Female

Total

Per cent

On punishment

15 426

244

15 670

61.4

16 473

300

16 773

58.0

17 454

388

17 842

62.8

On bail

208

24

232

0.9

315

42

357

1.2

155

20

175

0.6

On payment of fines

6 613

312

6 925

27.2

6 024

285

6 309

21.8

7 552

336

7 888

27.7

On special occasions

2 593

93

2 686

10.5

5 357

144

5 501

19.0

2 458

69

2 527

8.9

Total

24 840

673

25 513

100.0

28 169

771

28 940

100.0

27 619

813

28 432

100.0

Source: Department of Prisons.

Incidence of deaths in custody

Number of deaths and death rate (1996-2005)

Year

Total annual population of convicted and unconvicted prisoners

Daily average population of convicted and unconvicted prisoners

Number of deaths

Death rate |per 1,000 daily average population

Percentage of deaths of the daily average population (convicted and unconvicted)

1996

4 369 780

11 972

50

4.2

0.4

1997

4 649 861

12 739

50

3.9

0.4

1998

5 109 653

13 999

49

3.5

0.4

1999

5 986 730

16 402

98

5.9

0.6

2000

5 990 613

16 412

59

3.6

0.4

2001

6 284 139

17 216

64

3.7

0.4

2002

6 462 204

17 705

105

5.9

0.6

2003

7 349 930

20 186

71

3.5

0.4

2004

7 541 341

20 661

59

2.9

0.3

2005

8 079 001

22 114

82

3.7

0.4

Source:Department of Prisons.

Death sentence

Death sentences (1995-2005)

Year

Number sentenced to death

Number executed

Number of death sentences committed to imprisonment

Number under appeal awaiting execution or final decision for commutation of execution

1995

66

-

55

11

1996

88

-

56

32

1997

58

-

34

24

1998

43

-

16

27

1999

68

-

-

68

2000

72

-

-

72

2001

67

-

-

67

2002

69

-

-

69

2003

102

-

-

102

2004

68

-

-

68

2005

113

-

-

113

Source: Department of Prisons.

Number of pending cases by types - 2005

High courts

Number of the court

Number of pending cases by types

Criminal cases

Revision application

Labour appeals

Appeals from MC

Bail applications

Inquires

Writs

Others

Total

Ampara

120

10

2

19

4

0

8

0

163

Anuradhapura

1 211

99

37

78

33

0

56

0

1 514

Avissawella

354

84

21

128

86

28

6

0

707

Badulla*

898

21

54

102

6

0

9

0

1 090

Balapitiya

324

51

0

107

86

0

11

0

579

Batticoloa

235

30

1

21

7

0

15

0

309

Chilaw

674

48

22

50

76

0

6

0

876

Colmbo 1

331

21

0

11

18

0

4

49

434

Colmbo 2

319

46

36

0

76

0

7

387

871

Colmbo 3

409

57

56

58

47

0

5

0

632

Colmbo 4

240

24

57

309

16

0

4

144

794

Colmbo 5

248

17

28

38

57

2

1

1

392

Colmbo 6

377

36

41

25

56

2

10

0

547

Colmbo 7

420

18

39

61

40

3

1

0

582

Gampaha

372

100

9

35

66

0

0

0

582

Galle

382

87

40

26

85

0

10

0

630

Hambantota

468

53

0

113

0

47

0

0

681

Jaffna

98

8

0

10

2

0

2

0

120

Kalutara

383

27

10

60

35

0

13

0

528

Kandy

1 152

144

144

225

0

0

0

60

1 725

Kegalle

386

87

1

180

23

2

63

0

742

Kurunagala

1 167

139

26

316

0

145

0

61

1 854

Matara

263

11

20

3

0

111

0

1

409

Negombo

617

32

39

9

0

50

1

5

753

Panadura

442

105

23

82

0

240

0

17

909

Rathnapura

620

199

56

109

0

81

0

92

1 157

Trincomalee

289

20

1

13

6

0

14

0

343

Vavuniya*

40

1

0

2

2

0

4

0

49

Total

12 839

1 575

763

2 190

827

711

250

817

19 972

Source: Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms.

