A workshop for 30 Human Rights activists of 05 different organizations were held at Lewella Kandy from the 16th November - 18th November 20015.The workshop was facilitated by Mr. Basil Fernando and Sanjeewa Weerawickrama of the Asian Human Rights Commission Hong Kong. The focus of the workshop was on "Law enforcement and the improvement of Human Rights" Group discussions were centered around:
1. The Policing system
2. The Prosecution system
3. The Judicial system
4. The Penal system
A Torture case was also taken up for study which happened two days before the sessions in Katugastota Kandy road where a civilian was severely tortured, when stopped by the Katugastota police to check the license of the driver. The victim was then still at the hospital with chains and therefore, a letter of request was drafted to the National Human Rights Commission by the group and legal process of the case was in depth studied and steps were taken and taught by the facilitator in activating the newly formed Police and Human Rights Commissions.
The Role Of the prison offers in Rehabilitating and Integrating the Prisoners to the Society
A workshop for the prison officers of Pallekele open prison, Bogambara -Dumbara Prison, Wariyapola Prison was held on the 19th November 2015 for 30 prison officers. After an initial in put by Mr Basil Fernando of AHRC a lively discussion continued in protecting prisoners and providing basic basic facilities to the prisoners, adhering the UN document in following the basic , minimal standards in prisons.The prison officials openly spoke of the failure of the government to take into consideration the lack of space provided to the prisoners who are sentenced to long term sentences. The undue delay of judicial system was notee as one of the main causes for the over crowdedness in prisons. It was lso pointed out that there is no systematic method of rehabilitating the prisoners.Shifting of the Bogambara prison to Dumbara without basic facilities and the reason for the sudden shift was also discussed.
Mr Sanjeewa further reminded the prison officers of their duties in documenting according the legal requirements.
"Crisis of the rule of law in Sri Lanka and how it affects the Judiciary and the Lawyers”
A seminar was held with the above theme facilitated by Mr Basil Fernando on the 19th November 2015 at the Kandyn Art Residency for lawyers. With an input by Mr Basil Fernando the discussion continued in restoring the Judiciary and the role of the lawyers.The present court system where conses take priority to trial and the delay in filing indictments by the Attorney General's department due to the lack of staff was noted as a matter that discourages victims to seek justice and the justice system further being allowed to be defective.
The faith of the people in court system has completely being forced to loose as criminal cases are being heard for more than 12- 15 years. The lawyers appealed to the AHRC to intervene in the campaign to restore the judiciary.
A media conference was held at the Kandyn Art Residency on the 19th November by Mr Basil Fernando culminating the discussions that he had with the activists, Lawyers and Prison officers. Mr Basil Fernando pointed out the need for a constitutional reforms to restore the Rule of Law with adequate reforms in the policing system and the Judiciary. He spoke at length about the proposals to do away with the executive presidency citing the 1987 constitution that brought in the powers of the executive president.
Fr Nandana too joined the media conference to explain about the Torture case of Niroshan Rupasinghe as the police officers have given a different version of the incident.
Human Rights Office Kandy, Torture in Sri Lanka, Disappearances in Sri Lanka, Healing and Counseling
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