The Cabinet of Ministers took into consideration of the establishment of an Operation Room for Food Security within his Ministry by the Minister of Food Security Gamini Jayawickrema Perera with the objective of collection of data related to monitoring of food production and food imports, food categorization and supervising in order to examining the main food market through suitable policy initiatives since the policy statement of the President Maithripala Sirisena has identified “food security and sustainable agriculture” as an important sector. The Cabinet of Ministers further observed that this centre will become a major centre distributing data on strategic information relating to food security in the country.
01. Establishment of an Office for the Anti Corruption Unit and recruitment of suitable staff
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to establish a Secretariat for investigating into large scale corruption and malpractices that had been reported to have taken place during the previous government and to take legal action against such corruption and malpractices and to make recommendations to prevent such corruption and malpractices taking place in the future. In addition to this approval was also given to establish a Financial Crimes Investigation Division under the supervision of the Inspector General of Police to investigate into large scale financial transactions including illegal money laundering activities. The regulation in this connection will be gazetted by the Inspector General of Police under Clause 55 of the Police Ordinance.
01. Entrusting of subjects and duties to State Ministers
The proposals made by the Hon. Prime Minister to Gazette in accordance with the sub clause of the Clause No. 45 (4) of the constitution the subjects and duties entrusted to the State Ministers and to provide an administrative structure was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
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.
1. Post Office Security Fund – The proposal made by Hon. Jeewan Kumaranathunga, Minister of Postal Services, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft amending legislation to amend the Post Office Security Fund Ordinance to meet the present day needs, was approved by the Cabinet.
1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Republic of Korea on Recognition of Certificates issued to Seafarers - The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping (STWC) 1978 has made it mandatory for a seafarer holding maritime certificates issued to him by the maritime administration of his country to obtain a similar Certificate of Recognition from the country concerned to serve on ships flying its flag. The Merchant Shipping Act, No.52 of 1971 also highlights the compliance with this requirement. Sri Lanka has already entered into Agreements with 28 countries whereby a large number of Sri Lankan seafarers are provided with opportunities to serve on foreign vessels. The Republic of Korea has expressed its willingness to enter into a Bilateral Agreement regarding the issuance of the said certificates which will enable Sri Lankan seafarers to serve on ships flying the Korean flag and Korean seafarers to serve on ships registered under the Sri Lankan flag. The proposal made by H.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Highways. Ports and Shipping to sign the above Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, was approved by the Cabinet.
01. Transfer of one (01) acre of the land belonging to Sri Lanka Ports Authority at Lotus Road to the Police Department -- the Urban Development Authority has identified the land area belonging to Sri Lanka Ports Authority at Lotus Road as the suitable area for the relocation of the Fort Police Station. The proposal made by H.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping, to allocate one (01) acre of identified land belonging to Sri Lanka Ports Authority at Lotus Road to the Police Department for the construction of the Port Police Station, was approved by the Cabinet.
02.. Bilateral Agreement between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates - the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters provides for improving the effectiveness of law enforcement of both parties in the investigation, prosecution and prevention of crime and confiscation of criminal proceeds. The proposal made by Hon. Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Justice, to submit the above Agreement to Parliament for approval, was approved by the Cabinet.
03. Amendment to Sri Lanka Buddhist and Pali University Act, No.37 of 1995 - the proposal made by Hon. S.B. Dissanayake, Minister of Higher Education, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft amending legislation to amend the above Act to meet the present day needs of the country, was approved by the Cabinet.
04. Visit of His Excellency the President to New York, USA, for the UN Climate Summit and the 60 Session of the United Nations Gcneral Assembly- September 2014 - HE the President, led the Sri Lanka delegation to the UN Climate Summit 2014 and the High-Level Segment of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly which were held in New York from 22 to 27 September 2014. The aim of the Summit which was attended by a number of world leaders including 100 Heads of State and Government and over 800 leaders from business, finance and civil society, was to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015 and to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and built resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change. Addressing the Climate Summit, H.E. the President had elaborated on the steps taken by the Government to address Climate Change and emphasized that although Sri Lanka was able to triple its per capita income within the last eight years, its per capita carbon emission is still less than 1 metric ton. H.E. the President has had several discussions with the participants of other countries, during these meetings, and has highlighted the continuing progress made by Sri Lanka in addressing post conflict issues, emerging opportunities for trade and investment in the present economic resurgence, Sri Lanka’s continuous engagement with the UN system and matters relating to Human Rights Council. Hon. (Prof.) G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, who accompanied H.E. the President and provided the above information to the Cabinet, also has had fruitful discussions with the Foreign Ministers of other countries who participated at these meetings.
05. Establishing Offices and Official Quarters for the Forest Conservation Department in the Northern and Eastern Provinces - the extent of the forest land located in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the overall forest cover in Sri Lanka is 41% and due to the conflict situation which prevailed in the past, field activities of the Forest Conservation Department in these Provinces had remained totally defunct. The proposal made by Hon. Susil Premjayantha, Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy, to proceed with the activities relating to the construction of 04 District Forest Offices in these two Provinces, was approved by the Cabinet.
06.. Implementation of the MoU signed in respect of Youth Development between the National Youth Services Council and the Beijing Foreign Studies University in China - the proposal made by Hon. Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, to implement the activities relating to the above MoU which has been signed between the two countries which mainly cover the following, was approved by the Cabinet;
* providing education on Chinese Language to the Sri Lankan students; and * providing education on Sinhala Language to the students of China and establishing a Tamil Language Academic Division in the Beijing Foreign Studies University in China.
