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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2556

Assistance and protection to victims of crime and witnesses

Colombo, 05 October, (Asiantribune.com): The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapakse on the drafting of a Bill to provide for assistance and protection to victims of crime and witnesses.

Legal analysts have repeatedly pointed out that there exists a need to provide assistance and protection to victims of crime and witnesses in criminal proceedings.

The absence of such assistance and protection to victims of crime and witnesses affect not only them, but adversely affect the efficacy of the criminal justice system as well.

The Attorney General has developed a set of detailed policy guidelines. If the policy guidelines prepared by the Attorney General is converted into legislation and properly given effect to, it will meet the following objectives. Establish rights and entitlements of victims of crime and witnesses.

Establish a National Authority to provide assistance and protection to victims of crimes and witnesses. Establish a victims of crime and witness protection division in the Police Department.. Establish victims of crime and witness assistance and protection fund.

Establish mechanisms for assistance and protection to be provided to victims of crime and witnesses.

Provide for compensation to be paid to victims of crime. It will also create offences in respect of harm that may be inflicted on victims of crime and witnesses.

In view of this, the Cabinet has granted its approval to direct the Legal Draftsman to expeditiously draft a Bill titled "Assistance and Protection to Victims of Crime and Witnesses" with the view to give effect to the policy guidelines.

Summary of the cabinet decisions – 04 October, 2007.

Mini-Power Stations for tea factories

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Plantation Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne on the construction of Mini-Power Stations for tea factories.

At present it has been identified that only a few mini-power stations are situated at the estates and it is reported that there is a feasibility to construct a large number of such mini-power stations.

Therefore, the Cabinet granted its approval to make an arrangement to provide hydro-power stations to tea factories through mini-power stations with the capacity from 1000 kw to 5000 kw. and to launch a programme for provision of loan facilities to investors and plantation companies to implement the proposal.

Amendment to Fertilizer Act

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena on the amendment to the regulation of Fertilizer Act. In keeping with the "Mahinda Chintanaya" a sum of Rs. 10 billion was allocated to meet the commitments of the fertilizer subsidy.

However, complaints have been received frequently over irregularities occurred during the whole process from fertilizer imports to the distribution among farmer community.

Therefore, the necessity of incorporating a new amendment in the Regulation of Fertilizer Act has been strongly felt to minimize loop-holes available for committing or getting involved in any irregularities by any party or third parties engaged in the distribution of Government's subsidy and make such offence punishable by a Court of Law under the Regulation of Fertilizer Act.

The Cabinet has granted its approval to inform the Legal Draftsman to draft the amendment and to submit it in the Parliament.

Issue of Amended Establishment Code

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya on the issue of volume I of Amended Establishment Code.

The Cabinet granted its approval to include the necessary amendments in addition to the Circular provisions issued in amending the volume 1 of the Establishment Code and publish and declare it until such time the regulations pertaining to recruitment to the Public Service could be formulated and implemented by the Public Service Commission.

Building for Buttala DS

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya on the construction of a new building for the Divisional Secretariat, Buttala. Maintenance of the office functions of this Divisional Secretariat in productive and efficient manner has been hindered due to the inadequacy of office space in the present building.

This Divisional Secretariat serves for nearly 52,704 people of the area.

Therefore, the Cabinet has granted its approval to construct a new two-storied building and entrusting the tasks of designing and construction of it to the Consultancy Bureau of Engineering Activities.

Extension of UNDP Transition Programme

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on the extension of UNDP transition programme for Sri Lanka to Puttalam, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura districts.

The UNDP is currently implementing a project namely the UNDP Transition Programme in the conflict affected areas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces -- Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Ampara districts.

However, this project does not cover the adjacent districts of Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Puttalam where many internally displaced persons from the Northern Province are located.

Therefore, the Cabinet has granted its approval to extend the project to Puttalam, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.

Land to National Savings Bank

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on the allocation of a land at Kollupitiya to National Savings Bank (NSB).

The Chairman of the National Savings Bank had made a request to the UDA to consider the allocation of the land belonged to UDA at Galle Road, Kollupitiya.

The Bank authorities stated that some of the sections are housed in rented out buildings at present and it is hardly sufficient for the expansion of business activities of the Bank, although it spends a huge amount of public funds as rental and maintenance expenditure.

Therefore, the Cabinet has granted its approval to allocate the land at Kollupitiya to the NSB.

Implementation of Puttalam Coal Power Project

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne on the implementation of Phase II and Phase III of Puttalam Coal Power Project.

To realize the full economic benefit of the first coal power project, it was stressed that the construction of Phase II and Phase III of the project be commenced immediately so that the significant tariff reduction could be offered to the consumers upon the commencement of commercial operations of all three phases.

Declaration of National Science Week

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Science and Technology Minister Professor Tissa Witharana on the Declaration of the National Science Week and the World Science Day next month.

The National Science Week is a week of activities organized by associations promoting science and technology world over.

The National Science Foundation which popularizes science amongst the people of Sri Lanka will organize the National Science Week.

The theme of the National Science Week which will be held from 5-10 November is "Our Technology for Our Development".

The World Science Day will be on the 10th November and His Excellency the President will be the Chief Guest.

Paddy stock to be marketed

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena on the marketing of paddy stocks purchased under government provisions by Sri Lanka Agricultural Products Marketing Authority (SLAPMA).

Presently 50,430 metric tons of paddy available in stores purchased by the SLAPMA during the Yala season last year.

At present prices of rice are comparatively high at the open market and urgent measures have to be taken immediately to control this adverse trend. Therefore, the Cabinet has granted its approval to market 40,000 MT of paddy immediately from the SLAPMA.

Married quarters for Army Officers

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order on the construction of 72 Officers' Married Quarters in 9 blocks less than three phase manner at Manning Town, Narahenpita for Sri Lanka Army. The construction will be carried out fewer than three packages.

- Asian Tribune -

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