The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 8-9

8
Saturday, April 25, 2015
9
SPOTLIGHT
Oath of o ce
Jan 10
Cabinet to be appointed
National Advisory Council
to be formed
Parliament to meet for
the first time
Standing orders to be
amended
Begin the process of abolishing
the Executive Presidency
Code of Conduct provided
for observation
Establishment of a Mixed Electoral
System Committee
‘Mini-budget’ to reduce the
Cost of Living
State Sector Salaries to
be increased / Taxes reduced
Adoption of Ethical Code
of Conduct
Celebration of
Independence Day
Establishment of Commission to
Investigate Corruption
Introduction of National
Drug Policy Bill
Establishment of Independent
Commissions
Introduction of National
Audit Bill
Introduction of Right to
Information Bill
Introduction of Elections
Law Bill
Adoption of New Electoral System
Adoption of National Drugs Policy
Adoption of National Audit Bill
Adoption of Right to
Information Act
Establishment of Constitutional
Council
Adoption of Parliamentary System
Parliament to be dissolved and Free
and Fair Elections called
Jan 11
Jan 12
Jan 19
Jan 20
Jan 21
Jan 22
Jan 28
Jan 29
Jan 29
Feb 02
Feb 04
Feb 04
Feb 06
Feb 18
Feb 19
Feb 20
Mar 02
Mar 18
Mar 17
Mar 19
Mar 20
Mar 23
Apr 20
Apr 23
34%
1
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d
Not done
Pending
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P
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Hundred tasks for hundred days
Those that fell
by the wayside
By Azhar Razak
Despite the newly installed govern-
ment marking the end of 100 days on
April 23, there have been serious laps-
es in transparency along the way while
questions have only confounded on the
economic front, fueling uncertainty, busi-
ness community analysts said last week.
Although the interim Budget presented in
Parliament
on Jan-
u a r y
29 was a populist one with many price
reductions on ‘essential’ goods, the gov-
ernment is yet to clearly explain how it
would realistically raise revenue to fulfill
its pledges without adding pressure to
the budget deficit.
“Still to date, there has been nothing
gazetted on how the Super Gain Tax will
take effect, the levy on telecommunica-
tion companies is to be calculated or
how the taxable income threshold is to
be increased. There is no clarity on how
the reduction of fuel prices is to be borne
by the distributors or how the alcohol in-
dustry is going to be affected,” an ana-
lyst who did not wish to be quoted said.
On the other hand, the analyst noted
that whilst the Finance Minister had
been alleging that economic growth and
debt statistics provided by the previous
government were distorted, the new
government is also yet to conclusively
explain the exact adjustments on the
distortion they would make.
“On the Treasury bond issue, the re-
port by the three-member committee
is in contradiction with what was men-
tioned in a statement in Parliament by
the Prime Minister. The committee’s
report is far from convincing because
it has not investigated what it ought to
have, i.e. given the unusual bidding pat-
tern adopted by Perpetual Treasuries,
whether the Governor’s family connec-
tion had led to insider trading,” another
analyst said on the condition of anonym-
ity.
The analyst noted that although it is
commendable the report on the SriL-
ankan Airlines was made public the
government is, however, yet to make
public, the report on the consolidation
of the financial sector submitted to the
Prime Minister by a team headed by for-
mer Commercial Bank Chairman Dinesh
Weerakkody.
“There is also confusion surrounding
the Port City project, as some legisla-
tors are of the view it has to be scrapped
while others want it to continue. This has
only escalated the extent of uncertainty
in the economy at present prompting
the business chambers to call for early
elections. The government has clearly
not been transparent on many aspects.
For example, we don’t know what the
economic growth was in the first quarter
of 2015, the fiscal deficit, status of the
infrastructure projects initiated by the
previous government, foreign direct in-
vestments, etc,” the analyst said point-
ing out that the regime which regularly
touts plans to pursue structural reforms,
put in place soft infrastructure, create 1
million jobs in 5 years and double the
income of the people, is however yet to
come up with a clear economic roadmap
on how it would implement its plans.
