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    Cabinet Decisions- 04.09.2023

    September 05, 2023

    Decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers on 04.09.2023


    01. Acting under an integrated approach for the need of water management considering it
    as an emergency situation


    A report dated 22.08.2023 published by the National Disaster Relief Center indicates that
    due to the recent dry weather situation, around 84000 families in 70 divisional secretariat
    areas belonging to 17 districts of the island have faced a shortage of drinking water. Under
    this situation, the existing limited water capacities should be optimally utilized and managed
    until sufficient water capacity is stored in the island's reservoir system. According to the
    "National Water Resources Policy" approved by the Council of Ministers on 10.07.2023,
    priority should be given to supply of drinking water. The government is also obliged to
    protect other water sharers. According to the "National Water Resources Policy" approved by
    the Cabinet of Ministers on 10.07.2023, priority should be given to supply of drinking water.
    The government is also obliged to protect other water sharers. Accordingly the Cabinet of
    Ministers approved the proposals mentioned in the cabinet memorandum presented
    combined by the Hon. Prime Minister, Minister of Irrigation and Minister of Water Supply
    and Estate Infrastructure Development to consider the supply of drinking water as an urgent
    and priority requirement until sufficient rainfall is received and to act National Water
    Resources Council proposed by the National Water Resources Policy as an emergency action
    committee and take necessary measures for the same.


    02. Progress of large-scale development projects by the end of the second quarter 2023


    The Cabinet of Ministers took in to account the report presented by the President in his
    capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies on the
    progress achieved by 202 large-scale development projects implemented by line ministries by
    the end of the second quarter of 2023. The Cabinet of Ministers took into consideration that
    the progress of many projects was lower than expected level by the end of the second quarter
    of 2023 due to the inability to use the funds related to the projects implemented on foreign
    funds and the limited release of local funds until the debt restructuring process that has been
    started is completed. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to allocate budget
    allocations for the year 2024 by prioritizing the projects that can contribute to the achievement
    of the government's 2048 development goals and contribute to the current economic crisis,
    among the currently ongoing projects, until foreign funds can be utilized.


    03. Promotion of tertiary education through career guidance


    A program has been prepared to provide students those who finish the G.C.E. (O/L) Exam
    until they start the Advanced Level or students those who finish the G.C.E. (A/L) with the
    opportunity to complete a curriculum covering five basic areas related to vocational
    education until they start vocational education while keeping them in the school system. The
    program is mainly expected to develop IT and English language which are generally
    important for vocational education along with soft skills. The Cabinet of Ministers approved
    the proposal presented by the Minister of Education to implement the proposed program as
    a pilot project for a period of 3-4 months in 320 selected schools covering every educational
    division of the island and based on the results of the pilot project to implement the project as
    a national program from the year 2024.


    04. Leasing the servitude right of several plots of land in Muthurajawela owned by the Sri
    Lanka Land Development Corporation to Ceylon Electricity Board for Laying of
    Underground Pipeline


    In 1997, a portion of 69 acres of Muthurajawela land owned by the Sri Lanka Land
    Development Corporation was sold to the Ceylon Electricity Board. The Yugadanavi power
    plant is built in one part of this land and the Sobadanavi new power plant is currently being
    built on the rest of the land. The requirements for the construction of underground cooling
    pipelines and underground fuel pipelines for those fuel plants have been identified. Several
    other plots of land in Muthurajawela owned by the Land Development Corporation have
    been identified as suitable for that purpose. As such, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the
    proposal presented by the Minister of Urban Development and Housing to transfer the
    servitude ownership of the said lands to the Ceylon Electricity Board on lease basis with the
    right to sub-lease.


    05. Allotment of a portion of land located on D.M.Kolambage Mawatha, Kirulapone to
    Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Social Welfare Foundation


    The Chief Incumbent of the Asgiri Maha Vihara has made a request for a suitable land for
    the construction of an official monastery to provide accommodation facilities for monks
    traveling from remote areas for national and religious festivals held in Colombo and suburbs.
    A land of 27 perches owned by the Urban Development Authority located in
    D.M.Kolambage Mawatha, Kirulapana has been identified as suitable for the construction.
    Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of
    Urban Development and Housing to transfer the said land to the Warakagoda Sri
    Gnanaratana Social Welfare Foundation by way of Free Grant for the construction of a monk
    monastery.


    06. Establishment of diplomatic relations by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri
    Lanka with the Union of Comoros and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and
    Principe


    There are 54 sovereign states accepted by the United Nations in the African region. Among
    these, Sri Lanka has established diplomatic relations with 46 countries and agreement to
    establish diplomatic relations with 6 other countries is pending. Accordingly, the Cabinet of
    Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to establish
    diplomatic relations with the Union of Comoros and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome
    and Principe.


