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Wednesday September 27th, 2023

Sri Lanka to issue death/missing certificates to disappeared, pay 100,000 LKR to next of kin

INTERNATIONAL EXPERTISE: Justice Minister Ali Sabry says Sri Lanka has sought international expertise for the X-Press Pearl case.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal to issue death or missing person certificates to disappeared persons and pay a 100,000-rupee one-time-only allowance to their next of kin and also provide land where necessary, co-cabinet spokesman and Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said.

According to the proposal made by Justice Minister Ali Sabry, the Registrar General is advised to issue a certificate of death or certificate of absence to a missing person after investigations into their disappearance is completed. The 100,000-rupee lifetime allowance, also to be issued by the Registrar General, will be for the “rehabilitation of family depending on the particulars revealed by the Office of Missing Persons”, a statement from the government information department said.

Speaking to reporters at the weekly cabinet press briefing on Tuesday (15), Alahapperuma said Sri Lanka is duty-bound to do justice by some 14,000 of its own citizens that have disappeared since 1988.

“Since 1988, over 14,400 citizens of this country have disappeared without even a death certificate issued for them. At a previous cabinet meeting, it was decided to expedite investigations into these disappearances. The cabinet decided to appoint 25 boards for this purpose with the view that the country is obligated to do justice by these people.

“The president also advised that land also be provided to them if they have an issue pertaining to land,” he said.

The cabinet decision came in the wake of mounting international pressure to address concerns raised over missing persons, particularly in the last phase of the war with the separatist Tamil Tigers.


Sri Lanka likely to face more scrutiny in September UNHRC session

Former Sri Lanka Human Rights Commissioner Ambika Satkunanathan on Tuesday criticised the move in a tweet, calling the 100,000-rupee allowance insulting to the families of the disappeared.


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Sri Lanka’s sex workers face false charges: Women’s collective

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s sex workers have faced fundamental rights violations including unlawful detention and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, a representative of the Abhimani Women’s Collective said at a conference yesterday (26).

“Following their arrest, sex workers frequently experience the infringement of their fundamental rights, including the right to fair treatment, due process and protection from cruel and inhumane treatment,” said a report by the Abhimani Women’s Collective.

Soliciting on the street is currently illegal under section 7 1 (a) of the Vagrants Ordinance which criminalizes ‘any person in and about any public place soliciting any person for the commission of any act or of illicit sexual intercourse or indecency.

This provision along with section 2 of the Brothel’s Ordinance, which criminalizes the aiding and abetting of the management of a brothel, has been used to arrest sex workers in the country.

However, many sex workers claim that they have been presented before court on false charges of drug possession and have been subjected to harassment by both Police and customers.

“When inquiries are made over our arrest, the police say that we have been charged with drug possession,” Sakuni Mayadunna, a sex worker, said.

“Prostitution is not legal in Sri Lanka, so therefore, sex workers will face problems,” Chief of Police in charge of the Child and Women Abuse Prevention, Renuka Jayasundara, said.

“However, every citizen has fundamental rights in this country. We have not authorized the Police to carry out actions such as hitting detainees or not providing a female officer. If those actions happen, a complaint must be filed.”

Attorney-at-Law for the legal aid commission, Ganga Somarathna, said that the legal aid commission provides legal support for such victims whose income is below 45,000 rupees and also for women and children. (Colombo/Sep27/2023)

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Sri Lanka to introduce social security system: minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Labour minister has said that they are set to introduce a comprehensive national social security system, covering all workers.

“The system will address the weaknesses of the current system and provide much-needed support to workers and their families,” Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment said on X (formerly known as Twitter).
He did not specify the details.

Nanayakkara also spoke of the need for robust social security when he met with exporters last week to discuss labor law reforms, boosting female workforce participation and attracting FDI.

Sri Lanka plans to reform labour laws for an export-oriented economy.

The pandemic and the economic crisis highlighted the need to improve the coverage of social security.

Studies have shown that Sri Lanka’s women are kept out of formal employment by childcare, elderly care and housework, as day care and elderly homes are either too expensive or too few.

The government imposed a Social Security Contribution Levy to increase its revenue last year. (Colombo/Sep27/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s stocks up in trading on Wednesday morning

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka shares were picking up in trading on Wednesday morning.

Turnover was at 50 million. Trading in the Capital Goods Industry Group was driving turnover.

The All Share Price Index was up 0.37 percent or 41.78 points to 11,289.94, while the S&P SL20 was also up 0.68 percent or 21.66 points to 3,187.65.

Hatton National Bank, Commercial Bank and LOLC saw gains in morning trade, while Tokyo cement and Lanka Hospitals were trading down during morning trading. (Colombo/Sep27/2023)

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