Written by Staff Writer
11 Dec, 2019 | 11:14 pm
COLOMBO(News 1st) – An extraordinary gazette, elaborating the duties and functions of new Ministers and respective ministries was issued this morning.
Several institutions which fell under the purview of the Ministry of Disaster Management during the tenure of the former Government have been taken over by the Ministry of Defence.
Accordingly, the Disaster Management Centre, National Disaster Relief Services Centre, Department of Meteorology and the National Building Research Organisation will operate under the Ministry of Defence.
Further, the Department of Registration of Persons, Department of Immigration and Emigration and the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board have also been gazetted to operate under the Ministry of Defence.
The National Media Centre, Secretariat for Non- Governmental Organisations, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team, Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka and Rakna Arakshana Lanka Ltd. have been taken over by the Ministry of Defence.
In addition, the Office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Police, Department of Civil Security, State Intelligence Service, Ranaviru Seva Authority will also come under the Ministry of Defence.
Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Defence Services Command and Staff College, Defence Services School, National Cadet Corps and the National Defence Fund will operate under the Ministry of Defence, as per the newly issued Gazette.
Defence Research and Development Centre, Sri Lanka Institute of National Defence Studies, Coast Guard Department of Sri Lanka and Lanka Logistics Limited will also fall under the purview of the Ministry of Defence.
Forty-Eight institutions have been allocated to operate under the Ministry of Finance, Economic and Policy Development which is headed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. Those institutions include the Treasury, Department of National Planning, Department of Fiscal Policy and the Central Bank.
Twenty-three institutions including the Department of Buddhist Affairs, Department of Archeology, Public Performance Board, Department of National Museums and the National Film Corporation will fall under the purview of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Cultural and Religious Affairs, which Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is the subject minister.
Seventeen institutions have been gazetted to operate under the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing Facilities.
Accordingly, The National Housing Development Authority, Urban Development Authority and National Water Supply and Drainage Board will fall under the purview of the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing Facilities.
According to the extraordinary gazette which was issued this morning, 19 institutions including The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau will come under the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations.
The media today questioned Members of the Government as to who functions in the capacity of the Minister of Defence under the provisions of the 19th amendment.
Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Foreign Relations and Minister of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations added that the constitution of the country has a clause that dictates that the defence of the country comes under the purview of the President. He added that the 19th amendment is just an amendment and they could not touch the first few clauses.
Susil Premajayantha, State Minister of International Cooperation noted that Chamal Rajapaksa is functioning as the State Minister of Defence. He shared that the President remains the head of the forces and they will function as per the stipulations in the constitution.
S.B. Dissanayake stated that the constitution has issues and if the President wants to present a Cabinet paper he can do it through any Minister. He further added that if not there is the Prime Minister and it will not be an issue.
Meanwhile, the United National Party responded to the Gazette that was issued.
UNP MP S.M. Marikkar noted that the President, the Prime Minister and Chamal Rajapaksa have purview over 140 institutions among them. He questioned whether the other Ministers are scarecrows?
“The Ministers are just shutting their mouth to feed on their ministerial bones. This is just nepotism with a different face” he concluded.
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