Vision

Economic and Social Prosperity through Rehabilitation

Mission

To create a developed Socio-economic environment through rehabilitation and reconstruction for the citizens affected by the ethnic violence or terrorist activities in order to facilitate and ensure the resumption of a normal life

Lives of many people were lost and, the properties of thousands of people were destroyed due to the ethnic conflicts and the civil unrest occurred in the country on 24 July in 1983 and the near period. This unfortunate incident had been added to the history as the Black July where specially the Tamils had to abandon all their dwellings, businesses, industrial places located in Colombo and in some other main towns. In the face of this situation, the Rehabilitation Authority ( REPIA ) was established on 08 August 1983 by a special gazette notification under the Emergency Regulation Section No.01 of 1983, by the late former president Hon. J.R. Jayewardhana during his regime, in order to ensure the ownership of the property of its first settlers and the tenancy.

The Rehabilitation Authority was under the portfolio of the former late president J.R. Jayewardhana and, the former Navy Commander, Rear Admiral Hon. Alfred Perera was the first Chairman of the Institution.

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The main objectives of this Institution had been,

  • Renovation of destroyed properties
  • Rehabilitation of destroyed industries
  • Vesting and divesting of the abandoned properties due to violent activities

The Rehabilitation Authority which was established under the Emergency Regulation Section of 1883, had been obtained the approval of the Cabinet in 1986 under the Cabinet Memorandum No: 101 of 1985 presented by the former late president Hon. J.R. Jayewardhana to the Cabinet. The Cabinet approval was obtained by the president in November 1986, in order to present it as an Act to the parliament, and the Rehabilitation Authority of Persons, Properties and Industries was established accordingly, under the Parliament Act No. 29 of 1987.

Hon. Lionel Jayathilake was appointed as the Hon. Minister of Rehabilitation in 1987, and the Rehabilitation Authority was functioned under that Ministry. Civilians those who were affected to ethnic conflicts, civil riots, terrorist violent activities, security operations occurred in various parts in the country had been rehabilitated since then by implementing numerous Relief Schemes under the Rehabilitation Authority.

The Staff of the Rehabilitation Authority

The Staff of the Rehabilitation Authority was consisted with 35 officers in 1991, and they were recruited on the Secondment basis of the government service. It was suggested to recruit two Assistant Directors for the first time by the Ministry of Policy Planning and, accordingly the recruitments were taken place.

The staff was increased in 50 members in 1994 and, two posts of Management Assistant and the post of Security Coordinator were appointed in addition to two Assistant Directors. The Rehabilitation Authority had been developed in this manner and, the complete staff was consisted with 75 employees, including 25 graduates recruited in 2005. The whole staff had been permanent employees by 2014 and, the role of the Authority has also been expanded.

Accordingly, the following loan programmes have been introduced for the War Affected families and Socially Reintegrated Trainees.

  • Self - Employment Loan for the General Public
  • Self - Employment Loan for Socially Reintegrated Trainees
  • Housing Loan Programme for War Affected Families
  • Loan Schema for for Affected Industries

Special Units under the Rehabilitation Authority

  • A project office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had been established during the time period of 1990 - 1995. Programme of Refugee Returnees from India had been coordinated under this project which is established under Reppia.
  • A special computer unit had been established to report the information of involuntary disappearances to the Geneva Human Rights Commission. During the time period of 1997 - 2000, the information of 10,880 of disappeared persons had been reported to the Geneva Human Rights Commission during the period of 1987 - 1990.
  • According to the approval of the Cabinet, a special unit had been established during the time period of 1997 - 2000 in order to grant assistance for those who had been affected due to election violence.

Functions

Subject to the other provisions of the Act, the functions of REPPIA shall be.

  • To assist in the rehabilitation of affected persons by way of an outright grant or any such other means as REPPIA may deem necessary.
  • To assist the owner of any affected property to repair and restore such property either by way of an outright grant or subject to such reasonable conditions as may be agreed upon by REPPIA, and such owner for securing the repayment of any expenditure incurred out of the Fund for the purpose of such repair and restoration.
  • To assist the tenant of any affected property to repair and restore if the owner of such property is unable or unwilling to do so and, REPPIA is inclined to provide assistance to carry out the necessary   repairs and restorations by having regard to all the circumstances.
  • To order the demolition and removal of any affected property which is consisted with a building or structure.
  • To assist the proprietors of any affected industry, or business to rehabilitate, subjected to such reasonable conditions as may be agreed upon by REPPIA, and such proprietor for securing the repayment of any expenditure incurred out of the Fund for rehabilitation.

Present Programs of REPPIA

  • Payment of property compensation for damaged places of Religious Worship.
  • Payment of property compensation for Government Servants.
  • Payment of death and injury compensation for affected General Public.
  • Payment of property compensation for affected Government Servants.
  • Housing grant for resettlers under the Unified Assistance Scheme.
  • Payment of death and injury compensation for affected public servants, co-operative and corporation employees.
  • Self - employment loan scheme for General Public.
  • Self - employment loan scheme for Socially Reintegrated Trainees.
  • Housing loan scheme for constructions or renovations for damaged dwelling houses.
  • Industrial loan scheme for affected industries.

For the purpose of discharging its functions, REPPIA may exercise all or any of the following powers

  • To acquire in any manner, and hold, take or give on lease or hire, mortgage, pledge, sell or otherwise dispose of any movable or immovable property
  • To clear and redevelop affected property vested in the State by virtue of a determination under section 22, or revised in the State under section 23
  • To enter into and preform all such contracts as it may consider necessary for the discharge of its functions
  • To accept gifts, grants, donations or subsidies whether in cash or otherwise, and to apply them in the discharge of its functions
  • To perform all such acts or things as are incidental to or consequential to the discharge of its functions.

Additional Functions

The minister in charged of the Rehabilitation Authority assigns special duties time to time when necessary, accordingly there was a unit of UNHCR, Election Violence Compensation Unit in the REPPIA.