November 15, 2018

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    Decisions taken at the Cabinet Meeting held on 21st January 2015

    January 22, 2015

    1. Appointment of Special Commissions for enquiring into large scale corruptions that had taken place in the past

    Proposals made in this connection by the Hon. Prime Minister and the Hon. Minister of Power and Energy were discussed in length. Accordingly, as recommended by the National Executive Council the Cabinet approved the establishment of the Committee Against Corruption consisting the following members.

    Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (Chairman)
    Hon. Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera
    Hon. Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka
    Hon. Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply and Drainage Rauf Hakeem
    Hon. Parliamentarian and the leader of the Tamil National Alliance R.Sambandan
    Hon. Parliamentarian and the leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Anura Kumara Dissanayaka
    Hon. Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran
    Leader of the Democratic Party Sarath Fonseka
    Dr. Jayampathi Wickremaratne
    Attorney at Law J.C.Weliamuna and
    Mr. Malik Samarawickrema

     

    Approval was also given to appoint an Urgent Response Committee on the recommendations of this committee. This committee will comprise with the following members. 

     

    1. Hon. Parliamentarian and the leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Anura Kumara Dissanayaka (Coordinator)
    2. State officials
    3. Police Officers
    4. Lawyers
    5. Experts on Financial and Auditing
    6. Officials of the Crime Investigating Department

     

    In this connection discussions were also held about the prevailing legal framework and the incidents of insufficiency of available financial allocations and hence the need to introduce a Special Parliamentary Act. It was also decided to appoint suitable officials at required times through the prevailing established institutional framework and to adopt the short term and long term that can be taken by those institutions. It was also decided further to focus attention on the under-mentioned matters.


    Proposed Short Term Actions


    1. Look into the items that have been brought for distribution during the Presidential Election period and now being kept in stores and divulge about these items
    2. Look into illegal acquisition of lands, and movable and immovable properties and divulge about them.
    3. Look into corruption and irregularities that had taken place at the Employees Provident Fund, and Colombo Stock Exchange and divulge about them.
    4. Look into the assets and liabilities of those involved in suspected large scale frauds and take appropriate action against such acts.

     

    Proposed Long Term Actions

     

    1. Take action to acquire funds relating to fraudulently carried out financial dealings outside the country and to punish those responsible for such dealings
    2. Introduction of a more powerful Bribery or Corruption Commission
    3. Establishment of a National Procurement Commission and obtaining approval for all projects through this Commission
    4. Introduction of the National Audit Act
    5. Implementation of the UN Anti Corruption Covenant for which Sri Lanka is a signatory

     

    It was emphasized the importance of getting contributions from a specially qualified team to investigate into irregularities that are taking place in the financial sector and it was intimated to the Cabinet by the Hon. Prime Minister that already experts of the Financial intelligence Unit functioning under the Central Bank of India and experts in this field from the financial institutions including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to provide assistance in this connection.
    Cabinet Approval was also given to appoint a Committee comprising the under-mentioned members to formulate draft legislation to expeditiously introduce an Act with wide allocations to make it compulsory to divulge the sources of hitherto undeclared wealth


    1. Hon. Minister of Justice and Labour Relations Wijedasa Rajapaksa (Chairman}
    2. Hon. Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka
    3. Hon. Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera
    4. Hon. Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply and Drainage Rauf Hakeem

     

    The Ministers were also requested to submit to the office of the Hon. Prime Minister as early as possible corruption and malpractices that had taken under each and every Ministry.

     

    02. Revision of Fuel Prices


    The Cabinet requested the Hon. Minister of Power and Energy to take expeditious steps to reduce the prices of fuel to provide concessions to the consumers.


    03. Use of official vehicles


    The Cabinet of Ministers also decided that no new official vehicles should be purchased for the use of the Hon. President, the Hon. Prime Minister and all the Ministers and Deputy Ministers and only the vehicles available in the Ministries should be used.


