Human & Environment Links Progressive Organization (HELP-O) conducted many Human Rights programs in Galle District. Also the organization held awareness raising workshops for on Human Rights with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The objectives of the project were,
- Awareness workshop for Brief fundamental Human Rights for combination of prison officers, Police officers, teachers, pupils, NGO’s, CBO’s, & Media person.
- By the way of training Human Rights guards the violation of human rights could be minimized in relevant locations where they are alert to.
- By establishing free legal aid units inside the prison premises & conduction allied law units scattered in the identified location, the violation of human rights could be minimized.
- To ensure the social status of ex-prisoners through community based rehabilitation by NGO’s & CBO’s sand to provide with education scholarship for children of poor prisoners.
Awareness raising workshops for Human Rights to prison officers, police officers, parents, Teachers, pupils, Samurdhi Animators, Grama Niladhari & Media persons were highly effective because of all CBO’s & NGO’s. Also, welfare & rehabilitation of the project rehabilitation program for Ex- prisoners and scholarship for children of poor prisoners.
- Police officers Training.
On October 2003 on 15th & 16th through it was at the inception planed to conduct the awareness workshops for Police officers of Galle, we extended same for 200 police officers of the Southern Province and pursued for two consecutive days with resource persons no less than Mr.Palitha Fernando, the additional Solicitor General, Mr. Sarath Jayamanna the Senior P.C.Prathiba Mahanama, Attorney-at-law, Professor Chandrasiri Niriella and JMO Rohan Ruwanpura.
Subsequent to awareness increasing for police officers, the prompt response of the police for complains against them when queried, receiving the police report without delay.
Certain allegation relating to civil matters before referring to court of law, the police intervene and bring forth a satisfactory settlement and submit a report for our information.
As a result of awareness workshops for Police officers of Matara and Hambantota, our organization was reported of violation of fundamental Rights for them. The main topics were in this workshop for police,
- The responsibilities of police pertaining to protection of human rights
- For successful investigation required essential information officer
- Fundamental Rights & Human Rights
- Judiciary evidence required for criminal offences.
The Resource persons who conducted the above workshop are additional Deputy Solicitor General Mr.Palitha Fernando, Additional JMO Mr.Rohan Ruwanpura & Psychologist Ms.Darshanie Chandrasekara. 100 officers from the Boossa and Galle Prison also attended the above workshop prior to above workshop we were informed of certain aggressive activities to prisoners by the prison guards. However as a result of above workshop such incidents were not repeated. Such officers extended their cooperation to ensure the legal and counseling aid unit inside the prison premises.
Awareness workshops for parents, teachers, pupils, Samurdhi animators, Grama Niladari and Media personnel
As numerous cases of violation of human rights and racial conflicts and child abuse of the area, awareness increasing workshops were held with the guidance of professional authorities on the subject. Gnorance of civic rights was mostly instrumental and subsequently we have had very less cases when compared to what we heard before workshops. Domestic violence due to land problems could be minimized by amicable settlements and advice to refer same to court of law instead of quarrels.
The knowledge of the teachers relating to fundamental Human Rights was very law. We have realized from cases referred to us. They should also be convinced of human right of their pupils too and their obligations teachers. Unjust and political transfers and professional rights deprived of and due upgrade are some of the problems that were reported and sought guidance.
Knowledge of Teenage Pupils relating to Human rights was very unsatisfactory whereas they should be able to protect themselves as pupils of today become adults of tomorrow. Under the present trend of the situation we very often hear of violation of Human Rights of children very often. They were indeed very anxiously attending the said workshops. However subsequent to these workshops violations of Human Rights of pupils have declined.
For Grama Niladari
Yakkalamulla, Baddegama & Nagoda Divisional Secretariats have frequently meetings with people of all walks of life in their relevant locations. Hence they are being often reported of cases of violations of Human Rights. Especially the low income earners become victims of such miserable fate. We were reported of numerous cases. We are satisfied that Samurdhi Niladhari have obtained help and fundamental know how to defend their human rights. As legally involved to grant certain relief to the community who become victims of violation of Human Rights. Soon after conducting these workshops some mistresses who employed minor as domestic servants were frightened and release such domestic servants of underage.
For Media Personnel
Resource persons Acting Solicitor General Mr.Palitha Fernando, JMO Dr.Rohan Ruvanpura and prison Superintended Mr.Upuldeniya and Probation & Childcare, Commisisoner Mrs. Iranganie Amarasiri. Fundamental Rights & Human Rights, Facts to be taken into consideration when referred to court of law, Mobilization and Rehabilitation of Ex prisoners. The responsibilities and the duties of the probation & childcare dept were individual topics respectively by the above resource persons.
