MPs' allowances; COL : Both rise
With the increase in telephone and transport charges and the hike in fuel prices from this week the government has granted MPs a vehicle maintenance allowance of Rs 15,000 from next month, The Sunday Times learns.

This is in addition to the salaries and other allowance paid to the 225 legislators.
At present the MP's are permitted to purchase tubes and tyres for their vehicles at a discounted rate. However the new allowance is in addition to these discounts.
The Sunday Times learns that the parliamentarians are to make a joint appeal to the Government to further increase the vehicle maintenance allowance as the Rs 15, 000 allowance was not sufficient.

They claimed they have to travel to their electorates at least thrice a month. The latest allowance comes in the wake of the Government recently increasing the fuel allowance of all outstation MP's by 7,500 a month. The allowance of an MP who received Rs. 15,000 as fuel allowance now get Rupees 23,000 instead.

Local DNA testing soon with local and foreign aid
DNA tests relating to criminal activities in Sri Lanka is to be held locally with effect from January. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the Police this week discussed the programme to raise funds for DNA testing procedures by the Government Analyst's Department and the Police Academy.

Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Dr. Radhika Coomarasamy told The Sunday Times funds from the international community for such testing procedures would be sought together with the support of the local business community.

'We cannot afford to fully fund the DNA testing on our own. Therefore we would seek international assistance as well', she said. This was among the issues discussed between the Human Rights Commission and IGP T.E. Anandarajah, when measures to be taken to prevent torture and deaths in police custody were taken up.

Dr. Coomarasamy said that they also discussed working closely with the Police Commission to formulate guidelines on the interdiction of police officers who are named in successful fundamental rights applications before the Supreme Court.

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