02. Security Services Headquarters Construction Project
The Cabinet of Ministers has appointed an official committee to investigate and report on the activities being carried out with regard to the Security Services Headquarters Construction Project being implemented in the Akuregoda area of Battaramulla. The attention of the Cabinet of Ministers was focused on the report submitted by the officials’ committee on the undermentioned matters relating to a company which has been appointed to provide consultancy services.
• The relevant company has been selected without a competitive bidding process
• The company has got itself registered as a company under the Registrar of Companies and the Sri Lanka Architects Institute only after selecting it to provide advisory services.
• The relevant authorities have not entered into a proper agreement to obtain the services of the said company, and
• To obtain the advisory services for the entire project it has been decided to pay the said company a sum of Rs. 606.032 Million. Although a sum of Rs. 509.926 (83% of the amount to be paid) has been paid as of 31.05.2015 by now only 30.02% relating to the project has been carried out so far.
The Cabinet of Ministers decided to carry out an investigation on the aforementioned matters pointed out in the officials’ committee report on the said Advisory Company and take appropriate legal action based on the results of proposed investigation.
03. Resettlement of families who will be affected due to acquisition of lands for the Moragahakanda – Kaluganga Agricultural Development Project
The Moragahakanda – Kaluganga Agricultural Development Project was started in the year 2008. It has been identified that in the implementation of this project 1,747 families belonging to 12 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the Na-ula Divisional Secretariat Division, and 907 families belonging to 11 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the Laggala Pallegama Divisional Secretariat Division will get affected. However, due to the delay of implementing the project by 8 years the undermentioned problems have resulted.
• As a result of new marriages that had taken place among the affected families, 224 new families have got added to the number of affected families
• The newly added families refusing to settle down in the Medirigiriya area are leaving the present area
• 345 families which agreed to go to Medirigiriya area for resettlement now refusing to go for resettlement in the Medirigiriya area (2007)
• It has become necessary to provide alternative lands to the newly added families and the families that refuse to go for resettlement in the Medirigiriya area
The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal made by the Hon. President Maithripala Sirisena in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment to acquire land from the relevant area as well as from lands belonging to State Plantation Companies and allocate them to the affected families, to provide compensation to the relevant affected families for the lands belonging to them, and to provide assistance to these families to construct houses in the alternative lands.
04. Establishment of a waste water management network for the Negombo Urban area
In the removal of waste water in Sri Lanka only 2.4% of the total population is connected to the waste water management networks. The rest of the population make use of individual waste water management networks (it means constructed for each and every house separately).
Most of the prevailing community healthcare networks are outdated and they have not been repaired properly. Therefore the effectiveness of these networks has deteriorated. As a result of uncleaned waste water being pumped to waste water management routes, this has caused threat to health, sanitation and to the environment. Taking in to consideration of this situation, steps have been taken through the Sanitation and Hygiene Initiative for Towns project to establish 3 community waste management networks covering the Negombo, Galle and Kelaniya – Peliyagoda areas.
Under Phase 1 of this project, it has been planned to establish a Waste Water Management Network for the Negombo Urban Area at a cost of Euro 107 Million. Agence Francaise De Developpment (AFD) has agreed to provide a loan of Euro 76 Million for financing this project. Accordingly, the proposal made by the Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe as the Minister of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs to enter into an agreement with Agence Francaise De Developpment (AFD) was approved by the Cabinet.
05. Archaeological Heritage Management in the Rajagala Archaeological Reserve
Rajagalatenne Ancient Ariyakara Viharaya situated in the Uhana Divisional Secretariat Division of the Ampara District of the Eastern Province is believed to be established by King Lajjatissa. The ruins of this monastery which is a mixture of Pabbatha Vihara and Forest Monastic types is scattered in an area of 1025 acres.
There are beautifully built two stone stairways to the approach to the flat plain of the mountain which is about 346 meters above the main sea level while Stupas, Refectory, Uposathagra (Building devoted to religious observances), Hot Water Bath House and 50 cave dwellings are scattered in the area. Apart from the small tank there are several special buildings situated in this monastery which has not found in any of the monasteries in the island. Stone bowl building, cave carved to look like an umbrella, Two stupas in single platform, meditation cells built using stone blocks, residential caves build with a specially constructed entrances, toilet located in a cave exposed to the natural environment are few examples. In one of the inscriptions it is stated that ashes of the Arahat Mahinda Thero who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka are enshrined in one of the Stupas. As such this monastery could be identified as the archaeologically untouched archeologic site in Sri Lanka. This monastic complex has been vacated due to the South Indian invasions at the end of the Anuradhapura Period. Since then it has been gradually deteriorated due to the natural causes and also due to the vandalism by treasure hunters in the near past.