By Deepal Warnakulasuriya
The new regime which planned
a 100 day program had penned
down 100 tasks in its agenda. It
also had a 100 Day Diary for cer-
tain identified events. The 100
Day Diary or the 100 Day Calen-
dar has around 25 events; 9 events
for the months of January, seven
for February, six for March and
two for April.
Most were eying only these
events which the government
promised under this plan. The
program began with the prom-
ise of “appointing a Cabinet of
Ministers not exceeding 25. That
cabinet was to include members
of all political parties repre-
sented in Parliament. These ap-
pointments, made on January 11,
included the appointed of one
time Leader of the Opposition
Ranil Wickremesinghe. However,
the Cabinet was set up on Janu-
ary 10, a day before, but, later the
promise was broken when more
ministers were appointed. It also
didn’t keep with the promise of
ensuring that “all political par-
ties will be represented in Parlia-
ment” because the Liberal party
had been neglected.
They also promised to set up
a National Advisory Council
representing individuals from
political parties and civil or-
ganizations. But, the citizenry
didn’t see a single civil society
representation there. The body
also became a National Execu-
tive Council, when set up. Par-
liament met as promised, but the
passing of the 19th Amendment
to strengthen independent com-
missions and curtail the powers
of the executive was delayed.
The Amendment was presented
in Parliament only on April 20
and is yet to be passed.
The proposed change of the
electoral system was passed only
at Cabinet and hasn’t been pre-
sented in Parliament. The prom-
ised ‘All Party Committee’ was
not seen, regarding this matter.
‘The Code of Conduct for the
people’s representatives’ became
a blatant lie as no one was ready
to speak about it. However, they
called for a vote and reduced the
prices of several essential items.
Right to Information Bill was
also passed in the Cabinet and is
yet to be presented in House. Na-
tional Drugs Policy was brought
and passed in House. Setting up
a Constitutional Council and
establishing a parliamentary
system instead of the Executive
Presidential System didn’t take
place due to the delay in passing
the 19th Amendment. Sources
say that the new electoral sys-
tem will come in the extended
parliament next week as the 20th
Amendment to the Constitution.
The dissolution of Parliament
was due on April 23 according
to the 100 Day Program, but the
government continues even to-
day. It has also promised a care-
taker government during this pe-
riod, till the next parliamentary
election is held. We are also yet
to see the appointing of a prime
minister from the party that ob-
tains the most number of votes.
The party which obtains the sec-
ond highest votes will have the
opportunity to name the deputy
prime minister.
Today marks 100 days since that elec-
tion and the culmination of President
Sirisena’s 100 day plan. In the days to
come there will doubtless be much analy-
sis of the extent to which the hundred day
plan has succeeded and failed. We are
not going to comment on these issues;
those in Sri Lanka would be much better
able to do so.
However, the time is right to revisit our
yardstick and to use it to make some pre-
liminary judgements as to how much has
changed in Sri Lanka.
A simple traffic light scoring system has
been used:
Green – indicates significant progress
(i.e. substantive positive change even if
the end result is far from perfect.)
Amber – indicates some progress (i.e.
some steps taken but much more work
needed)
Red – no progress (i.e. no meaningful
attempt to effect change)
The tests, by category:
The release of political prisoners
n
Has JeyakumaryBalendaran, a
mother of one of the disappeared against
whom no evidence has been produced,
been released after over 300 days in de-
tention? Green
JeyakumaryBalendaran was released
on the 10th of March 2015.
n
Is the government moving to abolish
the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), a
draconian piece of legislation which al-
lows people to be imprisoned without trial
for up to 18 months? Red
There have been no steps towards the
abolition of the PTA.
n
Has it withdrawn regulations promul-
gated under the PTA which keep in place
the effects of the lapsed Emergency Reg-
ulations? Red
There have been no steps towards
withdrawing these regulations.