Primary courts

Pending during the year

Under the penal code

Under the motor traffic ordinances

Under other ordinances

Civil cases

Total

1

Gampaha

0

2 234

2 242

0

4 476

2

Jaffna

63

1 304

36

22

1 425

3

Tissamaharama

184

58

13

0

255

4

Kebithigollawa

170

359

69

0

598

5

Kakirawa

0

1 1272

17

0

11 289

6

Badulla

577

575

1 308

29

2 489

7

Bandarawela

286

1 787

39

0

2 112

8

Mahiyanganaya

690

1 239

172

0

2 101

9

Monaragala

43

9 875

0

7

9 925

10

Welimada

0

757

90

5

852

11

Batticaloa

143

1 224

78

6

1 451

12

Kalmunai

401

1 351

173

79

2 004

13

Ampara

281

1 472

170

11

1 934

14

Akkarapathtuwa

101

933

0

0

1 034

15

Colombo-Fort

0

3 347

0

0

3 347

16

Gangodawilla

0

10 100

1 012

12

11 124

17

Mallakam

0

923

5

0

928

18

Balapitiya

0

5 775

0

123

5 898

19

Chavakachcheri

29

207

11

21

268

20

Tangalla

335

4 407

348

72

5 165

21

Vavuniya

1 004

1 604

45

39

2 692

22

Horana

960

392

114

10

1 476

23

Panadura

525

1 346

321

2

2 194

24

Kalutara

277

1 216

9

0

1 502

25

Gampola

805

943

195

165

2 108

26

Hatton

93

1 303

77

12

1 485

27

Teldeniya

87

296

31

0

414

28

Nawalapitiya

301

1 225

230

16

1 772

29

Mawanella

329

662

445

36

1 472

30

Warakapola

1 364

3 599

221

70

5 254

31

Galigamuwa

91

39

6

0

136

32

Kuliyapitiya

468

2 855

104

0

3 427

33

Maho

354

903

133

0

1 390

34

Pilassa

72

10 470

79

39

10 660

35

Wariyapola

0

2 559

345

15

2 919

36

Morawaka

586

738

0

21

1 345

37

Pelmadulla

62

1 180

1 785

0

3 027

38

Miniwangoda

380

363

120

0

863

39

Galle

5

244

2

2

253

40

Kesbewa

23

705

15

26

769

41

Puttalam

497

8 035

1 750

19

10 301

42

Balangoda

1 363

2 252

231

75

3 921

43

Marawila

88

695

121

0

904

44

Embilipitiya

654

3 512

16

0

4 182

45

Elpitiya

0

2 523

0

0

2 523

46

Moratuwa

1 384

1 345

1

0

2 730

47

Nuwara Eliya

1 719

3 292

607

36

5 654

48

Hambantota

2 148

2 301

561

4

5 014

49

Polonnaruwa

748

14 458

124

0

15 330

50

Anuradhapura

4 481

8 631

18

0

13 130

51

Trincomalee

492

2 298

0

11

2 801

52

Attanagalla

252

1 870

57

221

2 400

53

Walasmulla

28

112

10

3

153

54

Dambulla

36

3 443

613

0

4 092

Total

24 982

146 608

14 169

1 209

186 968

Source: Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms.

Annex IV

ANALYSIS OF CONFORMITY OF SRI LANKAN LAW WITH KEY INTERNATIONAL INSTRUMENTS ON HUMAN AND LABOUR RIGHTS TO WHICH SRI LANKA IS A STATE PARTY

Relevant international instrument

Legislative compliance

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 2 and 3 - Equal protection of rights without distinction of any kind

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 12, paragraph 1 - Fundamental right of equality before the law and equal protection of the law.

