The meeting, held under NPC’s project Community Engagement and Initiatives for Transition (ACE-IT) that is funded by the European Union (EU), was conducted in accordance with government regulations on washing hands, sanitising, temperature checks before entering the premises, wearing masks and in a one metre distanced seating arrangement.
Mr. Lakshan Fernando from Right to Life Human Rights Centre explained the rights afforded to marginalised groups and described the benefits they could obtain from the government.
State institutions such as the Human Rights Commission, the National Police Commission, the Right to Information Act and the Office on Missing Persons could provide assistance and relief to these groups, he pointed out.
During the discussions it was revealed that most participants had not been able to get the Rs. 5,000 given by the government for those who had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m unable to do a job because no organization will hire a disabled person like me. Due to this pandemic, my family has faced many problems. My daughter is a government officer but her salary is not enough for us to survive. We are not getting any government support,” said Sumith Aminda from Ekala.
Also under the ACE-IT project, which supports Human Rights First Aid Centres (HRFACs) established under the project, EU Ambassador Denis Chaibi visited the Gampaha centre in the Batticaloa district for a review meeting.
Mr. Chaibi met HRFAC members, victims, survivors and families of missing persons and discussed commonly occurring human rights violations. He also met the Bishop of Batticaloa, Dr. Joseph Ponniah.
Mr. Chaibi praised NPC’s relief campaign providing rations to disadvantaged people carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic, which was funded by the EU.