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CPA Circular - January to April 2012

CPA Circular - January to April 2012

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Published by Sanjana Hattotuwa
CPA Circular - January to April 2012
CPA Circular - January to April 2012

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Published by: Sanjana Hattotuwa on Aug 28, 2012
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A Press Conference was held on April 30
at theNational Libraries Institute, Colombo, to launchfindings of the Programme on Promotion of LanguageRights of Minorities, as well as to give information onupdates in the legal situation regarding languagerelated complaints submitted,at the National LibrariesInstitute, Colombo. 32 participants attended.
The panel comprised of SG Punchihewa, Dr DevanesanNesiah, Dr P. Saravanamuttu, Lionel Guruge, and
Jan- April 2012
Cont Pg 3
Discussion on the LLRC
A two day event was held 24
– 25
Jan for civilsociety and other activists from across Sri Lanka todiscuss the LLRC, NHRAP, UPR preparations,advocacy related to 19
Session of the UNHRC andother significant issues. This event was co-organizedand co-hosted by CPA and a number of other civilsociety organizations.
S.Sivagurunathan . Panelists explained the outcomes of theprogramme for the media personnel present and repliedto questions of the media. A number of press reviewsfollowed, of the programme as well as television coverageon MTV News 1st , Rupavahini, Derana and TNL Radio, NethFM , Sirasa Radio among other channels, on the 30
, andfollowing dates.
Dr Saravanamuttu was also interviewed on MTVs Morning Show,23
May on CPAs contribution to setting up of LanguageSocieties and the progress of this programme
As a response to theincident inDambulla, whereRev. InamaluweSumangala andsupporters stormed amosque andthreatenedworshippers inabusive language,Groundviewslaunched an onlinesignature campaignto collect thesignatures andcomments ofconcerned citizens.
Groundviews,the CPA hosted citizens journalism website,initiated an on-linestatement titled
“Not InOur Name
”, that calledon Sri Lankans to putdown their names todenounce religiousextremism.The campaignran from 27
April – 31
May. The range of signatories and thecomments resulting, morethan 1400 in number ,kindled the interest of domestic andinternational media.Radio NetherlandsWorldwide reported onthis and Young AsiaTelevision broadcast avideo report on TV in SriLanka.
Jovita Arulanantham vsUniversity of Colombo - Afundamental rights/languagerights petition was filed in theSupreme Court suing theColombo University’s Insituteof Human ResourceAdvancement (IHRA) forconducting its courses in theSinhala language only, withouta parallel course being offeredin the Tamil language.
CPA held a discussion on
ReligiousTolerance and Related LandIssues
on 30th April with theparticipation of civil society andpolitical actors.
NEW SFromtheField
Social Indicator is providing data collectionservices to the American Institutes forResearch, for their evaluation of Room toRead’s Enhanced Girl’s Education Programmein Sri Lanka.The programme seeks to motivate, empowerand educate girls to enroll and remain in schoolthrough a system of ongoing support. Theprogram specifically identifies schools wheregirls are at high risk of dropout, and gives themmaterial support, life skills education activities,tutoring, and the involvement of mentors andadvocates who help girls remain and succeedin school. The three primary goals of theevaluation are to investigate the extent towhich the Enhanced Girls’ Education program(1) is being implemented as it has beenenvisioned, (2) leads to intended programoutcomes, and (3) leads to broader socialoutcomes. Training was held for the 14 datacollectors from the 24
– 27
Jan . The trainingwas conducted by two Senior Researchers fromthe American Institutes for Research. Datacollection commenced on the 30
of Januaryin ten schools in the Nuwara Eliya andMonaragala districts.
SI /AIR collaboration
On behalf of CARE International SriLanka, SI is currently conducting aKnowledge, Attitudes and Practice(KAP) study to engage men and boysas catalysts for gender based equity inSri Lanka. The qualitative studycomprises in-depth interviews withselected individuals – those who havebeen affected by the tsunami, thoseworking in the Free Trade Zones,military/ex military personnel –tosupplement the findings of the survey.
 Fieldwork continued in all four districts until the 9th March and the female component of the survey was considered completed.
The overall goal of this programme carried out by CPAwas to secure the fundamental rights of minorities witha focus on Language Rights in Sri Lanka. Recognizing thatthe attention of civil society actors has been inadequatein this area, the project increased awareness anddiscussion of the serious implications that the lack ofimplementation of Language policy can potentially havein Sri Lanka, and the importance of recognition oflanguage rights. Whilst such issues as the lack oftranslated official documentation and institutionaldisplay such as name boards and notices were addressedas more easily correctable, Public Interest Litigationinitiated precedent on serious and continuous violationsof Language Right