n
Has the government released all pris-
oners held under the PTA, or otherwise
brought them into open court for trial on
specific charges? Red
Seven other political prisoners were
released at the same time as Jeyaku-
maryBalendaran, but there has been no
movement on the release of other po-
litical prisoners or even clarity on how
many prisoners there may be. Following
a meeting with Solicitor General Suha-
daGamlath, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran
claimed that there are about 300 political
prisoners remaining, but SuhadaGamlath
robustly defended the decision to contin-
ue to detain them.
n
Has the government disclosed how
many LTTE cadres are being held in se-
cret “rehabilitation camps”? Red
Prime Minister RanilWickermasinghe
has denied that any such camps can
continue to exist under his rule,however
an article by JDS Lanka suggests that at
least two continue to operate.
There is no clarity as to howmany LTTE
cadres remain in detention with estimates
ranging from 49 to 700+.
A return to a normal way of life in the
north and east
n
Have any abductions or assaults
been reported in the Northern or Eastern
Province? Red
On the 12th of March 2015 it was re-
ported that a 26 year old female, Vish-
valingamVinothinya, former LTTE fighter
was abducted by Civil Defence Force
members and was assaulted
n
Do former LTTE cadres still receive
regular night time visits from the police
and army? Red
Several former LTTE cadres have re-
ported that surveillance continues un-
abated.
n
How many Tamil families remain in-
ternally displaced and in temporary ac-
commodation? How much effort is the
Government putting into resettlement,
into allowing Tamil families to return to
their own lands, and into restoring fishing
rights? Red
At least 3000 families in the regions
of Vempodukeni, Mukamalai and Ithavil
alone are living as refugees. Recently the
army has blocked displaced Tamils from
visiting their own land.
n
Is there a plan to reduce troop num-
bers in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province and
tomove towards demilitarising Sri Lanka’s
north and east? Red
No plans for demilitarisation have been
announced and fresh orders have been
given maintaining troop levels in Tamil
areas.
n
Have checkpoints in the Northern
Province preventing free movement to
travellers, such as in Omanthai, been re-
moved? And can foreigners travel to Sri
Lanka’s Northern Province without having
to get permission from the Ministry of De-
fence? Green
The requirement for tourists to register
with the Ministry of Defence has been
dropped. Omanthai checkpoint, and
many other checkpoints, remain and the
Government has announced that they
have no plans to remove them.
n
Has the Government implemented
a “Certificate of Absence” scheme, in
lieu of a death certificate, for those who
have been missing for a long time? Is this
granted the same degree of legal recogni-
tion as a death certificate? Red
No such scheme has been implement-
ed.
n
Has any compensation been given to
war affected families and the families of
the disappeared? Red
No comprehensive scheme for issuing
compensation to war affected families
and families of the disappeared has been
implemented. Compensation by authori-
ties has frequently been reported as be-
ing conditional upon abandonment of the
truth by families.
Tamil grievances
n
Has there been any progress on a
negotiated political solution which would
allow Tamil people more autonomy and
meaningful devolution? Red
There has been no concrete progress
to date, however it is perhaps too early
to expect any on such a complicated is-
sue.
n
Have the Governor of the Northern
Province and Chief Secretary of the
Northern Province been replaced by a
civilian and by a choice of the Chief Min-
ister respectively? Green
The Governor of the Northern Prov-
ince has been replaced by a civilian.
A new Tamil speaking Chief Secretary
was also appointed, although there is
no indication that the Chief Minister had
power over their selection.
Promoting peace and friendship
between ethnicities
n
Has the government presented any
concrete plans to promote peace and
friendship between Sri Lanka’s differ-
ent communities, for instance through
implementing the recommendations in
the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation
Commission (LLRC) report on reconcili-
ation (9.167-9.285) and through expand-
ing the National Plan of Action to include
all the LLRC recommendations? Red
President Sirisena and Prime Minister
Wickremesinghe have talked repeatedly
about the need for a truth and recon-
ciliation process but have given no in-
dication that they actually understand
what that would require in practice, and
have occasionally given the concerning
impression that they consider it to be
some kind of alternative to an account-
ability process.
