Cabinet Decisions | Daily News

Cabinet Decisions

Allocating lands to UAE Capital Investment LLC

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Capital Investment LLC has submitted a project proposal to acquire a land adjacent to Maussakale Reservoir and a small island in the same reservoir, which are in the custody of the Ceylon Electricity Board on a long-term lease basis for a project to build and run a hotel complex by using US$ 25 million as a direct foreign investment. Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the proposal by the President in his capacity as the Investment Promotion Minister to allocate those lands to the company on a long-term lease basis to implement the project by obtaining the agreement of the relevant institutions.


Integrated Field Exercise-2025 of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization on-Site Inspection

The Cabinet has approved ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed by Sri Lanka on October 24, 1996. The Article IV of the Treaty has established a verification mechanism for conducting an on-site inspection to confirm whether a country has carried out a nuclear test/explosion. The Integrated Field Exercise programme has been introduced to carry out the activities and tasks related to that and to provide training on test equipment. The Bureau of Geological Survey and Mines has applied to host the Integrated Field Exercise-2025 as the Technical Centre of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Sri Lanka.

According to the eligibility assessment made as per the request, it was identified that the area adjacent to the Maduru Oya National Park is suitable for conducting Integrated Field Exercises. Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the proposal by the Foreign Affairs Minister to host the On-Site Inspection Integrated Field Exercise 2025 was approved by the Cabinet.

Repatriating cultural heritage held by foreign countries

According to Articles 7 and 13 of the Charter on the Prohibition and Prevention of Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property adopted by UNESCO in 1970, any cultural property a foreign country has the right to request its return to the Government to which it belongs. Accordingly, the Government of the Netherlands has decided to return the artifacts taken from the colonial countries and deposited in the State museums of the Netherlands to the countries that own the artifacts.
A research project has been conducted with the participation of the museum department and independent researchers regarding six such artifacts in the Netherlands and it has been confirmed that all the artifacts were brought from Sri Lanka during the colonial period. The Buddhasasana and Cultural Affairs Ministry has already made a diplomatic request to bring back the artifacts to Sri Lanka. Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the proposal by Buddhasasana and Cultural Affairs Minister to appoint a committee of officials to take further steps in this regard and to prepare an action plan for repatriating the Sri Lankan artifacts in various countries.

Mainstreaming Wetland Biodiversity and Sustainable Land Management

The biodiversity, the degradation of water catchment areas, the productive capacity of the soil and the annual and perennial crops including tea and rubber in the Wet Zone have been severely affected by the high demand for lands, forest fragmentation, deforestation and land degradation, rapid development processes, spread of invasive alien plants, impact of unsustainable temperature and drought. Therefore, the focus is on taking appropriate measures for sustainable land management and conservation of small forests with high biodiversity around tea and rubber lands. The United Nations Development Programme has agreed to provide a grant around US$ 4 million through the Global Environment Facility for implementing the project for streamlining biodiversity and sustainable land management in the wetlands.

Accordingly the Cabinet approved the proposal by the Environment Minister to enter into an agreement between the United Nations Development Programme and the Environment Ministry to obtain the relevant grant for the proposed project planned to be implemented through public-private and community partnership in the six districts - Nuware Eliya, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Kalutara, Galle and Matara.

Allocating land for Sutech Sugar Industries (Pvt.) Limited

A project proposal for sugarcane cultivation and sugar production in Vavuniya with an investment of US$ 400 million has been submitted by Thailand’s Sutech Engineering Company. The proposed project is expected to produce 20 per cent (MT 120,000 of sugar) of the country’s sugar requirement. For the factory premises and related facilities required for this project, a 200 hectare land covered by a scrub jungle belonging to the Department of Forestry in Vavuniya North Divisional Secretariat Division has been identified as suitable. The Department of Forest Conservation has agreed to provide that land for implementing the proposed project. Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the proposal by the President in his capacity as the Investment Promotions Minister to take necessary further steps to implement the project.

MoU on cooperation in Tourism Sector

An agreement has been reached between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the ‘Legal entity of Public law’ of the Georgian National Tourism Administration Institute to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the tourism sector. The draft MoU prepared for this purpose has received the Attorney General’s clearance. Accordingly, the Cabinet approved the proposal by the Lands Minister to sign the MoU.

Establishing climate justice forums

In the global climate dialogue, several critical areas are being discussed, which will affect the developing countries facing climate risks. Although more attention was paid to set up a loss and damage fund in the past discussions on climate change, establishing the fund has been delayed due to various reasons. Therefore, Sri Lanka has proposed a Climate Justice Forum to accelerate the financing of losses and damages and providing an alternative and non-traditional approach. Also, Sri Lanka is of the opinion that it is appropriate to include debt justice as an essential component of the overall solution proposal to be given to the climate- vulnerable and developing countries for their mitigation and adaptation interventions, taking into account the debt crises faced by those countries. To make that effort successful, the Cabinet approved implementing the strategic programme by the Environmen Minister as the proponent of establishing the Climate Justice Forum.

Regulations under Import and Export (Control) Act No. 1 of 1969 to Parliament

Regulations have been issued as per the Import and Export (Control) Act No. 1 of 1969 to suspend the import of certain selected goods to ease the steaming pressure on the foreign exchange reserves and the financial market due to unfavourable economic circumstances prevailing within the country.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, as well as other relevant parties has recognised the requirement to eliminate the limitations for the import of selected goods categories that cause a minimum impact on the balance of payments through easing the regulations. Accordingly, it has been decided to remove 286 combined classification codes from the list of 1,216 combined classification codes in the schedule of suspending imports.

The Import and Export (Control) Regulations No. 9 of 2023 for the purpose has been published in the Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 2335/26 dated 09.06.2023. The Cabinet approved the proposal by the President in his capacity as the Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies Minister to submit the regulations to Parliament for its concurrence.


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