    07. Sri Lanka National Policy and Action Plan on Migration for Employment


    The National Labor Migration Policy formulated in 2008 is the first policy on labor
    migration in Sri Lanka. The "Sri Lanka National Policy and Action Plan on Migration for
    Employment 2023-2027" has been drafted reviewing the said policy by obtaining the views
    of respective Ministries, Migrant Workers and their family members, Foreign Employment
    Agencies, Private sector, Civil Society Organizations, Trade Unions, Academics, Research
    Institutes and Development Partners as well as International Non-Governmental
    Organizations and the United Nations Agencies. Accordingly the Cabinet of Ministers
    approved the Proposal presented by the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment for the
    implementation of the said policy and action plan 2023-2027 which has been prepared in
    accordance with the national and international legal and policy frameworks.


    08. Provisions for registration of electric tricycles


    Electrically charged batteries are used to manufacture electric three wheelers and to convert
    petrol or diesel powered three wheelers in to three wheelers running on electric power. It has
    been recognized that the tare weight of such three-wheelers exceeds 500 kg due to this
    reason. According to the interpretation of the Motor Vehicles Act, the tare weight of a motor
    tricycle should not exceed 500 kg and the gross weight should not exceed 1000 kg.
    Accordingly, approval of the Cabinet of Ministers has been received on 08.08.2022 to amend
    the Motor Vehicle Act by removing the existing obstacle to the registration of electric threewheelers. The bill prepared accordingly by the legal draftsman has received the clearance of
    the Attorney General. As such, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by
    the Minister of Transport and Highways to publish the said bill in the Government Gazette
    and submit for the parliamentary approval consequently.


    09. Cancellation of Rent Act No. 7 of 1972 and introduction of Securing Residents Act.


    Although revisions to Rent Act No. 7 of 1972 that are introduced with the objective of
    defining the rights and responsibilities of the landlords and those who take houses on rent
    have been introduced on several occasions, it is apparent that the expected objectives are not
    catered by the act. The Consultancy Committee on Rent Act established under the Ministry
    of Justice, Prison Activities and Constitutional Reforms has probed into this matter and
    accordingly, it has been proposed appropriate to introduce a new law aiming at securing the
    rights of both rentee and renter. Considering the said proposals, the Cabinet of Ministers have
    granted approval for the proposal submitted by the Minister of Justice, Prison Activities and
    Constitutional Reforms to instruct the Legal Draftsman to repeal the existing Rent Act No. 7
    of 1972 and draft a bill named Securing Residents Act.


    10. Amendments to the Export Agriculture Promotion Act No. 46 of 1992


    The requirement of amending the Export Agriculture Promotion Act No. 46 of 1992 to cater
    to the contemporary requirement has been identified. Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers
    granted approval to the proposal furnished by the Minister of Plantation Industries to instruct
    the Legal Draftsman to prepare a draft bill for amending the said act.


    11. Draft Bill on the Security of the Online Methods


    The Attorney General has given his clearance for the draft bill on the security of online
    methods drafted by the Legal Draftsman with the objective of safeguarding the general
    society from the damages caused by false information publicizing and discriminating control
    through the internet. As appeared in section III of the said draft bill, the following actions
    have been misinterpreted in the provisions of this act;
    • Communication of false statements on the incidents within Sri Lanka
    • False statements causing defame
    • Pave way for riots by provocation without reason
    • Disturbing a religious assembly through false statements
    • Communication of false statements with the sole intention of hurting religious
    emotions
    • Communication of false statements with the sole intention and with the sole
    intention for the abomination of religious emotions
    • Fraud
    • Cheating by appearing some other person
    • Defaming intentionally by a false statement with the objective of arousing for
    violation of peace
    • Circulation of false statements with the intention of causing a riot or an offense
    against the Government
    • Communication of statements on incidents to cause harassment.
    • Child abuse
    • Production of bots or modifying them for causing an offense.
    Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the resolution furnished by the Ministry of
    Public Security to publish the above draft bill in the government gazette and subsequently
    submit the same to the Parliament for its concurrence.


    12. Draft Bill of the Anti – Terrorist Act


    Concurrence of the Cabinet of Ministers was granted at their meeting held on 05.09.2022 to
    publish the draft bill of the Anti – Terrorist Act prepared by the Legal Draftsman in order to
    introduce the Anti – Terrorist Act repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act in the
    government gazette and subsequently submit it to the Parliament and followed by that, the
    said draft bill has been published in the government gazette on 22.03.2023. Thereafter, a
    number of parties having concern about that (local and international) have expressed their
    concern regarding certain sections of the draft bill. Accordingly, the Ministry of Justice,
    Prison Activities and Constitutional Reforms have called for views and proposals formally
    from those who are interested in this regard through electronic media and the Minister of
    Justice, Prison Activities and Constitutional Reforms has held discussions with certain parties
    himself. Whereas, considering all the views and proposals submitted, actions have been taken
    to prepare a new draft bill by the Legal Draftsman by revising the original draft bill which
    was published in the government gazette. Clearance of the Attorney General has been
    granted to the said new draft bill. Therefore, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to the
    resolution furnished by the Minister of Justice, Prison Activities and Constitutional Reforms
    to publish the said draft bill in the government gazette and thereby submit the same to the
    Parliament.


    In the event of any inconsistency between the English translations of this document, the
    Sinhala text shall prevail.

    Last modified on Tuesday, 05 September 2023 14:03

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