Handbook and Trainings for Grama Nilhadaris on Legal and Administrative Procedures
On 21/09/11, the UNDP Equal Access to Justice Project celebrated the launch of one of its most important publications of the year, a manual to be used by Grama Niladharis (GNs) across the island to build their knowledge on the many laws and procedures that govern their day to day activities.
Prepared by a key project partner, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institution (ADRI), this handbook is the product of a long collaboration with the Public Service Training Institute of the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs. A2J project provided financial support to ADRI to train 1,671 GNs from various districts in the country during 2009, 2010 and 2011. All the GNs in Batticaloa, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mulaithivu, Kilinochi, Badulla and Nuwaraeliya Districts were trained. Further, a considerable number of GNs were trained in Ratnapura, Trincomalee, Kegalle and Anuradhapura District as well. The main focus of the trainings was on enhancing the capabilities of GNs to contribute to support the public by advising them to approach the remedial mechanisms in case of a violation of their rights and improving the quality of their work with more focus on human rights approaches. During the training programmes it was observed that the gaps of knowledge and awareness requirements found among the officers could be effectively addressed only in the form of a physical document that can be consulted whenever required by the officer. The book thus covers 27 subjects through 3 chapters on administrative procedures and domestic laws for the GNs, each of which is important for the dispensation of their duty.
The launching ceremony was held under the patronage of the Hon Minister of the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Mr. W.D.J.Seneviratne. Representing the Equal Access to Justice Project were the Project Director and the Secretary to the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration, Mrs. Malkanthi Wickramasinghe. With the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute were the Chairman, Mr. S.S. Wijeratne and the Chief Executive officer Ms. Anne Fernando. The Equal Access to Justice Project has published 12,500 copies in Sinhala and 2,550 in Tamil as part of the first print. The ultimate goal of this would be to ensure that every Grama Niladhari division is equipped with a copy of the manual in the language of their choice.