01. Establishment of a Secretariat for Coordinating the Reconciliation Mechanisms
The most valuable opportunity gained by Sri Lanka to gain the reconciliation and lasting peace was could not be used successfully due to various reasons. It has become an essential and immediate need to build reconciliation among Sri Lankans. Public institutions including ministries are engaged in this process but due to the absence of a centralized institution in coordinating this process some practical issues such as delays and duplication of tasks have been raised. Therefore, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to establish a Secretariat for Coordinating the Reconciliation Mechanisms that holds following responsibilities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Coordination of national level discourses on reconciliation mechanisms Development of a plan with specific dates to establish reconciliation mechanisms such as ‘Office on Missing Persons’ and ‘Truth, Reconciliation and Prevention of Conflicts Commission’. Coordination with local institutions such as Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission and international institutes such as the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR). Follow-up of the progress and coordination of implementing recommendations stipulated in Commission Reports including LLRC and the Report of the OHCHR. Coordination of other requirements related to strengthening the rule of law, human rights and administrative and judicial reforms.
Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 09-12-2015
01. Secured Transactions Bill
The Secured Transactions Act No 49 of 2009 was adopted with the view of facilitating small and medium scale entrepreneurs to obtain loans from banks and financial institutions by providing mobile assets such as machinery as securities in case they do not have any fixed assets. However, with issues raised in implementing several provisions of the act its expected objectives could not be fulfilled. Therefore, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to draft a new bill instead of the existing act to cater the present needs, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 03-12-2015
01. Amendments to the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance (Chapter 262)
The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to amend the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance (Chapter 262) in view of increasing the women’s representation, introducing the Ward System and make the election system more efficient and productive, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
01. Increasing the Representation of Women in Local Authorities
Although about 50% - 51% of Sri Lankan population is women, they bear only about 5% from the total members elected for the parliament, Provincial Councils and Local Government Institutions. According to the promise given at the recent Presidential Election and the General Election to allocate 25% of representation to women in Provincial Councils and Local Government Institutions, the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to amend the Local Authorities (Special Provisions) Act No 21 of 2012 in view of increasing the women’s representation in local authorities, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
01. Signing of a Technical Cooperation Agreement between Sri Lanka and Thailand for HR development in Sri Lanka
The bilateral technical cooperation between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Thailand plays a major role in Human Resources development in Sri Lanka. The Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA) with the assistance of the GOSL has prepared a five year plan for offering scholarships and training programmes to Sri Lanka in the period of 2015-2019 related to the fields of agriculture, food technology, rural development and self-sufficient economy, tourism management and diplomatic training. Accordingly the proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Thailand for promotion of technical cooperation between the two countries, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
01. Financial Assistance from the Asian Development Bank for the implementation of Greater Colombo Water and Waste Water Management Improvement Programme – Tranche 3
The Colombo Water and Waste Water Management improvement programme is being implemented in three phases under financial facilities by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and government funds. It intends to uplift the water supply efficiency in Greater Colombo. Total investment of the third phase of the project is US$ 168.46 million. US$ 40.46 million will be bared by the government. The Proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs to obtain the balance of US$ 128 million form the ADB as concessionary loan, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 28-10-2015
01. Building Complex for the Faculty of Healthcare Sciences, Eastern University of Sri Lanka
The Faculty of Healthcare Sciences of the Eastern University, which is situated in Batticaloa, was established in 2004 with six departments, and 425 students are currently following degree courses in medicine, surgery and nursing. The faculty is currently situated in a building which is temporarily taken over from the Paddy Marketing Board. The Ministry of University Education and Highways have estimated the cost of constructing a new building complex as US$ 47.3 million (Rs. 6,617.5 million). US$ 34 million from this cost was agreed to be granted by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs to enter into relevant agreement in this regard, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers at the meeting held on 21-10-2015
01. Provide studying opportunities to the foreign Army officers/ other ranks of Middle East Region at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University
General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, which is administrated under the Ministry of Defence, holds the full membership of the Association of Commonwealth Universities in UK. It allows foreign officers/ cadet officers and students to follow degree courses as a means of improving the friendship and diplomatic cooperation with countries in the African and Asian region. Accordingly, officers/cadet officers and students in Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Ruanda, Nigeria and Zambia are currently engaged in academic activities. The Proposal made by HE the President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Defence to train a group of Technicians in the Oman Navy on their request made on the background of the international competition, demand and attraction to this university and to introduce special courses focusing on students of middle east African and other countries in view of strengthening the friendship and cooperation with these countries, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
01. A national programme for environmental conservation has been prepared with the view of creating a sustainable environment in Sri Lanka, with the contribution of all the relevant parties and it is expected to provide solutions for the following major environmental issues within a period of three years.
01. Grant and Technical Assistance of Euro 43.7 million from the European Union
The European Union has agreed to provide a grant (a non-repayable financial aid) of 43.7 million Euros out of which 38 million Euros in support of the Integrated Rural Development Programme in Central and Uva Provinces and for Trade Related Assistance programme in Sri Lanka, and 5.7 million Euros as technical assistance to the Water Supply and Drainage Board.
Out of the 38 million Euros, 30 million Euros of the grant are expected to be utilized in Integrated Rural Development Programme in Central and Uva Provinces. The programme intends to improve livelihood, income level, health and nutrition of low income receivers of the said provinces and to strengthen the social and economic services rendered by Local Government Institutions, Community Organizations, and Private Institutions. Other 8 million Euros are intended to be utilized in Programme for Trade related Assistance in Sri Lanka, which intends to increase the competitiveness of Sri Lankan exports in the foreign market, implementation of policy and regulatory reforms on GSP+ of the European Union, and to implement a Trade Policy that includes measures to be implemented on regaining the GSP+ trade concession. Moreover, the 5.7 million Euros to be given to the Water Supply and Drainage Board for technical assistance programme, will grant technical assistance in Institutional Management and Technical Skills Development with special attention on Waste Water Management.
The proposal made by Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his capacity as the Minister of National Policy and Economic Affairs, to enter into relevant agreements on this purpose, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.