Article 12, paragraph 2 - Fundamental right of non discrimination based on grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds.

Article 12, paragraph 3 - Fundamental right of freedom from subjection to disabilities, liabilities, restrictions, or conditions with regard to public places .

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provides for equal opportunity to all citizens to prevent any disability being suffered on grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion or occupation.

Article 126 - The Supreme Court of the State shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question relating to any alleged violation of a fundamental or language right, be it by an executive or administrative action, and it shall have the power to grant such relief or make such directions as it may deem just and equitable .

Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration Act No. 17 of 19 81 as amended by Act, No. 26 of  1994 :

Section 10 - While the act provides for the establishment of the office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) who through this section has the capability to investigate into alleged violations of fundamental rights, and if such rights are violated is capable of reporting his findings to the Public Petitions Committee for the requisite action to be taken thus providing for an added safeguard against the violation of fundamental rights .

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act, No. 22 of 1996 :

Section 2 - Provides for the establishment of a Human Rights Commission.

Section 10 - The functions of the Commission include conducting of investigations and inquiries into procedural compliance of provisions in the Constitution for the protection of fundamental rights, alleged infringements of those rights, advise in the formulation of legislation and procedure and ensure compliance with international standards and to provide education and awareness of these rights.

Section 11 - Makes provision for a wide use of power in order to meet the above objectives.

Section 14 - Provision for the investigation of alleged infringements of rights even on the Commissions own motion.

Section 26 - Protects the Commission against suit for actions done in good faith for the above stated purposes. Thereby this legislation provides for an independent organ to strengthen the protection and safeguarding of these rights.

Grant of Citizenship to persons of Indian Origin Act, No. 35 of 2003 :

Section 2 - All persons qualifying are of Indian Origin and are granted the full rights that a citizen of the State shall have, ensuring the safeguarding of rights indiscriminate of social origin.

Article 6 - Right to life and restrictions on capital punishment

Penal Code of 1889 as amended :

Section 53 - Sentence of death not to be pronounced on persons under eighteen years of age .

Section 54 - Sentence of death not to be pronounced on pregnant women .

Sentence of death can be imposed only for the most serious of crimes. However, for nearly 30 years, there has been a moratorium and no executions have taken place.

Article 7 - Non subjection to torture or to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 11 - Fundamental right of freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment .

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act, No. 22 of 1994 :

Section 2 - Any person who tortures another or attempts, aids, abets or conspires to do so is guilty of an offence.

Section 3 - Threat or state of war, political instability, public emergency or order of a superior officer or authority would not constitute a defence for this offence creating a more stringent safeguard against torture. The minimum sentence that can be imposed on a person convicted is 7 years imprisonment.

Article 8 - Non practice of slavery

Abolition of Slavery Ordinance, No . 20 of 1844 :

Section 2 - Slavery shall no longer exist and all such persons would henceforth be free and entitled to all rights, privi leges of free persons.

Article 9 - Right to liberty and security of person, not being subjected to arbitrary arrest, existence and compliance with due procedure of law

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 13(1) - Fundamental right of freedom of arrest except according to the due procedure of law and right to information of reasons for arrest .

Article 13(2) - Fundamental right to be presented before the nearest competent court according to procedure established by law if being held in custody or otherwise deprived of personal liberty and for such not to be continued except upon terms of that court according to due process of law .

Article 13(3) - Fundamental right to a fair hearing before a competent court in person or by an attorney ‑at ‑ law.

Article 13(4) - Fundamental right not to be imprisoned except by order of a competent court .

Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979 as amended :

Section 17 - This section gives provision for the payment of compensation to victims of unlawful arrest or detention .

Section 23 - Any person to be arrested must be informed of the nature of the charge or allegation upon which he is being arrested .

Section 32 - 33 - Provides for specific and limited circumstances in which arrest can be conducted without a warrant of arrest. In all other circumstances arrest can only be conducted with a warrant of arrest, ensuring freedom from arbitrary arrest.