Full implementation of the LLRC
recommendations was discussed with
C o mm o n w e a l t h
Secretary General
Sharma but no fol-
low up or concrete
action has been an-
nounced.
UN Special Rap-
porteur on transitional
justice Pablo de Greiff
outlined some of the
problems Sri Lanka
faces and the actions Sri
Lanka needs to take fol-
lowing his recent trip.
n
Do the sanctions on 16
Tamil Diaspora organisations
and 424 individuals remain in
place? Amber
The sanctions remain in place.
The Government of Sri Lanka has
announced its intention to review the
listbut has not yet done so.
srilankacampaign.org
ByAshani Jayasundera, Charith
Udana Silva and Sahla Ilham
The 100 day Program by the Maithri-
Ranil regime, had two parts and those
were the 100 days calendar and the 100
tasks for the period. Here, The Nation
conducted a market research to look
into how the new government’s price
reduction on essential items works out.
The Nation learnt that the prices of cer-
tain items among the 13 items, of which
the prices were reduced following the
2015 Mini-Budget,are not still reduced
as promised in the major outlets in the
country.
The price of sugar at one of the major
supermarkets is Rs. 125 per kilogram
which exceeds the budget price range
which is determined to be between Rs.
70 and Rs. 90.
The price of 1 kilo of wheat flour is
Rs. 128 in the same super market also
exceeds the budget price range which
is between Rs. 75 to Rs. 90. It was also
found that 1 kilo of wheat flour is sold at
Rs. 102 in the government controlled
Sathosa which exceeds the budget
price range.
The prices of 1 kilo of wheat flour at
another super market are Rs. 106.50
and Rs. Rs. 115 varying according to
two brands. The price of 425g canned
fish at the same super market is Rs.
220which should be Rs. 205 according
to the assigned budget price.
The price of 1 kilo of turmeric powder
at one grocery shop is Rs. 545 while
exceeding the assigned budget price
range which is in between Rs. 250 and
Rs. 275. Milk powder is sold at the
budget price in all the super markets
and the grocery shops which is Rs.
325. The earlier price of 400g milk pow-
der was Rs. 386. According to the price
reduction following the 2015 budget
proposal, the price was reduced by Rs.
61.Sustagen is also sold at the prom-
ised price in the major super markets.
Accordingly some of the prices re-
main at the earlier price while some
of the prices have exceeded the maxi-
mum price assigned by the Consumer
affairs Authority (CAA) following the
2015 Budget Proposal.
Accordingly, it is obvious that though
the government has slashed the prices
of 13 essential items following the 2015
budget proposal, the prices at major su-
per markets are not still reduced. The
reduction of prices of 13 items was a
part of the 100- Day program. But at the
end of the 100 days the promised ben-
efits are yet to reach the consumers.
President Maithripala Sirisena addressed
the nation via all television stations on April
23 (Thursday), and reviewed the 100-day
program which has come to an end. Follow-
ing are excerpts of the speech.
On this occasion that marks 100 days
since my election as President, I think it is
proper that I address you as your first ser-
vant, appointed by you. Following the results
of the Presidential Election on January 8 this
year, you gave me the opportunity of being
sworn in as the Head of State or President
of this country.
In the 100 days since then, we have as
a new government, taken many important
steps with regard to the country’s economy,
politics, development and international rela-
tions.
I think that when the people of this country
voted on January 8 they clearly carried out
both a transformation, and revolution with
their democratic right. The manner in which
the freedom and democracy obtained by
this transformation and revolution has been
used by certain elements in the past three
months, their political decisions and ac-
tivities, brings to my mind the occasions in
world history when in countries that carried
out revolutions were later faced with coun-
ter-revolutions.
We are aware that very often it is a com-
mon occurrence in countries for counter-
revolution to follow a revolution. When the
great humanitarian leader Abraham Lincoln
of the United States took action to abolish
slavery and introduced legislations for this
purpose, for some time after this some of
the people in slavery stated that they pre-
ferred the condition of slavery. This is be-
cause they thought that going forward in life
in slavery was better than enjoying the free-
dom given and building themselves on their
own strength, as they were used to living un-
der conditions of slavery. This is the reality of
human society. It is therefore essential that
we understand this.
