Above project is expected to be implemented under the three aspects of preparation of an electronic file management system, improvement of the currently used vehicle registration system and database, and improvement of the communication network of the Department of Motor Traffic. The proposal made by Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, to implement the above project as a build, operate and transfer project as recommended by the Ministerial Committee on Economic Management, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
02. Proposals on steps to be taken regarding damages on houses and business places of residents caused by the explosion in Salawa Army Ammunition dump (Document No - 11)
Explosion occurred at Salawa Army Ammunition Dump has not caused any civilian death, but has damaged movable and immovable properties in 12 Grama Niladhari Divisions around the camp. According to the recommendations made by the committee appointed under the chairmanship of Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Science, Technology and Research, to review and make recommendations on paying compensation to effected, the Cabinet has decided to provide relevant reliefs. Accordingly, for families whose houses or business places have been damaged Rs. 50,000/- is being paid until they are resettled in their residences, and currently about 400 families receive the payment of Rs. 50,000/-. The proposal made by Hon. Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Minister of Disaster Management, to pay a monthly allowance of Rs. 50,000/- for others who could not resettle in their houses and accelerate the payment of compensations to movable properties according to the recommendations of the relevant Assessing Committees, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The Cabinet has also decided to advise relevant parties to accelerate the relief activities for the residents in Western Province including Kolonnawa area, which was recently affected by the floods.
03. Construction of an Indigenous Medical Research Hospital and Herbal Garden (Document No - 13)
A considerable trend can be observed in Sri Lankans of taking indigenous and ayurvedic treatments. As the ancestral indigenous medicine is a valuable gift that should be given to the future generations, the government has taken steps to conserve and develop the indigenous medicine. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. (Dr.) Rajitha Senarathne, Minister of Health Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to establish an Indigenous Medical Research Hospital and Herbal Garden adjacent to the Vedagama Model Village in Dompe Divisional Secretary Division, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
04. Improvement of the Storm water Drainage within Western Megapolis Region (Document No - 19)
The area of the Western Province is only 5.7% of the island, but its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product exceeds 50% and acts as the important industrial, commercial and administrative centre of Sri Lanka. As 5 main river valleys are situated in the Western Province, it confronts constant floods, and therefore it is important to develop the storm water drainage in the Western Megapolis Region in developing it to the international standards. About 30% of the Weras Ganga Storm Water Drainage and Environment Improvement Project have been completed. The proposal made by Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to implement 08 projects in this regard immediately including construction of two tunnels for drainage storm water to the sea and two pump houses to pump storm water to the sea, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
05. Restructuring of Tea Shakthi Fund (Document No - 20)
The proposal made by Hon. Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries, to restructure the Tea Shakthi Fund as recommended by the Committee of Officials appointed in this regard and to improve the management of 12 factories owned by the Tea Shakthi Fund under the direct supervision of the ministry, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
06. Establishment of the "Engineering Council" to regulate the Profession of Engineering in Sri Lanka by registering Engineering Practitioners (Document No - 22)
Engineering professionals, who have qualified in Sri Lanka and overseas in various institutions, are experienced in various fields according to standard and level of the courses they have followed, and are engaged in various engineering tasks.
However, an acknowledge method is not followed such as in medical and legal fields for registering and issuing licences for engineering practitioners. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister of Power and Renewable Energy and Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to establish the Engineering Council which is responsible for maintaining professional status and regulating engineers, and to publish in the gazette the Engineering Council, Sri Lanka Bill for enacting provisions for registration of engineers and related tasks and to present the same in parliament for approval, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
07. Holding United Nations Vesak Day Celebrations in Sri Lanka – 2017 (Document No - 23)
Prof. Gunapala Malalasekara had proposed that the Vesak Day should be celebrated internationally throughout the world in 1950 during the World Buddhist Congress held in Sri Lanka, and later in 1999 the proposal made to the United Nations General Assembly by Hon. Lakshman Kadiragamar, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, was adopted and the tradition of celebration of the International Vesak Day was accepted. In 2016, the celebration was held in Thailand. The joint proposal made by H.E. the President Maithripala Sirisena, Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Hon.Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Buddha Sasana, to hold the United Nations Vesak Day Celebrations and the Conference 2017 in Sri Lanka in May 2017 and to appoint a Committee to make necessary arrangements to in this regard, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
08. Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 (Right of detainees for access to legal counsel) (Document No - 24)
The proposal made by Hon. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to publish in the gazette and present in the parliament the drafted Code of Criminal Procedures (Amendment) Act, for enacting provisions enabling a detainee to obtain the service of a desired legal counsel by his expenditure, before presenting before a Magistrate, and to provide that service through a legal counsel of the Legal Aid Commission, for any detainee who cannot afford the expense, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
09. Consolidation of Core Legislation (Document No - 25)
Legislations enacted in the past have amended frequently and understanding such laws have become a complex and difficult task. As a solution the Ministry of Justice will consolidate five (05) core legislations and redrafted in Sinhala, Tamil and English with the assistance of United Nations Development Programme. When considering Evidence Ordinance, Criminal Procedure Code and the Penal Code, they include many words and declarations that have been outdated and they could be misunderstood by the public. Therefore, the proposal made by Hon. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to substitute or revise such terms in those legislations to suit the present linguistic context, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
