Armed Forces should never be involved in politics – Pramitha

Defence State Minister Pramitha Bandara Thennakoon said that the armed forces should never be involved in politics.

He said that a large number of retired army officers are in political activities and such officers must do their political activities responsibly.

The State Minister was responding to MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake under Standing Orders 27/2 regarding retired Air Force officers. The Defence State Minister who commented further said that it is the responsibility of the Government to work for the security of the country. “We are moving in a very complicated era. In this era, there can be no compromise regarding State security. He said that it is the responsibility of the Government to take care of the security of the State,” the State Minister said.


Protecting job security of SriLankan is first priority - Minister

Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Services Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said in Parliament yesterday that protecting the job security of employees will be a priority in the restructuring of SriLankan Airlines. He said that he will give his priority to it as the Minister in charge.

The Minister was speaking in the debate yesterday, which was the third day of the debate held after the President presented the terms of the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Parliament. The Minister said that whoever takes the SriLankan Airlines that one should agree to ensure the job security of employees.

The Minister also said that the Government cannot do business but some people cling to old things and think that the Government should do it.

He also said that the Government has been entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring the IMF conditions. “According to those conditions, we have to work on them very carefully,” the Minister said.


Int'l community says Sri Lanka can rebuild economy – Shantha Bandara

Mass Media State Minister Shantha Bandara told Parliament that Sri Lanka has become a country of which economy can be rebuilt and the international community has accepted it.

The State Minister was participating in the debate yesterday for the third day regarding the International Monetary Fund (IMF) relief.

He also said that the economy of the country has expanded with the decision of the IMF.

"Some people lie to build their political identity on this facility. We have certain agreements. The essence of those agreements is to reduce inflation in this country. Today the country is moving along a clear and steady programme,” the State Minister said.

“The destruction caused by the struggle has not yet been calculated. How many properties were destroyed? A Member of Parliament was killed on the road. Buses were set on fire. 72 houses were destroyed. The people of this country no longer need to be under pressure. There was a need for a leader who will move forward in this country with his experience and maturity.

“That is why we suggested that Ranil Wickremesinghe is the only option available to recover the country. Today, everyone in the ruling party is unconditional with him for the sake of the country.


V. Radhakrishnan appointed PC Committee Chair

Parliamentarian Dr. V. Radhakrishnan addressing the committee.

Parliamentarian Dr. V. Radhakrishnan was appointed as the Chair to the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Education in Parliament on March 21.

The first meeting of the Committee was held yesterday. Dr. Sivagnanam Shritharan proposed the name of the Chair and MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathna seconded it.

Dr. V. Radhakrishnan said that he has an understanding in this regard because he has worked as the former Education State Minister. He said that he will do the best possible through this committee. Since the Committee is of a wide field, two sub-committees were appointed as the Higher Education and Research Sub-Committee and the Skill Development and Vocational Training Sub-Committee.

MPs Wimalaweera Dissanayake, Sanjeeva Edirimanna, Kulasingham Thilipan, Asanka Navaratne, Mudita Prishanthi de Soyza, Mayadunna Chinthaka Amal, Manjula Dissanayake and Prof. Charitha Herath were present.

Parliament Assistant Secretary-General Tikiri K. Jayathilake was also present.


Thalatha gets House Sectoral Oversight Committee Chairmanship

Parliamentarian Thalatha Athukorala was appointed the Chair to the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Children, Women and Gender unanimously at its first meeting held on March 22 in Parliament.

MP Manjula Dissanayake proposed the name and MP Muditha Prashanthi seconded it.

This committee has the authority to summon institutions under the Ministry of Women – the Children Affairs and Social Empowerment, Department of Probation and Childcare Services, National Child Protection Authority and the National Secretariat for Early Childhood Development.


Warna Kumara selected to House Committee Chair

Parliamentarian Lalith Varna Kumara was appointed as the Chair to the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Media, Youth, Heritage and New Citizen on March 21 at its first meeting in Parliament.

MP Jayantha Ketagoda proposed the name of the Chair and MP Weerasumana Weerasinghe seconded it.

MP Lalith Varna Kumara said that he expects to contribute to the relevant fields through the Sectoral Oversight Committees to develop the country.

MPs Sanjeeva Edirimanna, Nipuna Ranawaka and Jagath Samarawickrama were present.


Dr. Sarath Weerasekera appointed SOCNS Chairman

Parliamentarian Dr. Sarath Weerasekera, the Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security (SOCNS), said in Parliament on March 21 that the committee would actively intervene to strengthen national security without being confined to the recommendations made so far.

The committee met on March 21 to discuss its future programme.

The chairman said that the committee is one of the sectoral oversight committees that has been assigned a very responsible task. It is expected to focus on a number of areas related to national security in the coming period.

Weerasekera pointed out that Sri Lanka, which is in a strategically important location, has had to face various invasions and enemy threats since the past and its latest face could be through foreign agreements instead of physical invasions. Therefore, the chairman said that it is the responsibility of this committee to study these agreements and find out whether there is a threat to national security. He also said that attention should be paid to the proposed Central Bank of Sri Lanka Bill.

The chairman also said that even though terrorism has been curbed, there is still a risk of religious extremism operating in this country. He also said that special attention should be paid to unregistered madrasa schools that only teach religion and language, and to people who come to Sri Lanka from abroad and give extremist views and lectures. The chairman also said that the 2015-2019 Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security has submitted a report containing very important recommendations to Parliament regarding defeating this extremism, and that it is expected to implement them in the future.

The need to strengthen the security of the country by stopping the riots that threaten the lives and property of the people was also discussed here. The committee also emphasised that if there was any deficiency in the security levels especially in the incident that occurred on July 9, such things should not happen.

There was also a discussion regarding a stock of gold found by the army while hiding the terrorists. It was also decided to look into the matter further.

Apart from this, attention was also paid to a number of matters including drug importation and distribution, Cybercrimes, defamation through social media and crime control.

The relevant parties are expected to be called before the committee and necessary measures will be taken, said the Chairman.

MPs Chandima Weerakkodi, Charles Nirmalanathan, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, Major Pradeep Undugoda, Major Sudarshana Denipitiya, = Sumit Udukumbura, Sampath Athukorala and Nimal Piyathissa were present.

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