Today some asked what has been done in
these 100 days. I say, there was much done
in these 100 days. Some of these valuable
actions are neither physical in nature nor
visible to the eye.
You will recall the international situation
facing our country at the time I was sworn
in as President on January 9th. The interna-
tional community was divided over us. You
will remember what took place at the United
Nations, the Human Rights Commission
and the Security Council. However, after
January 9th, because of the faith you placed
in me and elected this government, the in-
ternational community that was divided over
us, now place their trust in this government,
and me just as you did, and believe that as
Head of State I would protect the freedom
of this country and its Democracy, Human
Rights and Fundamental Rights.
My recent visits abroad started with our
friendly neighbor India and later to Britain
to participate in the Commonwealth Day
events.
My next visit was to China. As a friendly
state that gave support for national de-
velopment and made much investment in
this country, I had the opportunity to fur-
ther strengthen the friendship that existed
between our two countries. I next went to
Pakistan, which is one of our very close
friends. I believe that trough these visits to
India, China, Pakistan and Britain we have
achieve a much towards winning over the
entire world.
I remember how close the world was to
us at the time of Prime Minister Sirimavo
Bandaranaike with the foreign policy of Non-
alignment, which my government too clearly
follows today. This leads to strengthening
friendship with all states.
Therefore, I wish to emphasize to those
who question what we have done in the
past 100 days that we have regained the
international friendship and trust that had
considerably declined under the previous
government, and that my government and
I were able to win over and strengthen this
friendship for the benefit of the people of this
country.
You are fully aware of the conditions un-
der which you brought me to this office. I
recall that prior to January 8 if I spoke to one
of our own Pradesheeya Sabha Members
by telephone they would shout and ask me
not to speak because the telephones were
tapped.
In the past 3 months, this freedom has
been restored and strengthened. This was
similar with media freedom, too. I recall how
prior to January 8 those who yielded politi-
cal power spoke to the heads of media in-
stitutions, news directors and news editors.
That included intimidation, threats and men-
tal pressure. Today, the media is free of all
this.
Let us take the Judiciary. You
are aware of how the rule of
law was so badly damaged.
Did the people have confi-
dence in the Judiciary? The
Commission on Bribery or
Corruption, the Supreme
Court and all these insti-
tutions were subjected to
telephone calls of those
who were in power. You
know very well how per-
sons associated with
various crimes obtained
freedom at that time;
how judgments in cases
were obtained.
National Security has
now been strengthened.
I informed the Tri-Forc-
es and the Police at the
Security Council that we
need a new plan of ac-
tion on national security.
My dear people, there
is another thing I wish
to bring to your notice.
Some have made vari-
ous criticisms about my
performance during these
100 days. I came to remove
the unlimited powers of an Ex-
ecutive President. There could be
many analyses about this. I wish to
state clearly that my election manifes-
to stated very clearly that my election
would be to remove the unlimited pow-
ers held by Executive President. I wish
to mention how flexible I have been on
this matter.
As I recall in 1999 the United Na-
tional Party adopted a resolution at their
convention against this. The UNP has
been opposed to this since1999. This
dialogue prevailed among the com-
mon people that went together with their
knowledge, wisdom, understanding and
experience. Therefore, this must be done.
This is the 19th Amendment.
In order to build a democratic and civi-
lized society, it is necessary to prevent the
emergence of dictatorship and taking con-
trol of state power, state assets, the judi-
ciary, parliament and all of this to one’s own
control that comes from the Executive Presi-
dential system.
It is now necessary for us to act in ac-
cordance with the decision of the Supreme
Court. We cannot go beyond this. Therefore,
in the past few days there were certain ob-
stacles with regard to presenting of this 19th
Amendment to Parliament. It is my respect-
ful appeal to the honorable representatives
of the people to consider this as a historic
occasion that has come to you. Voting for
this will bring respect in history to you.