Section 37 - Persons arrested without a warrant must be presented before a Magistrate within a reasonable time not exceeding 24 hours.

Section 53 - Provides for the substance of the warrant to be communicated to the party in question in executing an arrest under a warrant of arrest.

Section 54 - Provides for the due presentation of a person arrested under a warrant of arrest before court.

Chapter XXXIV - Makes provision for the granting of bail for certain offences.

Civil Procedure Code :

Section 298 - Provides for specific and limited circumstances in which arrest can be made with the issue of a warrant which ensures that arbitrary arrest do not take place.

Bail Act, No. 30 of 1997 (This law supersedes all other provisions of any other law other than where special provisions for bail is specified.)

Section 2 - Provides that the practice to be followed is that the grant of bail shall be the rule an d its refusal sh all be the exception.

Section 4 - 5 - Provides for the granting of Bail for bailable and non-bailable offences (the latter being at the discretion of the court).

Section 21 - Gives provision for anticipatory bail.

Article 10 - Rights of persons deprived of their liberty

Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act, No. 22 of 1996 :

Section 11(d) - Provides the Commission with the power to inspect and monitor the welfare of detained persons and to make recommendations for the necessary improvements.

Section 28 - Casts a duty on any person making an arrest or detention under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act or a regulation made under the public security ordinance to inform the commission

forthwith and in any case not later than 48 hrs from the time of such arrest or detention, of such arrest or detention and the place where such person is held in custody or detention. It further provides that the commission be informed if such person is released or transferred to anther place of detention.

Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979 as amended :

Section 24 - 30 - These sections give provision to ensure that all persons arrested or detained are treated with dignity and in a manner befitting with the inherent human dignity.

Article 12 - Right to liberty of movement, freedom to choose residence and freedom to leave and return to the state

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 14(1)(h) - Fundamental right of freedom of movement and of choosing residence within the state .

Article 14(1)(i) - Fundamental right of freedom to return to the state .

Article 14, paragraph 1 - Equality before courts and tribunals, right to fair and public hearing by competent, impartial and independent tribunal

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 12(1) - Fundamental right of equality before the law and equal protection of the law .

Article 107 - 117 and the 17 th amendment to the constitution - These sections provide for an independent judiciary to adjudicate upon all matters presented before it, including matters relating to fundamental rights. This is ensured by such steps as the appointing of all judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal by the President of the Republic upon the approval of the Constitutional Council, salaries of the judges being charged on the consolidated fund, the inability of a judge to hold any other office (paid or unpaid), the appointment of an independent Judicial Service Commission which is vested with decision making powers, etc. with regard to the judiciary, the immunity from suit or proceeding against members of the Commission, the interference of any judicial officer or Commission member in the performance of his duties constituting an offence.

Article 14, paragraph 2 - Presumption of innocence until being pronounced guilty

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 13(5) - Fundamental right of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty .

Article 14, paragraph 3(a) - Entitlement of an accused to be informed of the charge against him in a language that he understands

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 24(3) - Parties to court proceedings shall be entitled to an interpretation and to a translation of any or part of the pleadings, judgements, judgements and other judicial and ministerial acts into the appropriate national language, so as to understand the proceedings and participate in court proceedings .

Article 14, paragraph 3(d) - Rights relating to legal representation

Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 as amended :

Section 260 - Right provided to an accused to be defended .

Section 271 - If unrepresented the accused has a right to have the prosecution case, principle points and his rights explained to him .

Article 14, paragraph 5 - Right to have conviction and sentence reviewed by a higher court

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 13(3) - Right to be heard in person or by an attorney - at - law at a fair trial by a competent court.

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 127 & 139 - Provision for the right to appeal against decisions of the courts of first instance and superior courts by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal of the State respectively .

Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979 as amended :

Chapter XXVIII - Gives provision for an appeal process to have decisions reviewed by superior courts .

