By S. Selvakumar
The Government lifted the emergency regulations not
due to any request or instigation by any country but
purely because the situation in the country was
normal and it was not necessary anymore, Cabinet
spokesman Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told
the post Cabinet press briefing on Thursday.
The emergency was lifted with effect from Thursday
on a proposal by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he
said. As such in future there won’t be monthly
proposals in Parliament to extend the emergency.
On the grease devil rumours the Minister requested
not to spread stories of grease devils since it had
resulted in people being killed and state and
private property being damaged. He also requested
the media not to give undue publicity for grease
On the proposed talks with the Tamil National
Alliance for finding a lasting solution to the
ethnic conflict, Yapa said that the Government was
always prepared to engage in talks but not on
conditions laid down by the TNA. The reason for
mooting the idea of a Parliamentary Select Committee
(PSC) to solve the ethnic conflict was to get wider
participation of all parties and to accept their
decision in finding a solution.
On a proposal made by Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem,
Cabinet approval was granted to construct a
four-storeyed court complex in Homagama to
accommodate two Magistrate’s Courts, a District
Court, a High Court and a Commercial High Court at a
cost of Rs 464.4 million.
On a proposal made by Minister of Public
Administration and Home Affairs, new buildings will
be constructed for divisional secretariats in
Nuawaragam Palatha East, Nochiyagama, Rajanganaya.
Lahugala, Padiyatalawa, Nintavur and Horana.
The Cabinet also decided to take over the Chilaw
District General Hospital by the central government.
Governor of the Wayamba Provincial Council has given
his consent for the take over. This was done with
the objective of providing better and efficient
health care services to the people of Puttalam
District and surrounding areas.
Following a proposal made by Health Minister
Maithripala Siresena, two cardiac catheter machines
will be bought for the National Hospital within
three months. New consultation rooms, extension of
catheter surgeries and construction of rooms for
nursing officers would also be carried out and the
whole cost is estimated at Rs 24.14 million.
On a proposal by Economic Development Minister
Basil Rajapaksa the Cabinet decided to establish a
new department called Department of Divi Neguma
Combined Rural Development.
Institutions such as Samurdhi Commissioner General,
Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority, Department of
Upcountry Peasantry Rehabilitation, Sri Lanka
Udarata Development Authority and the Sri Lanka
Southern Development Authority will be amalgamated
with the new department.
The objective of this new move is to implement the
programme of one million domestic economic units
announced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2011
budget and for the empowerment of the rural economy.
When the staff of the Samurdhi Authority is
absorbed into this new department, all Samurdhi
staff will be granted pensionable status from the
date of their first appointment. A voluntary
retirement scheme will be implemented for all those
willing to be absorbed under this programme of
converting all these institutions into a single
The head office of this new department will be
located out of Colombo while three regional offices
will be set up as the Northern Regional Office,
Upcountry Regional Office and the Southern Regional