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Friday, May 26, 2017
Human Rights Commission recommends measures to address Salawa explosion victims' complaints
May 25, Colombo: The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has recommended a series of measures to address the complaints lodged by the victims affected by the explosion of army ammunition dump in Salawa nearly a year ago.
The complaints lodged by groups of individuals refer to the nonpayment of reasonable compensation for the damages caused to fixed and mobile assets owned by the complainants, due to the conflagration and explosion that took place in the Army Camp in the area of Salawa, Kosgama on 5th June 2016.
The petitioners identified the Secretary - Ministry of Disaster Management, Secretary - Ministry of Finance, Chief Valuer - Valuation Department, Commander - Sri Lanka Army, District Secretary - Colombo District Secretariat and Divisional Secretary - Seethawaka Divisional Secretariat.
Subsequent to the disaster the complainants have put forward a series of problems faced by them to the Human Rights Commission.
Accordingly after a preliminary inquiry the commission has made several interim recommendations and communicated to the respondents while full investigation is continuing.
The HRCSL has recommended following measures:
- to establish an Appeals Committee consisting of representatives of all respondents mentioned above;
- to draft a suitable appeals form by the relevant District Secretary and the Divisional Secretary for the purpose of collecting details of damages caused to fixed and mobile properties from the victims (with views and assistance obtained from the remaining respondents, if necessary);
- to distribute the form prepared as per 02 above among the victims in a suitable manner and maintain a register of details pertaining to the distribution of the form and the recipients thereof;
- to afford an opportunity also to victims in addition to those who have already appealed (and who are eligible to re appeal) and the possibility of appeal/re appeal be given wide publicity;
- to collect information within 14 days of the distribution of the form;
- to re-compute the assessment in respect of each application so that the assessment as made for each item could be clearly and separately identified;
- to report back to the HRCSL as to why the payment of the monthly allowance of R.50,000.00 made as per the Cabinet decision of (for business community or other aggrieved parties) has since been discontinued;
- to publicize the closing date for appeals and introduce a fair system to consider such appeals; including obtaining relevant technical expertise and
- to inquire into the requirements of aggrieved students and children among the victims and examine the manner in which due relief could be granted.
Respondents are required to report back with steps taken to comply with recommendation by 5th June 2017.