    4. The Official Visit undertaken by the Hon. Minister of External Affairs to India from 17 - 18th January 2015 on an invitation made by the Indian Minister of External Affairs


    The Hon. Minister of External Affairs informed the Cabinet of Ministers that during his visit to India, he held discussions on many matters important to both countries with the - Prime Minister of India, Minister of External Affairs, Advisor on National Security, leader of the Indian National Congress Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, and the former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. He also informed the Cabinet of Ministers that the Indian Prime Minister extended his warm well wishes to the President of Sri Lanka and stated that a new chapter which would enhance the bilateral relations between the two countries will start with the establishment of the new government.


    The Hon. Minister also informed the Cabinet of Ministers that the Indian Prime Minister extended an invitation to the President of Sri Lanka to undertake an official visit to India and they are in readiness to accord him a warm welcome and the Indian Prime Minister is also hoping to undertake an official visit to Sri Lanka. The Hon. Minister further stated that this proposed visit will be the first such visit to be undertaken by an Indian state leader after 1987. The Hon. Minister enlightened the Cabinet of Ministers that during this visit, bilateral discussions will be held on the following sectors.


    1. Bringing back of Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu
    2. Renovation of the Colombo-Kandy Railway line as a dual railway track
    3. Construction of 4,000 houses for the Estate population of Badulla and Nuwara Eliya districts
    4. Increase of direct flights between the two countries and restart of the ferry transport services between Talaimannar and Rameswaram and Colombo – Tutricon
    5. Development of investment and trade relations and
    6. Problems related fishermen' issues between the two countries.

     

    05. Re-assessment of the implementation of certain large scale projects


    The Cabinet of Ministers decided to appoint the under-mentioned Committee to investigate whether there are other projects, other than the large scale projects being implemented under concessionary loan schemes, basic steps have been taken to follow the Laws of this country and assessment of environmental impacts have been made on other projects such as Colombo Port City Development Project, the Northern Expressway Project and other infrastructure projects.


    Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (Chairman)
    Hon. Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka
    Hon. Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Rajitha Senaratne
    Hon. Minister of External Affairs Mangala Samaraweera
    Hon. Minister of Ports, Naval and Aviation Arjuna Ranatunge

     

    It was also decided to request the Hon. Minister of Finance to submit a report about the tax concessions that have been given in respect of these projects.

     

    06. Holding of the Presidential Election in a just and unbiased manner


    The Cabinet of Ministers decided to extended their gratitude to the Commissioner of Elections, all officials who were involved in the Election duty including District Secretaries, all Police officials including the Inspector General of Police, officials of the Special Task Force who had been deployed in areas where there could have been election violence for holding a just and unbiased election.

     

    07. Stocks of imported rice in Government Stores


    The Cabinet of Ministers requested the Minister of Food Security to investigate on the stocks of imported rice now being stored in the government as to whether they are suitable for human consumption and take steps to release the rice stocks to the market prior to the arrival of 2014/2015 Maha Season rice harvest to the market.


    It was also decided to request the Minister of Finance to suitably increase the levy of tax now being charged at the rate of Rs. 1/- per kilogram for imported rice when the Maha Season harvest reaches the market in order to ensure a just price for the harvests of the local farmers.

     

    08. Issue of Media Releases by State Officials

     

    It was decided to request the Minister of Public Administration, Provincial Councils, Local Government and Democratic Administration to instruct his Ministry Secretary to issue instructions the need to strictly follow the rules and regulations under the Establishment Code in issuing Press Releases by State Officials.

     

    09. Implementation of the 100 days programme

     

    It was also decided to request the Ministers to steer their Ministry Secretaries to give maximum priority to implement the 100 day-programme. It was further decided to appoint a committee headed by a senior advisor of the Hon. Prime Minister, Secretaries of 5 Ministries and another 2 Scholars for monitoring of the implementation of this programme.

     

    10. Appointment of Cabinet Spokesman

     

    The Cabinet of Ministers also decided to appoint the Hon. Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Rajitha Senaratne as the Media Spokesman of the Cabinet.

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