The speechmade by
the 'flexible' President
Measuring change in Sri Lanka – Our yardstick
Living with memories
of unfulfilled promises
All the days gone
But confusion remains
Howmini-budget proposals
perform in the market
President Mithripala Sirisena
Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake
By DeepalWarnakulasuriya
T
hen Health Minister Mai-
thripala Sirisena arrived
in New Town Hall, Co-
lombo flanked by former
President Chandrika Bandara-
naike Kumaranathunga, MPs Raji-
vaWijesinha, Arjuna Ranathunga,
MDKS Gunawardene and Duminda
Dissanayake on December pledged
that he is ready to take the chal-
lenge of being the common can-
didate of the Opposition at the
Presidential Election against then
President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The campaign began and main
highlight was the ‘Good Gover-
nance. The topic includes a lot
such as curtailing the powers of
the executive presidential system.
He also had a novel concept for the
new regime which was that it had
been drafted for 100 days (literally for
103 days). They had a calendar for 103
days and also presented 100 tasks to per-
form during that period.
Inception
The common candidate was sup-
ported by diverse stakeholders
such as Ven. Maduluwawe Sob-
hitha Thera’s National Movement
for Social Justice, Ven Athurali-
ye Rathana Thera’s ‘Pivithuru
Hetak’, and a number of political
parties such as Jathika Hela Uru-
maya, former ArmyCommander
Field Martial Sarath Fonseka’s
(designation given later) Demo-
cratic Party as well as JVP, TNA
and SLMC. Most believed that
the pledges and policies presented
by him ‘a combination of all these
individuals, organizations and par-
ties. However, the ‘100 Day Program’
has been drafted by a professor who
worked very closely with the present Prime
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during last
one and half decades.
Monitoring
The office which has been assigned to moni-
tor the implementation of ‘100 Day Program’
in a statement last Wednesday announced that
85 percent of the proposals embodied in the
have been fulfilled and the balance 15 percent
of proposals are now in the implementation
stage and nearing the completion.
Among the proposals already implemented
are the salary increase for public servants,
Rs 3,500 allowance to pensioners, increasing
Samurdhi Allowance by 200 percent, reduc-
tion of prices of 16 essential items including
fuel and gas, enhancing the Mahapola schol-
arship to Rs 5,000 and granting of a nutrition
package to expectant mothers. The other pro-
posals already implemented, according to the
statement are the increase of interest paid
on deposits made by senior citizens in state
banks to 15 percent for the first Rs 1 million,
Rs 50 guaranteed price per kilo for paddy, Rs
80 guaranteed price per kilo of green leaf, Rs
350 floating price for rubber and writing off
50 percent of all farmer loans, launching a
special family security scheme for Sri Lank-
ans employed abroad, writing off interest
payments and fines on mortgaged gold jewel-
lery and other items to the value of Rs 200,000,
creation of free Wi-Fi zones for the benefit of
youth, simplified loan scheme for small and
medium scale industrialists, increasing the
free health vote from 1.8 percent to 3 percent
of the budget, provision of essential drugs to
state hospitals to prevent any shortage and
keeping open OPDs in state hospitals till 10
pm daily.
Apart from this, steps have been taken to
eliminate heroin, ganja, tube and other hard
drugs, setting up of a special task force to ap-
prehend drug dealers, increasing the health
warning pictorial advertisement to 80 per-
cent of the pack of cigarettes, making the
teaching of religion in all schools mandatory
and appointing an all religious committee to
monitor the scheme, exempting war heroes
from engaging in menial duties below their
dignity like sweeping roads and cutting and
cleaning drains, disontinuing the practice of
using a large number of back up vehicles to
escort Ministers and MPs inconveniencing
other road users, establishing civil adminis-
tration in the North and South, implementing
a program to provide shelter to needy people
without houses of their own, establishing a
diplomatic service free of politicization, en-
hancing the protection of state reservations
and important environmental zones, resur-
rection and protection of damaged environ-
mental zones, implementing the National
Fauna and Flora protection to the letter, and
making environmental assessment reports
mandatory for the implementation of devel-
opment programs.
