Perera re-agitates invocation of FR petition | Daily News


Implementation of laws on accessibility:

Perera re-agitates invocation of FR petition

Dr. Ajith C. S. Perera, the Chief Executive of Idiriya organisation, has re-ignited a public interest litigation Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court.

Supported by an affidavit and testimonials from two eminent medical doctors, he has urged for the implementation of the laws on accessibility regarding new buildings without further delay.

Dr. Perera said the Social Services Ministry, on October 17, 2006, has promulgated a comprehensive and detailed set of regulations approved unanimously by Parliament, stipulating the design, space requirements and safety measures in which the parts identified in the access regulations of new buildings, shall be constructed.

Since 2011, it has been witnessed that the proliferation of public buildings and an estimated 20 percent of Sri Lanka’s population – the largest minority group of citizens - is with restricted ability.

He said despite renewed attempts over 12 years and granting of three extensions of the deadline, the implementation of the accessibility regulations and the order by the Supreme Court has been poor. Appearing voluntarily on a wheelchair, he pursued this application since 2009.

This case was taken up on a number of occasions. All respondents were given enough time to file their views, objections, and affidavits, then discussed and argued over a month. Later, the court made an order on April 27, 2011.

The petitioner states that in the face of non-compliance of the accessibility regulations even after 12 years and also after an order of the apex court, an increasing number of people have become physically inactive, excluded from meaningful participation in the economic and social life, and pushing them towards poverty with the loss of productive opportunities, potentially crippling their lives.

It has thus become incumbent on the petitioner to re-agitate the invocation of the Fundamental Rights petition, the petitioner states.

Dr. Perera, a qualified professional with over 12 years of senior managerial experience, was left instantly paralysed waist down for life in 1992, by a falling roadside tree.

He has undergone formal training in the UK in the art of designing built environments accessible for all. Since 1999, he has pioneered the campaign for ‘Accessible Sri Lanka for All’ through the design of built environments.

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