Intellectual Property Act: 'To safeguard rights of artistes'
Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody presided when Parliament met at
1.00 p.m. yesterday.
After the presentation of papers and oral questions, the House took
up the Regulations under the Intellectual Property Act and Regulations
under the Animal Act for debate.
Culture and Arts Minister T.B. Ekanayake:
I present the regulations under the Intellectual Property Act. These
regulations are presented to ensure the intellectual property rights of
artists, novelists, singers and others who have been involved in various
fields related to art.
These regulations will also provide new laws concerning the
Intellectual Property Rights.
The payment of royalty will be made essential under these
A.H.M. Azwer takes the Chair.
T.B. Ekanayake (Continues):
This will strengthen the economy of artists while encouraging them to
produce more and more cultural creations. Some of the artists in the
country have grown old, while some were suffering from various
Therefore, these regulations would be a relief to them. We present
these regulations today to fulfil Ministry's responsibility to look
after the artistes of the country.
Jayantha Ketagoda (DNA):
It is of much importance to present regulations to provide protection
for the intellectual property rights of the artistes. This would be a
valuable addition to their work. We should admire the novel innovations
created by our artistes.
While some media channels made a good profit by playing popular
songs, the respective artistes receive nothing for their valuable
Malini Fonseka (UPFA):
Intellectual Property Acts were operative in many developed
countries. This Act provides the facility for artistes to secure their
rights for their creative productions.
Most of the senior singers and composers are not compensated for
their contributions which are being telecast and broadcast by media
According to new regulations, a radio channel should pay a sum of Rs
3 per song that is aired through the channel. In the same manner, a TV
channel should pay a sum of Rs 10. This move would also act as a pension
scheme for artistes.
Thilanga Sumathipala (UPFA):
This move is for the benefit of thousands of artistes in the country.
These artistes have faced much injustices over the past years for
exploitation of their creative work by the media. This would also
control the unpermitted use of artistic productions by the media and
This initiative would safeguard local artistes and their creations,
which would also be an incentive to them. Our senior artistes such as
Sunil Ariyaratne and Rohana Weerasinghe have already sought legal help
in order to preserve their intellectual property rights.
However, some artistes do not have an economic background even to
seek legal help to safeguard their rights by voicing out the injustices
done to them. Therefore, this is a massive step taken by the President
towards the protection of art and the culture.
J.R.P. Sooriyapperuma (UPFA):
Malini Fonseka MP spoke on behalf of the artist community of the
country. During the past, there was a time the display of the national
flag had been banned. The country experienced a revival thereafter, not
because of the university community or those who live in Colombo, but
because of the village school principals. When we were schooling, an
hour had been separated for the creation of poems. We were forced to
create poems of our own. This helped us to improve our aesthetic skills.
Sunil Handunnetti (DNA):
We have to admit that the Ministry legal system had been unable to
provide the required protection for the intellectual property rights of
Eventhough there were laws and regulations, these were not pragmatic
with the advancement of modern technology, including IT. Today the
government has established flying squads in many fields. Why cannot the
government establish a flying squad under the Intellectual Property
Bureau to raid illegal activities related to the intellectual property
J.R.P. Sooriyapperuma takes the Chair.
A.H.M. Azwer (UPFA):
Under Minister Ekanayake, culture and art were experiencing a great
I believe that a 'Tower Hall era' would be ushered once again
shortly. We are grateful to the Minister's enormous efforts. New
theatres with fully fledged facilities were being constructed with the
blessings of the President.
Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Jayarathna Herath:
Over a time, many problems have been prevailing about the payment of
royalty. The need to enact regulations had been felt seriously due to
the exploitation of art productions by media channels continuously.
Eventhough there were legal provisions, these provisions were not
Deputy Chairman of Committees Chandrakumar Murugesu takes the Chair.
The regulations have been imposed concerning the minimum value that
should be paid. This would be further increased with time.
Social Services Minister Felix Perera:
In foreign countries, there were stringent laws to protect the
intellectual property rights of new innovations.
Eventhough Sri Lanka possesses such laws, they were not strict
There were so many meaningful and appreciable songs in Sinhala. These
artistes are immortal and their value immeasurable. These artistes could
do a lot towards the mental well-being of the people. Music is
considered as the newest therapy for stress relaxation and mental
Regulations under the Intellectual Property Act were approved.
Livestock and Rural Community Development Minister H.R. Mithrapala:
I present regulations under the Animal Act. These regulations come
under a vast area including animal slaughter, transportation, feeding
and breeding. The said Act had undergone three amendments previously.
However, no amendment was made during the recent past, to cater to the
present demands and requirements.
I would like to say that a new animal identification system has been
in place, with the use of tagging. The convensional branding system was
out of date now. I believe that the regulations brought today would
contribute for the development of our livestock industry.
Anura Dissanayake (DNA):
We have no objection with regard to these regulations and we admit
that they are important. There is no argument that we have to protect
our animal resources.
However, there are several issues related to the breeding of animals
and related to livestock. This animal density cannot be increased as we
set up new industries.
It should be done after serious thought and study. Animal density
should be increased to develop our livestock industry and these animals
should be upto the required quality.
Shantha Bandara takes the Chair
Dr Rohana Pushpakumara (UPFA): As guaranteed by our
government, the rights of the people of this country had been won by
defeating terrorism. this Act is a measure to guarantee the rights of
animals in this country, moved during this period of Sri Sambuddhathva
Although there were regulations, cattle are being transported in a
torturous manner. Even animals that are to be butchered should not be
done in public. But we often see roosters and cattle tied up and kept by
the roads which is sickening. When we consider the dog population in the
country, it was almost one-eighths of our population which has become a
menace to the country.