Article 15 - Right not to be held guilty for actions which did not constitute an offence at the time of commission

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 13(6) - Fundamental right not to be found guilty of an offence for an action which did not constitute an offence at time of its commission .

Article 18 - Freedom of thought , conscience and religion

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 10 - Fundamental right of freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion including freedom to adopt a religion or belief of choice.

Article 14(e) - Fundamental right of freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching.

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide for equal opportunity to all citizens to prevent any disability being suffered on grounds of religion, language, political opinion, etc.

Penal Code of 1889 as amended :

Sections 290 - 292 - Provides that actions of injuring, defiling, insulting or otherwise, of a religion in general or a place of worship, religious assemblies, religious feelings, etc. shall carry with it penal sanctions.

Article 19 - Freedom of expression and right to hold opinion

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 14(1)(a) - Fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression including publication .

Article 21 - Right to peaceful a ssembly

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 14(1)(b) - Fundamental right of freedom of peaceful assembly .

Article 22 - Freedom of association and right to form and join trade unions

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 14(1)(c) - Fundamental r ight of freedom of association.

Article 14(1)(d) - Fundamental right to form and join a trade union .

Article 23 - Protection of the family unit

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide that the State shall recognize and protect the family as the basic family unit .

Article 24 - Rights of children

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provides for the special care for the interests of children specifically to protect against discrimination, and to ensure their full physical, mental, moral, religious and social development .

Education Ordinance - Compulsory education to children under 14 years of age .

Article 25 - Franchise and access to public affairs

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 4(e) - Sovereign Right of freedom to exercise the right of franchise at the elections of the President, Members of Parliament and Referendums, by all qualified and registered electors over the age of 18 .

Article 27(4) - The state is obliged to afford all possible opportunities to the people to participate at every level in national life and in government.

Article 26 - Equality before the law and equal protection of the law, without any discrimination

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 12(1) - Fundamental right of equality before the law and equal protection of the law.

Article 12(2) - Fundamental right of non discrimination based on grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds .

Article 12(3) - Fundamental right of freedom from subjection to disabilities, liabilities, restrictions, or conditions with regard to public places .

Article 27 - Right of minorities to exercise rights in community

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 10 - Fundamental right of freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion including freedom to adopt a religion or belief of choice .

Article 14(e) - Fundamental right of freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching, privately or in association .

Article 14(f) - Fundamental right of freedom to enjoy and promote culture, and use of own langua ge, pri vately or by association.

Articles 18 - 25 - Provisions are provided for the use and practice of the Tamil and English language although such languages are used by minority communities in the State. These practices include usage in Parliamentary proceedings, educational purposes, administrative purposes, legislation and judicial proceedings .

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide for steps to be taken to promote co- operation and mutual confidence among all sections of the state, specifically in the field of education, teaching and education. It also provides for equal opportunity to all citizens to prevent any disability being suffered on grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion or occupation. Provision is also present for the assistance and develo pment of cultures and languages.

Official Languages Commission Act, No. 18 of 1991 :

Section 2 - Provides for the establishment of an Official Languages Commission.

Section 6 - 7 - This Commission is charged with the task of recommending policy, conducting investigations and to take any other actions necessary for ensuring the compliance with the various rights pertaining to language as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic as seen in Articles 18 -25.

Penal Code of 1889 as amended :

Sections 290 - 292 - Provides that actions of injuring, defiling, insulting or otherwise, of a religion in general or a place of worship, religious assemblies, religious feelings, etc. shall carry with it penal sanctions thereby ensuring that due respect be granted even to minority religious movements .

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Article 2 - Equal protection of rights without distinction of any kind

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 12(1) - Fundamental right of equality before the law an d equal protection of the law.

Article 12(2) - Fundamental right of non discrimination based on grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds .

Article 12(3) - Fundamental right of freedom from subjection to disabilities, liabilities, restrictions, or conditions with regard to public places .

