OPA At Your Service
Questions and Answers
Payment for Disconnected Electricity Meter - My Meter A/c No.
4892407011 - Kelaniya
Question: I have obtained my electricity connection by
submitting an application form in 1993. The building collapsed and the
electricity connection was severed. Even though, the connection was
severed I was paying in between Rs. 30 and Rs. 40 as a monthly rental.
Recently a bill was forwarded to me as follows:
Undated Rs. 7509.76
Fuel Charge Rs. 538.65
16/07/2008 Rs. 714.08
16/07/2008 Rs. 560.48
19/08/2008 Rs. 1312.50
I have brought this mistake to the notice of the meter reader, and he
has readily agreed upon.
But, no action had been taken up to date to rectify the mistake. For
the month of September 2008, he has registered Rs. 250 as charges for
electricity consumption, without correcting the mistake they have
Were seek your worthy advice on this matter please.
Answer: We discussed your matter with the CEB Kelaniya Office.
According to them this could be due to mistakes made by the meter
reader. Minimum charge has been increased to Rs. 240 per month from
2006. Since you have been paying the minimum charge even prior to 2006,
it is obvious that something has gone wrong with the meter reading
figures (or estimated consumption) presume you wish to have this account
open for future connection. If not you could request to close this
We suggest that you call over at the Kelaniya Office and meet the
Revenue Cordinator Miss Manjula, who will assist you to sort out the
outstanding payment of Rs. 10,635/47 caused by error.
Registration of Charitable Institutions
Question: I am an avid reader of all documents or advise given
by your esteemed organization to various readers of the Daily News on a
variety of subjects, I too would like to benefit from your Organisation
by posing the following questions:
1. Are all charitable institutions required to be registered with
some authority or body? If so, with whom and where (address)
2. If a charitable Institute has already been registered how and from
whom/where does one obtain a certified copy?
3. How many individuals constitute a Board of Directors of a
charitable institute and how or by what name should such a Board be
4. Is the registration of such an Institute done once and for all or
has registration to be done annually?
5. Have we to inform someone/authority, whenever a Board member
resigns and a new member installed in his place.
6. Any other information pertaining to charitable Institutions which
you may feel would be relevant to me would be most welcome and greatly
I have already sent you my request by fax. However, since I feel this
is inadequate for your good selves to reply. I am following it up by
post. Trust you will reply either by Fax or through your column in the
'Daily News' and oblige at your earlier convenience.
Answer: Yes all charitable institutions have to be registered.
It can be registered with the Divisional Secretariat or the District
Secretariat as appropriate. If it is a foreign Funded or foreign fund
receiving charitable institution, then it has to be registered with the
National Secretariat for NGO's at the Ministry of Social Services and
Social Welfare. This office is on the 5th Floor at Sethsiripaya,
Battaramulla. You may contact the Director on Tel. 2888424 or obtain
more details on the Web. www.ngosecretariat.gov.lk.
The registration requirement is for voluntary charitable Institutions
or Organisations under the voluntary Social Services Act. You have to
provide details of the activity of the Organisation. Once registered
they will provide a Certificate of Registration. This is once and for
all registration. However any changes in the activities or office
bearers have to be informed.
In addition you can also register the organization with the
'Registrar of Companies' though not necessary in which case you have to
have minimum 2 directors and any change of the directors have to be
informed within 20 days. Also annual returns have to be forwarded to the
Deductions from Gratuity
Question: I shall be thankful if an answer is given to the
following question in the 'Questions & Answers' Page published by the
OPA in the 'Daily News' every Thursday.
Under Section 13 of the Payment of Gratuity Act No. 12 of 1983 an
employer is entitled to make deductions from gratuity payable under the
Act in the following circumstances- to the extent of the damage or Loss
Caused by the employee:
1. The termination of services for reasons of fraud, misappropriation
of the employer's funds.
2. The termination of services for wilful damage to the property of
3. The termination of services for causing the loss of goods,
articles or property of the employer.
Nevertheless, there are employees, whose services have been
terminated for reasons other than what has been specified above, e.g.
retirement, vacation of post, discontinuance for unsatisfactory
attendance etc. but deductions made on various grounds. Is this
possible? If any such deductions are made contrary to the provisions of
the said Act how could such employees seek relief.
Answer: Yes, as stated by you in your question, unless
terminated for reasons covered under Section 13, of the payment of
Gratuity Act. No. 12 no diction can be made from the amount due as
Even if not terminated but given the option of resignation by the
employer to an employee who has committed any of the offence under
Section 13, it is legal to deduct such amount from the gratuity.
If not the employer cannot make any deduction from the gratuity.
If any such undue deduction is made you can complain to the nearest
Assistant Commissioner of Labour.
