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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

SAARC Cultural Centre to be established in Sri Lanka

30 November, (Asiantribune.com): The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana on the construction of SAARC Cultural Centre.

A decision was taken by the Heads of SAARC countries at their meeting held in Colombo in July 1998 to establish a Cultural Centre in the SAARC Region for the enhancement and enrichment of cultural activities within the region.

Having accepted the proposal made by Sri Lanka at the SAARC Ministerial Meeting held in 1999, to provide a suitable block of land for this purpose, the Summit granted its approval to construct the Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka. Even though a period of ten years has already elapsed, the task could not be accomplished upto this date.

Therefore, the Cabinet has granted its approval to release Rs. 500 million for the construction of the SAARC Cultural Centre. This Centre will be constructed Matara, Kadawathsatara Divisional Secretariat Division.

Summary of the Cabinet Decisions- 29.11.2007

Renovation of Padaviya District Hospital

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva on the renovation and rehabilitation of the Padaviya District Hospital in the North Central Province.

It was found that this hospital is in need of urgent renovation and rehabilitation owing to the present security situation in the province. The Infrastructure Construction Unit of the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau has submitted an estimate of Rs. 5,115,907.25 on the Turnkey basis.

The Cabinet has granted its approval to provide this sum through the National Health Development Fund for the renovation and rehabilitation of this hospital.

Cost of Dambulla-Kalagahawela Road construction increased

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena on the revision of total estimate cost of the construction of Dambulla-Bakamuna-Kalagahawela Road.

The construction of this road began in November 2001 and had been planned to complete within 03 years. However, due to prolonged delays involved in the acquisition of lands, the project period was extended to December 2006.

Increase in the cost of construction materials and labor charges, changes effected in all work items under the project for preserving subsequently identified archaeological sites by changing original planning related to bridges and structures resulted in the increase of the cost. Allocation from the total amount of Rs.1065 million to make compensation for land acquisition amounted to Rs. 50 million.

However, according to the Chief Government Valuer the actual amount required stood at Rs.103 million. As such the Cabinet has granted its approval to increase the total cost estimate to Rs. 1126.05 million and to obtain the additional requirement of Rs.60.98 million from the Treasury as the project has to be completed early.

Chinese assistance to the construction of SLNPAT

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana on the construction of Sri Lanka National Performing Arts Theatre (SLNPAT) in Colombo with Chinese grant.

According to the Design Agreement signed between the two governments, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs provided all the details including necessary data/information/reports required to prepare architectural plans and structural drawings to the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design. At present this lengthy process has been completed.

Therefore, the Cabinet has granted its approval to sign the agreement with the Chinese side for the construction of the SLNAPT and to appoint a minimum essential cadre in addition to the Project Manager to the local staff of the project.

Winding up of the SLCBC

The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda on the winding up of the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau Company (SLCBC) by guarantee and transfer its assets and liabilities to the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB) set up as a statutory body under the provisions of the Tourism Act.

The new Tourism Act which was promulgated with effect from October 2007, makes provisions for the setting up of a SRCB as a statutory body. Conversely hitherto exists SLCBC as a non-profit making company supported by an annual Treasury grant of Rs. 07 million and matching contributions by the private sector.

The new statutory body SLCB came into operation from October 2007 to be the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau. The new Director Board after studying the legal implications of having two parallel institutions one as a guaranteed company and other as a statutory body for the same function has resolved to wind up the guaranteed company.

Therefore, the Cabinet has granted its approval to wind up the SLCBC and transfer all its assets and liabilities to SLCB and empower it to enter into contracts and agreements in realizing its stated objectives. The eight-member permanent staff will also be absorbed into the SLCB.

- Asian Tribune -

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