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide for equal opportunity to all citizens to prevent any disability being suffered on grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion or occupation. It further provides for the rapid development of public and private economic activity, the equitable distribution of material resources, the dispersing of means of production, distribution and exchange. It also guarantees that the State shall strive for economic and social development in a wide array of spheres .

Article 126 - The Supreme Court of the State shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question relating to any alleged violation of a fundamental or language right, be it by an executive or administrative action, and it shall have the power to grant such relief or make such directions as it may deem just and equitable.

Citizenship Act, No. 18 of 1948 as amended :

Part II and Part III - Provide for less stringent means of obtaining citizenship as that existed in the past which allows more persons to qualify as citizens, thus ensuring a wider community having its rights being protected.

Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act, No. 44 of 1952 as amended :

Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, No. 13 of 1951 as amended :

The Thesawalamai Regulation, No. 18 of 1806 :

- The above stated statutes ensure the protection and practice of cultural rights with particular regard to marriage, divorce, property, etc. This ensures the full enjoyment of cultural rights in particular by the minority communities.

Prevention of Social Disabilities Act, No. 21 of 1957 :

Section 2 - Provides that the imposition of a social disability on another for reason of caste, shall be guilty of an offence.

Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, No. 28 of 1996 :

Part I - Provides for the establishment of a National Council for Persons with Disabilities to ensure the promotion, advancement and protection of the rights of such persons so as to prevent discrimination.

Part V - Provides for provisions to ensure the protection of the rights in question.

Protection of the Rights of Elders Act, No. 9 of 2000 :

Part I - Provides for the establishment of a National Council for Elders to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of such persons, and to provide self respect, independence and dignity, which aids in preventing discrimination.

Part II - Provides for provisions to ensure the protection of the rights in question.

Article 3 - Equality between men and women

Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance, No. 15 of 1876 :

Section 8 - 9 - Provides the wife with control of her personal property and wages thus granting her an equal standing as the husband in disposal of property, etc.

Married Women’s Property Ordinance, No. 18 of 1923 as amended :

Section 5 - 19 - Provides for further control for the wife of property, etc. that shall be held in her sole name in the light of granting equal protection of women’s property rights .

Article 6 - Right to work and free choice of workplace

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 14(1)(g) - Fundamental right of freedom to engage in lawful occupation, profession , trade, business or enterprise.

Article 7 - Enjoyment of just and favourable work conditions, etc.

Widows’ and Orphans’ Pension Fund Ordinance, No. 1 of 1898 :

Section 3 - Provides for the establishment of a fund for the payment of pensions to the widows and orphans of deceased public servants thus protecting the family unit .

Workmen’s Compensation Ordinance, No. 19 of 1934 :

Section 3 - 5 - Obligation of employer to pay compensation to workers for any injuries or diseases suffe red in the course of e mployment.

Wages Board Ordinance, No . 27 of 1941 as amended :

Section 2 - Provides for the payment of wage payment to meet a certain set standard ensuring just remuneration .

Section 3A - 3B - Provides for the granting to certain public holidays and for additional remuneration should work take place .

Section 8 - Creates Wage boards that look into the granting of wages, duration of working hours, intervals, holidays, etc. which safeguards favourable work conditions for the workers .

Factories Ordinance, No. 45 of 1942 as amended :

Part II - Provides for a series of regulations to ensure that all precautions are taken to maintain healthy working conditions .

Part III - Provides for a series of regulations to ensure safe working conditions .

Part IV - Provides for a series of regulations to maintain the general welfare of the workers .

Part V - Provides for a series of special provisions and regulations to ensure health, safely and welfare of the workers .

Part VI - Provides for the notification and investigation of ac c idents and industrial diseases.

Part VII - General provisions as to hours of employment, overtime, holidays, etc. It also features added provisions for the protection of female and young workers .

Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act, No. 19 of 1956 as amended :

Part I - Provides regulation of hours of employment, holidays, intervals in shops and offices and health and comfort of employees. This includes special provision for the employment of women and young persons .