To Ensure Legal Advisory Facilities within Prison Premises
Being a member of the prison Welfare Committee many short coming have been noticed such as:-
- Serving long terms in prisons for not being able to retain a lawyer.
- Serving long terms for not being able to pay bail of fines
Inside the Galle prison between 150-175 could be kept under detention. However at this stage more 800 prisoners and suspects are being detained. This situation was reported in the national news papers whilst the government should spend about Rs. 350-400 per day consequently the dependents of such who serve long term become victims of miseries and hardships of life, wives perhaps illegal livelihood and children neglecting their schooling
The ceremonial opening of the Para legal and counseling Unit was declared open the commissioner of Prison Mr. Rumy Marshook who declared that the post care service for prisoners will be made available in other prisons too in order to do away with age old practices.
The Training Process for Voluntary Human Rights Protection Guards:
By now we have trained 60 voluntary Human Rights Care Guards in the Galle District. They will be selected from NGOs and CBO’s operating in Galle District. They will be given a 2 days residential training of fundamental laws relating to violation of Human Rights. The main topic were,
- Law and social obligation
- Civil & Criminal law
- Technical and Theoretical training about communication talents and training for challenges to be faced
- Through imprisoned whilst mobilizing the responsibilities of the civil society social responsibilities relating to protection of environmental rights and laws
- Subsequently to two days training on Fundamental Rights, Women, and Labor rules they will be provided with an identity card and a certificate will be awarded
Rehabilitation program for prisoners
Once ex prisoners or suspects were freed they will find it difficult to find employment mainly due to the reason that the feedback of the society is not pleasant. Under such circumstance those ex prisoners are apt to repeat offences or there is the possibility of returning to very same miserable pattern of life. Hence whilst in prison the vocational training shall be given.
Scholarships for Children of Poor Prisoners
Due to prolong period inside prisoners, the children of poor families either refrain from going to school due to lack of required material facilities or such children resort to other fields to earn money.
Therefore this concept will have a great impact national wise
By now we have extended legal facilities to more than 300 prisoners and suspended terms for good number of suspects, and bail out for nearly 100 prisoners.
Having received information about prisoners and suspects, the advisory committees obtain a factual report and those prisoners or suspects suitable to be paid fines of bail. The Advisory committee is represented by,
The Superintendent of Prison
Chief Jailor of Prison
Attorney-at-law and acting judge Mr.Mapalagama Wimarathne
Attorney-at-law Mrs. Gopika Lokuge
The president & Secretary of prison Welfare Society
Mr.Chathura Welivitiya, chairman & project executive of HELP-O
Awareness Programs for School Teachers
Awareness Programs for Police Officers
Another Program on Human Rights
The rights of civil and military prisoners are governed by both national and international law. HELP-O conducted workshops for prisoners with Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). HELP-O organized many training programs to prisoners and the main objective was to embolden the prisoners & improve and encourage their children education.
An Awareness program was held on 16th November 2003 at Auditorium of Galle District for prisoners. The resource persons who conducted the above workshop are Additional Deputy Solicitor General Mr. Palitha Fernando, Additional JMO Mr. Rohan Ruwanpura and Psychologist Ms.Darshanie Chandraseka.100 officers from the Boossa and Galle Prison also attended the above workshop prior to above workshop we were informed of certain aggressive activities to prisoners by the prison guards. However, as a result of above workshop such incidents were not repeated. Such officers extended their cooperation to ensure the legal and counseling aid unit inside the prison premises.
Rehabilitation program for prisoners
Once ex prisoners or suspects were freed they will find it difficult to find employment mainly due to the reason that the feedback of the society is not pleasant. Under such circumstance those ex prisoners are apt to repeat offences or there is the possibility of returning to very same miserable pattern of life. Hence whilst in prison the vocational training shall be given. The prisoners are training to self-employments. And after the training we supply the equipment renting for prisoners.
Scholarships for Children of Poor Prisoners
HELP-O provides scholarships for prison’s children since incorporation. We have provide scholarships the continuously for 18 years. In this time HELP-O provided 320 scholarships for children. First we get the propose names through prison welfare association HELP-O clarifies about the status of children through village officers. The support for the school children is great help to raise their education. The all students have many financial barriers for education. Main objective is to assist with the children’s education with financial. And improve opportunities for prisoners who have just been released and also for their children when a parent is incarcerated. The all children have many difficulties for their education.
We receive children’s names in need through prison welfare association and we clarify and ensure and the necessity for assistance through government representative of the village. Due to prolong period inside prisoners, the children of poor families either refrain from going to school due to lack of required material facilities or such children resort to other fields to earn money. This is the great chance for the children to get courage for their studies also. On the other this is protecting the social rights of the children and their families.
Training the prisoners to Self Employments
Giving the Equipment to prisoners after the training
Giving the Scholarships for the Prisoner’s Children