The government also announced that the
following are nearing completion and full ben-
efits will reach the general public soon. En-
suring a consolidated salary scale for public
servants and paying increased salaries with
arrears, provisions of high quality fertilizer
to farmers and tea estate owners, adding an-
other 2.5 percent to interest paid for NRFC ac-
counts, family care program for Sri Lankans
employed in the Middle East, formulation of
legislation to prevent child and women abuse,
a special family protection scheme for women
widowed due to the conflict, setting apart Rs
250 million for activities of the Youth Parlia-
ment in 2015, expediting surgical operations
on patients in waiting lists in state hospitals,
banning the import of chemical fertilizer
causing kidney disease, taking short termand
long term measures to prevent the incidence
of kidney disease, introducing a consolidated
health service for the people through co-ordi-
nation of western, oriental and indigenous
medicine schemes, cancellation of permits
granted to casinos, curtailing the ethanol
racket, freeing universities of politicization
by granting full autonomy and powers to uni-
versities through the UGC, facilities to study
up to diploma or degree level to all students
passing three subjects at the GCE Advanced
Level Examination, ensuring school admis-
sion to all children before the start of each
academic year, implementing a transparent
scheme of school admissions and providing
relief to children who have been subjected to
injustice and state supervision of all interna-
tional schools.
The statement also went on to say that the
below proposals are in the implementation
stage and will reach their expected results
soon. Abolition of excessive tax on fishing
boats, nets and fishing gear, preventing poach-
ing by foreign fishing vessels on Sri Lanka’s
maritime zone, regaining the European mar-
ket for Sri Lanka’s fish exports, implement-
ing an efficient weather observation program
to provide early warning to Sri Lankan fish-
ermen on high seas about inclement weather
conditions, rehabilitation of the damaged
irrigation system, dredging reservoirs filled
with silt, correcting injustices caused to
police personnel and ensuring seniority of
personnel in service, redeeming plantation
workers of the line room culture and provi-
sion of ownership of decent homes for them,
opening estate schools to enable children of
plantation workers to study science subjects
in Tamil up to GCE Advanced Level.
The government also highlighted that the
provision of relief to people forcibly evicted
from their homes or lands, valuation of prop-
erties of people forcibly evicted from the city
and reduction of the value of such proper-
ties from the housing loan paid by them. Pre-
venting the making of statements leading to
communal, religious or social discord, provi-
sion of security to all places of religious wor-
ship, setting up regional and national boards
of leaders of clergy for religious amity, a
scheme to conserve and protect archaeologi-
cal sites, removal of taverns and bars from
the vicinity of the Sri Dalada Maligawa and
prohibition of car races in and around the
Sri Dalada Maligawa sacred areas, amend-
ing the Vihara and Dewalagam Act on the
advice of the Mahanayaka Theras, training
of teachers to improve Pirivena education,
setting up an International Buddhist Uni-
versity, creation of a conducive environment
for organisations working towards ensuring
good governance, creation of a structure to
appreciate and safeguard all arts, media and
creations of artistes, ensuring media free-
dom and free expression.
Failures
Another 15 percent are in the final stages
of implementation, the statement said. The
decision to telecast live the parliamentary
proceedings was not yet attended to and not
much visible effort has been taken to re-es-
tablish a respected foreign service. The pro-
gram also promised a free implementation of
the Wild Life Protection Ordinance, but con-
crete and sincere efforts were not seen during
last 100 days. The streamlining of the religious
education in all schools, appointment of a com-
mittee to monitor its implementation and the
monitoring of the international schools by the
government are also in the list which was not
attended to.
The government statement has also men-
tioned some of these tasks as “on the
implementation process” and
progress has been reported
“Discussions were held, cir-
cular is prepared, awork-
shopwas held or await-
ing
instructions
from the Attorney
General.” How-
ever, the ben-
efits of such
proceedings
have not re-
ceived so
far by any.
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