Part 1A - Provides special provisions for maternal benefits for female shop workers .

Part II - Payment of remuneration for shop workers is ensured through these provisions .

Employees’ Provident Fund Act, No. 15 of 1958 :

Section 2 - Provides for the creation of an employees provident fund from which benefit can be claimed . ( Part III ) upon satisfaction of certain criteria .

Industrial Disputes Act, No. 50 of 1950 as amended :

Part II - Provides for the arbitration or conciliation of any industrial disputes that may arise with provisions for more expedient and convenient solutions such as collective agreement s, etc.

Part IV - Provides for the establishment of Industrial Courts for this purpose .

Part IV A - Provides for the establishment of Labour Tribunals as a more expedient step .

Termination of Employment of Workmen Act, No . 45 of 1971 :

Section 2 - Restrictions on the termination of workmen to prevent and unjustifiable terminations from taking place .

Establishments Code of 1985 :

- Provides for schemes of recruitment, appointments, promotions, etc., which aids a streamlined process for employees. This code has in lieu of court precedent attained the force of law and allows enforceability.

Article 8 - Freedom to form trade unions and similar rights

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 14(1)(a ) - Fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression including pub lication.

Article 14(1)(b ) - Fundamental right of freedom of peaceful assembly .

Article 14(1)(c) - Fundamental right of freedom of association.

Trade Unions Ordinance, No. 14 of 1935 as amended :

Part V - Provides for the maintenance of registered trade unions with certain rights enjoyable by them once registered .

Article 9 - Right to social security and welfare

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide that State shall ensure social security and welfare .

Widows’ and Orphans’ Pension Fund Ordinance, No. 1 of 1898 :

Section 3 - Provides for the establishment of a fund for the payment of pensions to the widows and orphans of deceased public servants .

Article 10 - Protection of the family unit, mothers and children

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide that the State shall recognize and protect the family as the basic family unit and for special care to be given to the interests of children and youth for their development and protection .

Widows’ and Orphans’ Pension Fund Ordinance, No. 1 of 1898 :

Section 3 - Provides for the establishment of a fund for the payment of pensions to the widows and orphans of deceased public servants thus protecting the family unit .

Matrimonial Rights and Inheritance Ordinance, No. 15 of 1876 :

Section 16 - A policy of life insurance by a married man will be for the benefit of his family, independent of any claims by creditors, providing added security for the family .

Section 24 - Children and grandchildren are given preference over others to the estate of their parents, providing financial stability for young orphan s without any financial support.

Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act No. 47 of 1956 as amended :

Part I - Provides for the observance of special provisions and restrictions in cases of employment during night hours of women and persons under the age of 18 .

Part II - Provides for strict rules and restrictions pertaining to the employment of children, young persons and women in industrial undertakings and at sea .

Part III - Provides for very strict restrictions and prohibitions of children in instances other than in industrial undertakings and at sea .

Maternity Benefits Ordinance, No. 32 of 1939 as amended :

Section 2 - Provides that women workers should not be employed for four weeks after her confinement .

Section 3 - Provides for t he payment of maternity benefit.

Section 10 - Employment not to be terminated on basis of pregnancy or confinement .

Article 11 - Right to an adequate standard of living and right to be free from hunger

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 14(1)(h) - Fundamental right of movement and choosing residence within Sri Lanka .

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide for a realisation of an adequate standard of living, food, clothing and housing and continuous improvement of living conditions .

Article 13 and 14 - Right to education

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide for the complete eradication of illiteracy and universal and equal access to education at all levels .

Education Ordinance - Compulsory education for children under 14 years of age .

Article 15 - Rights with regard to cultural life, the enjoyment of scientific progress, to benefit from the protection of moral and material interests

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 14(1)(a) - Fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression including publication which allows freedom to express and benefit from the expression of scientific, literary or artistic productions for which he is the author .