07. Bilateral Air Services Consultations between Sri Lanka and Poland- the proposal made by Hon. Piyankara Jayaratne, Minister of Civil Aviation, to sign the above Air Savices Agreement by an accredited representative of Sri Lanka and thereafter to take appropriate measures for its entry into force, was approved by the Cabinet.
08. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and the Arts of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China - the proposal made by Hon. T.B. Ekanayalce, Minister of Culture and the Arts, for signing of the above Memorandum of Understanding, for the enrichment and enhancement of the cultural cooperation between Sri Lanka and China, was approved by the Cabinet.
09. Amendments to the Police Ordinance No.16 of 1865 - Sri Lanka Police Force had been established in keeping with the provisions of the Police Ordinance No. 16 of 1865 and the population of Sri Lanka at that time had been 2.5 million. The population of Sri Lanka now is nearly 21 million and the strength of the Police Force is nearly 84,000. It has been found necessary to amend the Police Ordinance in keeping with the present day needs of the country. Accordingly, the proposal made by H.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Law and Order, to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft amending legislation for the purpose, was approved by the Cabinet.
10.Southern Expressway Extension Project- Award of Contract for providing Consultancy Services for Construction Supervision - the Southern Expressway from Kottawa to Godagama is presently in operation and the commercial agreements for the civil works of the extension of the expressway from Godagarna to Mattala with a link from Andarawewa to Hambantota consisting of four separate sections have been signed. The proposal made by H.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping to award the above contract as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Consultants Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet.
11. Construction of buildings for Kandakadu Treatment and Rehabilitation Center - the proposal made by Hon. Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, to construct necessary buildings for the establishment of a separate centre for the rehabilitation of drug addicted persons to be useful citizens through counseling, religious and aesthetic activities, educational activities, vocational training and sports, and to entrust the project to the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB), was approved by the Cabinet.
12. Project for the Construction of a New Bridge Over Kelani River -- Procurement of Consulting Services - the Government of Sri Lanka has received a loan of JP Y35,020 mn, from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) towards the cost of the above project. The objective of the above project is to improve the traffic situation around the existing new Kelani Bridge. The project includes the construction of another new Bridge over the Kelani River, Port Access Road and Interchanges at Orugodawatte, Ingurukade and Kelanitissa Junctions including improvements to roads at Orugodawatte and Kelanitissa The proposal made by H.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping, to award the contract for providing consultancy services for the project as recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Consultants Procurement Committee, was approved by the Cabinet.
13. Establishment of a South Asian Centre for Judicial Capacity Building in Environmental Rule of Law - the Chief Justices and Senior Judges of the South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) have gratefully accepted the offer made by H.E, the President at the inaugural session of the South Asian Chief Justices Roundtable on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Green Development, held in Colombo from 7 to 9 August 2014, to provide start-up funds and institutional support for the creation of a small but efficient Unit within the office of the Hon. Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, to initiate and coordinate appropriate activities for strengthening judicial capacity in the South Asian countries in the area of environmental rule of law and sustainable green development.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have both indicated their support for this initiative. This programme will make Sri Lanka the Centre of Excellence in the Judicial Capacity Building in legal matters relating to Environment and Sustainable Development and the Centre will work closely with UNEP, ADS, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and other organizations to collectively develop and Implement judicial training programmes in the region.
The proposal made by HE. the President, to proceed with the activities relating to the establishment of a South Asian Centre for Judicial Capacity Building in Environmental Rule of Law, was approved by the Cabinet.
14. Extension of the Southern Expressway Section 1 (Matara to Beliatta) Project - the Southern Expressway which has a total length of 227 km traverses from Kottawa to Hambantota through Galle and Matara will link major economic centres such as Hambantota Sea Port and Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport in the Southern Province with the Colombo city and the Northern part of the country through the Outer Circular Highway, Cólombo - K.atunayalce Expressway and the proposed Northern Expressway. The Southern Expressway Extension from Matara to Hambantota with a total length of 96 km consists of four main sections namely, Section 1 (from Matara to Beilatta - 30cm). Section 2 (from Beliatta to Wetiya- 26 km), Section 3 (from Wetiya to Andarawewa - 15 km) and Section 4 (from Mattala to Hambantota via Andarawewa - 25 km). The proposal made by H.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning, to proceed with the activities relating to the loan arrangement for the construction of Section 1 from Matara to Betiatta -30cm, was approved by the Cabinet,
1. Rural Development Initiatives of the Ministry of Traditional Industries and: Small Enterprise Development - the proposal made by Hon. Douglas Devananda; Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development, to proceed with the activities pertaining to the following, was approved by the Cabinet:
Kurunegala Town is being developed as the Main Urban Centre in the North Western Province. The Urban Development Authority (UDA) has already undertaken the beautification of the surrounding areas of’ the Kurunegala lake as one of the priority projects with a view to enhancing the aesthetic landscape of the town while providing recreational and leisure facilities for the public. The proposal made by I-I.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence and Urban Development, to proceed with the related activities of the project at a total cost of Rs. 217.00 Million, was approved by the Cabinet.
01. Sharing of Information among Financial Sector Regulators - the Inter Regulatory Institutions Council has been established with the view to identifying issues that require collective action by financial sector regulators to promote financial system stability and the development of the financial sector. Financial institutions include licensed banks, licensed finance companies and leasing companies, money brokers, primary dealers, insurance companies, insurance brokers, insurance agents, loss adjusters, institutional agents, stock exchanges and stock brokers/dealers. The proposal made by H.E. the President, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Planning, to enact legislation for the purpose through an Act of Parliament and to instruct the Legal Draftsman to draft legislation for the purpose, was approved by the Cabinet.