P Anyanethiran (TNA): In the Batticaloa District due to the
human-elephant conflict, the people were unable to engage in the
livestock industry. On the other hand, cattle meet with road accidents
and are killed in our district which is a regular occurrence.
A H M Azwer (UPFA): I am certain the members of this august
assembly would support this move. MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said
cattle population should be increased for development. But during the
JVP insurgency they reduced the animal population by killing and
consuming them. Therefore, the LTTE followed suit in Chenkaladi in the
Eastern Province and other areas.
During those periods, people lived in fear. Now, the rights of both
animals and people has been guaranteed.
The House adjourned until 1 pm today.
'Triforces personnel entitled to pension benefits'
Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister W D J Seneviratne,
yesterday stated in Parliament that the personal attached to the
Triforces would be entitled to full pension benefits.
He also stated that the decision was reached by the Government to
evaluate their services rendered to the country and the territorial
integrity of the nation.
Minister Seneviratne further stated that those who had retired before
May 19, 2009, after 22 years service, were entitled to full pension
benefits only if they had completed at least 5 years service in
operational areas. He added that most of them had worked more than 20
The Minister was responding to a statement made by JVP MP Anura
Kumara Dissanayake, under provision of standing order 23-2.
Minister Seneviratne also said that almost 100 percent of Navy and
Air Force personnel who had retired from service before May 19, 2009,
were entitled to this benefit, adding that the operational areas would
be defined by the respective commanders. He said that certificates
issued by the Pensions division of the Triforces to the effect that a
serviceman had completed 5 years service in operational areas, would be
sufficient for the serviceman to be entitled for full pension benefits.
Minister Seneviratne stated that only those who had retired before
May 19, 2009 and had not completed at least a 5 years service in
operational areas, would not be entitled for this benefit. This measure
of paying 85 percent of the salary as pension was taken in addition to
other reliefs given to them.
The Minister further stated that the decision had been reached by the
Cabinet on December 24, 2009.
JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, stated that there was a problem in
the way how the pension was calculated for the payment of their full
Facilities given to schools will not be reduced
Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, stated in Parliament
yesterday that the facilities given to schools that were not selected
for the secondary schools development programme, would not be reduced in
any way. He said that at least three schools in each Divisional
Secretariat would be developed under this secondary schools development
He made this observation further to his statement he made on the
previous day (Wednesday).
Minister Bandula Gunawardena further explained that the 238 secondary
schools functioning since the Kannangara period, were also included in
this programme. He said that those schools did not conduct classes from
Grade 1 to Grade 5.
He further stated that another 858 schools were scheduled to close
down the primary sections to develop the 1,000 Secondary Schools
Development programme. He added that if those schools that were selected
were to make a written request against the closure, some other schools
would be selected under the Secondary Schools Development programme,
which decision would be notified to the Cabinet.
The Minister also added that those schools would be selected to
develop with the approval of the Old Students' Association of those
schools, adding that students to such schools have not been admitted to
Grade one for year 2012. The Minister also said that the primary
sections would be removed gradually from those schools.
Fisheries Industries Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne: Stated that he
had taken measures to double the fishing harvest in 2013, to increase
the fish consumption per persons from 11.4 kg to 22 kg to reduce the
malnutrition to zero in Sri Lanka.
Making this observation in Parliament, he said that action had been
taken to reach this target under the directions of President Mahinda
Rajapaksa and support of Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
He also said the Fisheries Industries Ministry had established
fisheries sanctuaries and breeding areas where fishing was banned to
develop the fishing industry. He added that with reference to the fresh
water fish industry, more than 40 million fingerlings could be hatched
in hatcheries during this year.
Victor Anthony (UPFA): If the fisheries industry was conducted
in an organized manner, the country could be made self-sufficient in
A.H.M. Azwer takes the Chair.
The use of banned nets in fishing, would have destroyed the breading
places of fish.
The destruction of mangroves was also another reason to affect the
Sarath Chandrasiri Muthukumara (UPFA): Minister Rajitha
Senaratne had taken measures to eliminate the mafia in the fish market.
Shantha Bandara (UPFA): There is a major role to be played by
the Fisheries Ministry to provide proteins to the youth in the country.
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Rajitha
Senaratne: I am thankful for presenting this adjournment motion today.
One of the measures we have taken for the boost of the fisheries
industry is the banning of harmful methods of fishing, such as the use
of dynamite. I have eliminated use of dynamite from Beruwala.
We have been able to control the catching of small fish which were
very young. Now the fishermen are thankful to our ministry for being
able to catch grown fish.
I have also eliminated the use of 'thangus' nets to catch fish.
The laws regarding these irregularities were already there. But were
not operative. I enforced them pragmatically.
I also initiated the establishment of fish sanctuaries. In these
sanctuaries, fishing was illegal.
Prawn cultivation had been affected due to disease called 'Sudu Pulli'.
There was no mechanism to supervise prawn cultivation. To rectify
this, we established a special unit to supervise prawn cultivation.
Milk Fish will be introduced as an alternative variety in the near
future. In Batticaloa, we have decided to establish a reproduction
centre which extends to about 2,820 hectares. We have already obtained
the approval for this.
We have gazatted the 'Fisheries Management Lagoons' at different
places throughout the island.
One fourth of the "Divi Neguma" project would be incorporated with
Fisheries Industry. The total number of beneficiaries in the fisheries
sector under "Divi Neguma' project amounts to 7,057.
Our plan is to increase fish consumption of an individual to 22kg by
2013. This amount is 11.4kg now. This is the weapon to combat
malnutrition in the country. Therefore we hope to create a child
population free of malnutrition by 2013.
The North is very important for our sector. We expect to obtain 50
percent of the fish production from the North.
We have also attempted to improve deep sea fishing. I am making an
enormous effort to develop the fisheries industry and solicit your help
in this endeavour.