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News  


 

Cabinet decisions

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 devil stories.

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 department.
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 Office.