The Rajagala Archaeological project is being carried out as a joint project of the Department of Archaeology and the University of Sri Jayawardenapura since 1st September 2012 to arrest the deterioration process of the archaeological remains in the monastery and to conserve them in order to secure them sustainably in the future for the development of the Heritage Tourism Programme.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 323.897 million while Rs. 55.515 million has been spent up to the end of December 2014 which includes Rs. 2.503 million from the American Ambassador’s Fund and Rs. 2.973 million from the University of Sri Jayawardenepura. As such the balance needed to complete this project is Rs. 268.382 million. Out of this Rs. 47.988 million including Rs. 3.777 Million from American Ambassador’s Fund and Rs. 5.0 million from the Government Treasury is expected to be spent in the year 2015. Rs. 5.740 million is expected to be spent in the year 2016 from the American Ambassador’s Fund. Accordingly, the proposal made by the Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe as the Minister of Policy Planning, Economic Affairs, Child, Youth and Cultural Affairs to obtain the balance funds required for the project from the Government Consolidated Fund in 5 years commencing from the year 2016 was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
06. Agreement on exemption from visa requirement for holders of Diplomtic and official / service passports between the government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan
The agreement will be entered into with the objective of furthering friendly relations between the two countries with the view to simplify the procedures and facilitating the movement of citizens between Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan. Nationals of the States of one party, holders of valid diplomatic or service / official passports may enter or transit through the territory of the State of the other Party without visas for a period of thirty (30) calendar days from the date of entry into the territory of State of the other party. The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by the Hon. Minister of Public Order and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunge to enter into the relevant agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and Kazakhstan.
07. Development project of National Hospital Health Square
Reoccupying the Bosevana Watta land from unauthorized settles
Cardiology unit of the National Hospital provides invaluable patient care service to heart patients coming from all over Sri Lanka. However, the building complex where Cardiology unit is established is very old.
When compared with the service provision of the unit, the rooming facilities are not adequate at all. Therefore, patients who come to obtain treatment as well as hospital staff including specialist doctors face great difficulties.
In order to finding out solutions for the above mentioned inadequate space problem, Urban Development Authority has pointed out that there is a land called “Bosevana Watta” adjacent to Cardiology Unit which belongs to the National Hospital occupied by 63 unauthorized settlers.
As there is no land available, to expand the Specialized Surgical theatres, Intensive Care Units, Recovery Units, Catheterization Units and out patients unit of the Cardiology Unit, it is an urgent need to remove these unauthorized settlers in “Bosevana Watta”. The Urban Development Authority has proposed that they could provide 63 housing units to these people from a housing scheme under their Urban Reawakening Project and requested Rs. 189 Million to provide them houses. The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal made by the Hon. Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to pay Rs. 189 Million to the Urban Development Authority and establish the cardiology treatment units in the “Bosevana Watta” land.
08. Purchase of Plasma from National Blood Transfusion Service
Blood is the elixir of life. Despite several medical and technical advancements, blood is still produced only by human beings and artificial blood for clinical use is still at the clinical level. The treatment referred to as blood component therapy allows several patients to benefit from one unit of donated whole blood. The National Blood Transfusion Centre is the blood collection organization in Sri Lanka. It collects about 100,000 litres of plasma every year through its collection centres throughout the country. It separates components of the blood and 60,000 units of plasma are consumed for clinical use. Surplus quantity of plasma estimated at 40,000 litres which is currently discarded can be potentially given to plasma fractionators for the manufacture of plasma proteins. The Cabinet approved a proposal made by the Hon. Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne to purchase plasma from the National Blood Transfusion Centre at a mutually agreed price as a turnkey arrangement.
09. Protocol of Phytosanitary requirements for the export of Banana from Sri Lanka to China between the general administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Banana which is widely cultivated in Sri Lanka is a fruit that can also be exported after the local consumption. China has proposed to enter into a protocol between the two countries in respect of Banana exports from Sri Lanka. The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal made by the Hon. Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake to enter into the protocol in this respect.
10. Incorporating Divineguma Social Security Fund
The Samurdhi Social Security Fund was established under the welfare approach to be effective from 1st January 1997 with the primary objective of extending financial assistance and insurance cover to Samurdhi beneficiaries if and when they experience expected or unexpected decline in their living standards or economic situation in the journey towards economic prosperity. The number of Samurdhi beneficiary families as of now is 1,478,288. Funds are raised for Samurdhi Social Security Fund by deducting Rs. 45/= from the Samurdhi benefit package of each family. The proposal made by the Minister of Housing and Samurdhi Sajith Premadasa to incorporate the Samurdhi Social Security Fund through an Act of Parliament and appoint a Trust to execute the functions through a tryst deed for the time being was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
11. Memorandum of Understanding between The National Forensic Service of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs of Republic of Korea and the Government Analyst Department of the Ministry of Justice, Sri Lanka
The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal made by the Hon. Minister of Justice Dr. Wijedasa Rajapaksa to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding between The National Forensic Service of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs of Republic of Korea and the Government Analyst Department of the Ministry of Justice, Sri Lanka on the undermentioned matters.
