02. Cultural Pageant to be held in conjunction with the 67th Independence Day Celebrations
The Cabinet of Ministers noted that the Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council has organized to hold a Cultural Pageant in front of the Colombo Municipal Council on the evening of 4th February in conjunction with the 67th Independence Day Celebrations with various cultural items under the theme of “National Unity” with the participation of Artistes representing from all ethnic communities.
03. Proposal relating to the statement on Peace to be made at the Independence Day Celebration
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the joint proposal made by the Acting Foreign Minister Hon. Ajith P. Perera and the Minister of Home Affairs and Fisheries Hon. Joseph Michael Perera to make a statement on Peace at the 67th Independence Day Celebrations to be held on 4th February, 2015 taking into consideration the recommendations that have been made in chapters 9.284 and 9.285 of the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to express sympathy and cooperation with all those who were subjected to the war situation that prevailed in the country for a long period and to pledge that it will be dedicated in unity to prevent recurrence of such situations in the country in the future.
04. Revision of the Appropriation Bill No. 41 of 2014
The Draft Bill presented by the Minister of Finance Hon. Ravi Karunanayake to revise the Appropriation Bill No. 41 of 2014 to provide allocations for the new government’s 100 days expeditious programme that is to be implemented and to allocate the funds earmarked for the activities of the 60 Ministries to 31 Cabinet Ministries and 10 State Ministries since the activities of the previous 60 Ministries are now being carried out by these 31 Cabinet Ministries and 10 State Ministries, and to allocate these funds in line with the subjects relating to the new Ministries. The Cabinet of Ministers agreed to consider this Draft Bill as an Emergency Bill under clause 122 of the Constitution and to present it to the Parliament
05. Revision to Clause No. 34 of the National Authority Bill on Tobacco and Spirits
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Hon. (Dr.) Rajitha Senaratne to revise clause No. 34 of the National Authority Bill on Tobacco and Spirits to include information on the danger of health hazards that could be causes by the use of tobacco products in the packs containing tobacco products and to make it compulsory to display pictorially this danger on 80% of the surface area of such tobacco product packs. The Cabinet of Ministers approved to consider this proposal as an Emergency Bill under clause 122 of the Constitution and present it to the Parliament. The Cabinet of Ministers also approved in addition to the foregoing to revise the current penalty of Rs. 2,000/- and one year’s imprisonment applicable in the event of not taking action to enlighten the consumers in accordance with this Bill to a penalty of Rs. 50,000/- and one year’s imprisonment and the health warnings issued by the Authority that has been established for this purpose should be changed once in every 6 months.
06. Radio and Television Broadcast in respect of International Cricket encounters held in Sri Lanka and in foreign countries
The Cabinet of Ministers observed that the financial losses that had been incurred by the two State Media Institutions, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation since the decision that had been taken to entrust only two Institutions the rights of broadcasting details relating to International Cricket Tournaments held in Sri Lanka and in foreign countries to change in the year 2011 and also to entrust this right to private television and radio institutions dedicated only to broadcasting sport activities. The Ministers also observed that the coverage provided by the CSN Institution which has obtained this permit does not cover all parts of the country and their broadcast does not take place in the languages of Sinhala and Tamil and thereby an injustice has been caused to the listeners and viewers of far-away areas. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers appointed a Cabinet Sub Committee to make recommendations to rectify this situation.
07. Holding of 2015 Wesak Celebrations
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to appoint a Committee comprising the under-mentioned members to organize religious, social and cultural functions to be held on national, provincial and regional levels in line with the 2015 Wesak Festival.
• Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero
• Minister of Buddist Affairs (Chairman)
• Minister of Public Security, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs
• Minister of Home Affairs and Fisheries
• Minister of Education
• Minister of Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs
• State Minister of Cultural Affairs and
• State Minister of Defense
08. Payments that have been incurred outside the normal expenditure of Ministries
The Cabinet of Ministers agreed that each and every Minister should look into the details of payments that have been made outside the normal expenditure of the relevant Ministries from the day of announcement of the Presidential Election and to the date of ending the election and to instruct the Secretaries of their Ministers to suspend all payments that are considered as unreasonable and to submit a report in this connection to the next Cabinet Meeting. In this connection it was also agreed that special attention should be focused to look into large scale payments that have been made to media institutions and for obtaining vehicles on rental basis.
09. Payments that have been made by State Banks to Media Institutions during the Presidential Election period.
The Cabinet of Ministers agreed that it should be looked into the payments that have been made by State Banks to Media Institutions during the Presidential Election period.