Six member committee to make recommendations | Daily News
Free tablets to advanced level students

Six member committee to make recommendations

A committee of six members will be appointed to take a final decision on giving free tablets to Advanced Level students, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said.

The Minister, responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference at Sirikotha yesterday, said it was decided at the last Cabinet meeting to appoint an Expert Committee comprising two nominees of the President, two nominees of the Prime Minister and two nominees of the Education Ministry to study and make recommendations with regard to the free-tablet project. A Cabinet Paper presented by Minister Kariyawasam to go ahead with the project of distributing tablets free of charge to schoolchildren did not receive the Cabinet approval on Tuesday as the President expressed his reservations on it. The project was halted on the instructions of President Sirisena in February.

The minister said the President asked to first carry out a pilot project on the initiative. Kariyawasam expressed his determination to go ahead with the move as a pilot project, adding that a decision as to whether it will cover the students in whole country will be taken after considering the committee’s recommendations.

He said the Government has also paid special attention to the complaints of charging exorbitant fees by private schools to admit students.

Commenting on current political affairs, the minister drew parallels between former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and German dictator Hitler saying that both were “vegetarians” and that Hilter was not a citizen of Germany, but a citizen of Austria, and likewise Rajapaksa is not a citizen of Sri Lanka, but a citizen of the US.

“If he has any affection to this country, he should have obtained Sri Lankan citizenship irrespective of whether he contests elections or not. Seeking citizenship to grab political power or positions is not morally correct. It is clear that he is asking for power to usher in a fascist rule,” he added.

Responding to a question by a journalist who queried as to whether the Government would conduct an investigation into the revelations that Chinese companies pumped millions of dollars to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s polls campaign in 2015, the minister said they also have questions over the pace of investigations with regard to certain cases.

However he was optimistic that those investigations would be fast tracked when the special courts come into operation. 

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