:Post War Sri Lanka throughphotography
http://www.movingimages.asia featuresthe country’s first high-definition videoproductions and the first to documenttheir respective subject matter, contentthat furthers civil, progressive andinclusive discussions on the future ofdemocracy, peace, reconciliation, social justice, fundamental rights and equalityin Sri Lanka.Supported by Groundviews.org
Press releases wereissued on the CPAstance on the releaseof the Lessons Learntand ReconcilliationCommission Report(LLRC)
(Jan 4th & Jan17)
and with anInterim Report and areminder toparticipate in theFeeback on the Censusexcercise
(April 16th
).CPA translated Chapter9 of the LLRC reportconsisting ofRecommendations,and disseminated thisto its mailing lists
Land Circular Background
The Land Circular exclusively dealt with land in the Northernand Eastern provinces. It temporarily suspended alldistribution of land in the North and East unless lands aredistributed for national security and special developmentprojects, and provides for the settlement of disputes relatingto state land. The circular also required all persons in theNorth and East, including private landowners, to submit‘ownership application forms’ disclosing all details of their
Land Circular case progress
The writ application filed by TNA National List M.P., M.ASumanthiran challenging
the Land Circular (2011/04)
wastaken up on 19th Jan in the Court of Appeal. MurduFernando, DSG appearing for the Respondents gave anundertaking to withdraw the Land Circular and informedCourt that a new circular will be issued and presented toCourt. K. Kanag-Isvaran (P.C), and Attorneys-at-Law ViranCorea, Bhavani Fonseka and Gehan Gunatilleke appearedfor the Petitioner and were instructed by Mohan Balendra.
Petition Background 
n October 2011 the Court of Appealpresided over by Justice W.L.R Silvaheard the petition filed by TNANational List M.P and lawyer M.A.Sumanthiran seeking an interim orderrestraining the Land CommissionerGeneral and other respondents fromimplementing the Land Circular No.2011/04. This Circular deals with landin the Northern and Eastern provincesin Sri Lanka. The Court of Appeal issueda stay on the operation of the PublicNotice issued requiring people fromthe North and East to register lands by20th November 2011. DSG Ms. MurduFernando informed Court that the Stateis reconsidering the Land Circular andthat a committee may be appointed forthis purpose. This matter was to betaken up in the Court of Appeal on 19thJanuary 2012.More details at the CPA website, inVIbhasha Issue 2http://cpalanka.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2nd-Edition-Vibhasha-English-.pdf
land. Under the circular, all landowners of the North and East, including private land ownerssuch as the petitioner were required to furnish details to the relevant Divisional Secretaryor Assistant Government Agent, through the Grama Niladari, within two months. The LandSettlement Department thereafter issued a public notice requiring all landowners in theNorthern and Eastern provinces to submit their details on or before 20th November 2011.The Petition stated that the provisions of the Registration of Title Act No. 21 of 1998 havenot been complied with. For instance, no cadastral surveys have been conducted in theNorthern Province prior to issuing the public notice calling for details on private lands. Theconsequences of not furnishing such details are unknown.
Consequently private landowners of the North and East stand to lose title to their lands if they fail tofurnish details within two months. The new circular provides that competing claims to state lands inthe North and East would be decided by two Committees of Inquires and special mediation boards.The committees include military personnel in their membership, such as the Area Civil Co-ordinatingOfficer and a representative of the relevant Security Commander. Nominees of the police or of thethree armed forces are appointed to an Observation Committee, which is established to assist theCommittees of Inquiry..The petitioner argued that the actions of the respondents are unreasonable, capricious, irrational,unfair, arbitrary and ultra vires, and cause serious irremediable loss, harm, damage and prejudice tothe petitioner and to the people of the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The challangedcircular thus seriously compromises and erodes the rule of law and adherence to constitutionalprovisions including Articles 4(c) and 105, which vests the judicial power of the people in the courts,and provides that all courts, tribunals and institutions involved in the settlement of disputes ought tobe established by Parliament. The Land Circular is also merely an administrative circular issued by theLand Commissioner General, who has no apparent authority in law to issue such a circular.

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