10. Amendment to Assistance to and protection of victims of crime and witnesses act no. 04 of 2015 (Document No - 26)
The above act was brought into operation on 16th May 2016. There have been requests to give witnesses from overseas under this act. Accordingly it has been decided to amend the above act enabling victims and witnesses to give evidences from outside the country through audio visual media, without being present at the courts. Such evidences may be given at a Sri Lankan Diplomatic Mission in the respective country and provisions should be enacted to protect the freedom of witnesses and prevent any influence. The proposal made by Hon. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice, to draft amendments to the above act on the above purposes, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
11. Enforcement of new regulations in terms of the Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Document No - 28)
Common and distinct laws and regulations were introduced for safety of life at sea that should be followed in international merchant shipping affairs by the above convention in 1974 by the International Maritime Organization. All member states have agreed to follow these regulations. Accordingly, a certificate that denote the gross weight of all containers should be provided with the view of improving the protection of container ships, maintaining the stability/balance of the ship storing containers in due manner and minimizing the environmental impact. Currently the gross weight is stated in documents but a certificate is not issued. Hence, legislations which were made with the consultation of all parties by the Merchant Shipping Secretariat, should be drafted through the Legal Draftsman to issue licence for Container Weight Verifiers and Container Transporters. The proposal made by Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Ports and Shipping, to draft above legislations and thereafter publish in the gazette and present in the parliament for approval, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
12. Resettlement of Protracted Internally Displaced Persons in the Northern Province (Document No - 32)
IDPs were seen since the 1980s due to the conflict situation. These include Tamil as well as Sinhala and Muslim families in the Northern Province. After the end of the conflict these IDPs began to return to their homeland but with lack of infrastructure the process was not successful. Muslim and Sinhala IDP families need 16,120 and 5,543 houses respectively. Being IDPs their political rights including the right to vote were affected, and they face difficulties in accessing services rendered by the Divisional Secretariat, registration of Births and Deaths as well as enrolling children for schools. Accordingly the Cabinet approved to appoint a Task Force in this regard with the Co-Chairmanship of the Ministers of Industry and Commerce and Provincial Councils and Local Government and to proceed according to its recommendations.
13. Development Projects on Rehabilitation and Resettlement - 2016 - Development Projects implemented for the resettled families and returnee refugees in the Northern, Eastern Provinces and Former Threatened Villages (Document No - 33)
A special budgetary provision of Rs. 14 billion was allocated by budget proposals 2016. Accordingly, many projects including construction of new houses, renovation of damaged houses, provision of sanitary facilities, providing safe drinking water, provision of livelihood assistance, rehabilitation of roads, and improvement of infrastructure, were implemented under the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs in 2016. The above information presented by Hon. D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, was noted by the Cabinet of Ministers.
14. Creating a special Head in Annual Budget Estimates for the effective implementation of the Official Language Policy (Document No - 34)
The Constitution of Sri Lanka has accepted Sinhala and Tamil as official languages and has affirm the right of obtaining services from any public institution in the desired official language. Accordingly, all public institutions are bound to render services in both official languages. The proposal made by Hon. Mano Ganeshan, Minister of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages, to create a special head in budget estimates of each ministry from 2017 to implement the Official Languages Policy with the view of facilitating citizens to obtain services in their desired language at 2020, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
15. Leasing of the old Chancery Building of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. (Document No - 37)
The above building which the Embassy of Sri Lanka was located earlier is vacant at present and it has been observed that it could be used in economically beneficial manner. Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to appoint a Technical Evaluation Committee Chaired by the Sri Lankan Ambassador for consultation on regulations and conditions for leasing the building and to proceed with relevant activities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
16. Kaduruwela Town Expansion Project – Phase I (Document No - 42)
Economic activities in Kaduruwela area have increased after the end of war. As a result it has confronted with issues such as traffic congestion, lack of parking facilities, as well as environmental and social issues due to unplanned constructions. The Urban Development Authority has planned the above project as a solution to these problems and a number of subprojects are to be implemented.
Accordingly, the proposal made by Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, to award activities of the first phase of this project such as planning, development of lands, preparing the drainage system, and land filling to the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
17. Maintaining a pool of elephants consisting of about 35 tuskers/male Elephants/female elephants, under the Zoological Department to make them participated in cultural activities (Document No - 50)
The perahera culture of Sri Lanka has a great history and has attracted the world's attention. It has been observed that it is essential to use elephants in this perahera to maintain its pride and devoutness. When several cultural activities are held together with the Dalada Perahera, number of elephants is insufficient. Therefore, a pool of about 35 elephants is proposed to be established under the Zoological Department with elephants obtained from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and from Udawalawa Eth Athuru Sevana, with the objective of training for perahera purposes. The proposal made by Hon. Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, on the above matter, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.