However we must caution you that in one case over payment of salary
was deducted from the gratuity and when an appeal was made against this
deduction, the Commissioner of Labour upheld it to be reasonable and
allowed the recovery of the overpaid salary from the gratuity, although
not covered under Section 13.
Fate of the gold statue of prince Dharmapala
Question: During the Kotte period a gold statue of the crown
prince was sent to the Pope, in Italy. Please let me know in which
country the statue is kept at present. (and in whose custody).
Answer: You must be referring to the Ivory casket studded with
rubies and other precious stones. This casket has several panels in
relief, one depicting Prince Dharmapala being crowned by the emperor.
These panels are symbolic of prince Dharmapala being crowned by
emperor Philip of Portugal, and the coronation being held symbolically
The coronation was by one of the subordinates of Emperor Philip as
delegated by him.
Other panels were embossed with dancing girls, floral and vegetation
decoration and friezes of lions.
This casket is currently held in a museum in Munich called
Schatzkammer Der Residenz, Munich, and the exhibit number is 1241.
We presume you are referring to this as we cannot trace any gold
statue and it being sent to the Pope in Italy. Some mix up perhaps.
Combing medical leave with annual leave
Question: Please answer the following questions for my benefit
and also for the benefit of others.
I am working in a leading private bank. I was on annual leave for one
week. At the tail end of my leave I fell ill and was hospitalised for
The Consultant Doctor who treated me wanted me to take bed rest and
gave me a medical certificate for further one week. But the bank forced
me to come to work in spite of the medical saying that annual leave
cannot be followed by medical leave.
But I stayed two more days and reported to work against medical
Please let me know whether this rule is legal and if I am penalised
what action I should take.
Answer: Usual rule is that you cannot combine leave with
annual leave. It is a misinterpretation to state that one cannot combine
medical leave with annual leave.
This may be said due to some persons abusing their leave entitlement.
Since you had been hospitalised (sure you will have a document to prove
hospitalisation) and since a Consultant doctor has recommended best
rest, issuing a medical certificate, some officer in your bank is being
unfair. Managers are there to use some discretion and not to apply the
rules blindly. Your employer is wrong both legally and morally.
If in case you are penalised you can report the matter to the Labour
Department. We have already checked your case with an Assistant
Commissioner of Labour.
Obtaining Marriage Certificate
Question: I am addressing the letter to you with the intention
of soliciting your cooperation assistance and advice regarding a problem
confronted by me in not being able to obtain a copy of my marriage
I list below the facts of the problem: my wedding ceremony was held
on 12-10-1967 at "Sri Kotha" premises Kollupitiya and the registration
of the Marriage was also held at the same venue.
However as the registration was done in the Colombo District, I made
individual applications to the Divisional Secretariat at Vajira Road,
Colombo 4 and Dam Street respectively. In doing so I mentioned that I am
unable to state precisely or identify the particulars of Registrar in
view of the facts stipulated above. The respective Secretariats have
informed me that they are unable to trace the entries.
Unfortunately, my wife also met with a motor accident in the year
2002 and succumbed to her injuries at the National Hospital Colombo.
Since the accident was caused by the owner driver of the vehicle, with a
view to obtaining compensation a Letter of Demand was sent to the owner
driver with copy to his Insurer. The Police case dragged on for a period
of 5 years and after the judgement was given the Insurer sent me a claim
Form and having perfected it with most of the documents requested,
excepting the Marriage Certificate for which I substituted with a letter
obtained from the Grama Sevaka of my area of residence which was counter
signed by the Divisional Secretary explaining the circumstances under
which the letter is submitted.
The Insurers have since informed me that the letter regarding the
Marriage Certificate is insufficient for their requirement and until a
copy of the Marriage Certificate is furnished they are unable to proceed
with the claim.
In view to the facts spot lighted above I shall be very much obliged
to you if you could extend your worthy assistance in solving this
Incidentally, I am 80 years of age, at the moment and not in the best
of health to move out freely, therefore I trust that you would consider
this submission sympathetically and extend the courtesy of helping an
Answer: Although the Divisional Secretariat would have found
it easier to trace our Marriage Record, if as requested you were able to
provide the name of the Registrar, there is till a possibility of
tracing your Marriage Record.
Since you have the exact date of registration as 12.10.1967, the
Divisional Secretariat at Vajira Road, Colombo 4, may be able to trace
it from their computerized records. We could not do it as we require
your full name and the full name of your wife.
Considering your age a helpful officer at the Divisional Secretariat
is willing to assist you. It is best you call over and meet this officer
as in any case you have to make an application in order to obtain a
copy. If you wish prior to calling over you can check the availability
of your Marriage Record by providing the full names etc. You may inform
them that the OPA has requested you to contact them.
The Officer is Ms Ramya Bharathi and her Tel. No is 2588624.