Govt. should heed Oversight Comm. proposals – Ashu | Daily News


Batti ‘Sharia campus’:

Govt. should heed Oversight Comm. proposals – Ashu

Chairman of the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resource Development, Professor Ashu Marasinghe, yesterday cautioned the Government not to take any wrong decision with regard to the future of the controversial Batticaloa Campus (Pvt) Ltd in the face of the detailed recommendations on the subject made by his oversight committee.

The UNP MP was commenting on media reports that some sections were urging the government to return control of the campus back to its original owners.

Briefing news media at ‘Temple Trees’ yesterday, Committee chairman Marasinghe refuted allegations levelled against the Sectoral Oversight Committee by certain politicians. Prof. Marasinghe said that the Committee’s recommendations were not aimed at the Muslim community.

The report of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resources Development on the Batticaloa Campus (Pvt) Limited was presented to Parliament on June 21, Marasinghe explained.

“After submitting the report, we requested a debate on it in Parliament from the Speaker. We are hopeful that the Speaker will fix a date immediately.” he said.

In accordance with Sectoral Oversight Committee procedure, the Committee report had been submitted to the Cabinet. A Cabinet subcommittee comprising four ministers has been appointed to report to the Cabinet regarding issues pertaining to this campus.

“This subcommittee’s decision is scheduled to be submitted within two weeks and we are waiting for that decision to come a definitive conclusion about the whole matter,” he said.

Various rumours are currently spreading with regard to this Sectoral Oversight Committee report, Marasinghe observed. “The Committee, in its 15 recommendations, has called for a forensic audit with respect to all monetary transactions pertaining to the Batticaloa Campus. This report has been jointly prepared by both government and opposition members of the committee regardless of political affiliation,” he said. Prof. Marasinghe charged that the Batticaloa Campus project had violated the country’s laws and regulations. The MP stressed the importance of making all sectoral oversight committee proceedings accessible to the news media. “We are hoping to request from the Speaker to open these committees to media.” he said.

He further disclosed that the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education and Human Resource Development was currently working on the preparation of national policies on artificial intelligence and STEM. These policies are scheduled to be finalized within the next two months.

“With the opening up of the sectoral oversight committees to the public, the general public would be able to get an idea about how MPs are involved in policy making.” he added.


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