Article 14(e) - Fundamental right of freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching, privately or in association, which allows the freedom to enjoy cultural life .

Article 14(f) - Fundamental right of freedom to enjoy and promote culture, and use of own langua ge, privately or by association.

Article 27 - The directive principles of state policy provide for the full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities .

Kandyan Marriage and Divorce Act, No. 44 of 1952 as amended :

Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, No. 13 of 1951 as amended :

The Thesawalamai Regulation, No. 18 of 1806 :

- T he above stated statutes ensure the protection and practice of cultural rights with particular regard to marriage, divorce, property, etc. This ensures the full enjoyment of cultural rights in particular by the minority communities.

Convention on the Rights of t he Child

Article 2 - State parties obligation to provide indiscriminate protection of the rights of a child

Constitution of Sri Lanka, 1978 :

Article 12(4) - Provides for the creation of special provisions to protect the rights of a child even to the extent as providing an exception to certain fundamental rights .

Article 27(13) - Directive principles of State policy provide that the responsibility of the State will be to promote with special care the interests of the children and youth so as to ensure their full development, physical, mental, moral, religious and social, and to protect them from exploitation and discrimination .

National Child Protection Authority Act, No. 50 of 1998 :

Section 2 : Provides for the establishment of a National Child Protection Authority .

Evidence (Special Provisions) Act, No. 32 of 1999 :

Part I & II - Special provisions for the giving of evidence in court by a child .

Maintenance Act, No. 37 of 1999 :

Section 2 - Provides for the maintenance of children ensuring financial support for the child .

Legitimacy Act, No. 3 of 1970 :

Section 3 - Provides for the legitimisation of illegitimate children to ensure them a full and complete life in a social sphere .

Article 11 - Illicit transfer and non return of children

Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Act, No. 10 of 2001

Section 2 - The wrongful removal or retention of children shall be considered a crime .

Article 21 - Rules pertaining to adoption

Adoption Ordinance No . 24 of 1941 as amended :

Part I - Provisions pertaining to the adoption of children .

Article 24 - Physical and mental health

Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act, No. 48 of 1956

Section 3 - Criminal sanctions for the moral contamination of a child’s mind through public ations .

Article 32 - Rights of a child with regard to economic exploitation

Factories Ordinance, No. 45 of 1942 as amended :

Part VII - Features provisions and restrictions for the protection young and child workers .

Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remun eration) Act, No. 19 of 1956 as  amended :

Section 10 - Provisions and restrictions on the employment of children and young persons as employees in shops and offices .

Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act No. 47 of 1956 as amended :

Part I - Provides for the observance of special provisions and restrictions in cases of employment during night hours of persons under the age of 18 .

Part II - Provides for strict rules and restrictions pertaining to the employment of children and young persons in industrial undertakings and at sea .

Part III - Provides for very strict restrictions and prohibitions of children in instances other than in industrial undertakings and at sea .

National Apprenticeship Act, No. 49 of 1971 :

Section 42 - Restricts persons under the age of 18 from being engaged as apprentice s.

Article 34 - Protection from sexual exploitation

Penal Code of 1889 as amended :

Section 286A, 288A, 360 B - Sexual exploitation of a child carries penal sanctions .

Section 364 - Rape concerning a girl under the age of sixteen .

Judicature Act, No. 2 of 1978 as amended :

Second Schedule - Trial of rape of girl under the age of sixteen to be in the high court .

Article 35 - Prevention of trafficking

Penal Code of 1889 as amended :

Section 360 C - Trafficking to carry penal sanctions, with specific reference made to children .

Article 37 - Fundamental rights of a child

Penal Code of 1889 as amended :

Section 308A - Rule against cruelty to children .

Children and Young Persons Act, No. 48 of 1956 :

Part IV - Provisions for the prevention of cruelty and moral and physical danger .

Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979 as amended :

First Schedule - Provisions against cruelty to children, rape of a girl under the age of 16, etc.

Article 40