• Promote the standards of the forensic testing of the Government Analyst Department and achieve excellence in the process of investigations into criminal matters in Sri Lanka.
• Installation of new techniques and methodology for the advancement of laboratory testing in the field of forensic science including research, examination of questioned documents, forensic toxicology, analysis of narcotics, firearms and explosives and the most modern analysis of DNA
• Exchange of knowledge of testing methods pertaining to criminal investigations
• Exchange of knowledge through workshops, seminars, training programmes and meetings conducted by experts
• Granting assistance in purchasing of state of the art laboratory equipment and tools
• Securing accreditation with regard to “Inter Laboratory Proficiency Testing” and the course of management and regularization relating to the status of laboratories in the Government Analyst Department.
12. Sri Lanka Expo 2016 to be held from 15th to 17th September at BMICH Colombo
International Expositions to showcase country’s export capabilities while facilitating Sri Lankan producers, exporters and service providers to meet prospective international buyers, partners and potential investors is a strategic promotional tool to reach the export and investment targets of the economy. The time is opportune for Sri Lanka to undertake its next EXPO Exhibition, particularly on the eve of recent political and economic developments taking place in the country. The proposal made by the Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen to hold the Sri Lanka Expo 2016 from 15th to 17th September at BMICH Colombo was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
13. Investigation on corruption, maladministration and irregularities
A Special Investigation Committee has been appointed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Transport as per the instructions given by the Minister for investigating and making recommendations on corruption, maladministration and irregularities occurred in the Ministry of Internal Transport and its affiliated institutions within the last five years. The proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Maddumabandara, Minister of Internal Transport,
to obtain instructions from the Attorney General's Department for taking legal actions against relevant institutions and responsible persons revealed by the said Investigation Committee on following matters and to take necessary action to prevent such activities in the future, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Non recovery of Rs. 142 million for providing SLTB buses for publicity campaign in the 2015 Presidential Elections.
Non receipt of the discount in purchasing 2200 buses for the Sri Lanka Transport Board on supplier's credit.
Poor quality and losing of import duty concessions by the Sri Lanka Transport Board in purchasing of spare parts.
Operation of private buses under the SLTB logo.
Operation of 20 luxury buses, which were imported for the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting, by the Road Development Authority.
Enormous cost and issues regarding the estimates of the constructions of Northern Railway Line.
Estimated high costs for the construction of Matara - Kataragama Railway Line.
Vesting and leasing out of Railway lands to external institutions in vague procedures.
Operation of carriages/special trains with private sector participation, financial loss occurred due to the operation of Viceroy - 2 special train
Sale of scrap iron had been deviating from the acceptable procedure.
14. Renovation of Intensive Care Unit of Renal Dialysis and Transplant Unit at Maligawatta
Renal Dialysis and Transplant Unit at Maligawatta provides immense service to the patients coming from all over the island. In this hospital both intensive care unit and the isolation unit are situated inside the residential patients ward.
As a result patients who undergo renal transplants are under severe risk of getting infections. Therefore, to minimize that risk the proposal made by Hon. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, to renovate the Intensive Care Unit considering as an urgent requirement so as to keep those patients in the ICU, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
15. Purchasing of Diagnostic Medical Imaging Equipment for Epilepsy Unit at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka
The proposal made by Hon. Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine, to award respective contracts according to the recommendations made by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee to select the companies for purchasing and to perform maintenance activities of MRI scanner, SPECT scanner, PET -CT scanner, and a Digital Subtraction Angiography system for the Epilepsy Unit of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka as another step on rendering a more efficient health service to the public, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
16. Rehabilitation of the Railway track between Maho and Vavuniya
The main objective of the Sri Lanka Railways is to provide a safe, reliable and a punctual rail transport service for passenger and freight traffic. Improvement of railway tracks has been recognized by the government as a key requirement in fulfilling this objective. The Department of Railways has planned to rehabilitate the railway line section from Maho to Vavuniya with a 120.7 km length (inclusive of 5.0 kms of loop lines). Accordingly the first phase of this project aims to rehabilitate the line from Anuradhapura to Vavuniya (49.4 km) and the second phase from Maho to Anuradhapura (66.4 km). The proposal made by Hon. Ranjith Maddumabandara, Minister of Internal Transport, to proceed with the rehabilitation works by procuring all materials locally including concrete sleepers whereas possible and with the labour of the departmental workers, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
17. Procurement of Fertilizer - 2015 (October delivery)
Providing fertilizers for farmers at a concessionary price under the Fertilizer Subsidy Programme is performed by Ceylon Fertilizer Company Ltd and Colombo Commercial Fertilizer Company Ltd which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The proposal made by Hon. Duminda Dissanayake, the Minister of Agriculture, to award the relevant contracts for the supply of fertilizer to be distributed in October 2015 according to the recommendations made by the Cabinet Appointed Standing Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.