Ministry of Prison Reforms,Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

Sri Lanka

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Annual Progress Reports

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    Report of the Fact-Finding Committee 

Appointed by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, Hon D M Swaminathan to study the Shooting of Two Prison Buses at Kalutara on 27.02.2017

 

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Thursday, 04 May 2017 18:14


    

Scheme of Recruitment Legal Officer 

Friday, 07 April 2017 13:13


KEPPAPULAVU  LAND  IN  MULLATIVU

 

The Hon. Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M.Swaminathan had a discussion with His Excellency the President on 14th February 2017 regarding the Keppapulavu Land in Mullativu occupied by the Army.  His Excellency the President spoke to the Army Commander and the Army Commander had assured that he will release the subject land very soon.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 14:00


2017.02.10 Hindu Religious Aranery Education Awarding Ceremony

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Monday, 13 February 2017 00:00


2017.02.04 National Day

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Friday, 03 February 2017 00:00


 

                      Procurement Notice

                      Sinhala

                      English

                     Tamil

 

 

 

Monday, 23 January 2017 12:19


The death anniversary of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam

The death anniversary of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam was commemorated on 9th January 2017. Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M Swaminathan attended this event.  Chief Minister of Western Province Isura Devapriya also participated in the event.
Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam’s statue in front the Presidential Secretariat was garlanded during the event.
Sir Arunachalam was a legal luminary and a distinguished statesman. He was one of the founders of the Ceylon National Congress and he also founded the Ceylon Tamil League.
 
 
 
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Monday, 16 January 2017 13:11


 

Application to obtain pre fabricate houses under the 10,000 prefabricate housing project

 

Download Application 

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Thursday, 05 January 2017 10:03


 

Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M Swaminathan presented land ownership deeds to 370 beneficiaries of the Vavuniya divisional secretariat division, at an event held  on 28.12.2016.

The land ownership deeds were presented as another step of the resettlement process initiated by the Ministry.

The 370 beneficiaries who received deeds for their lands are from Katpagapuram and Pompeymadu villages.

 

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Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:44


 

Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

(28/12/2016)

Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M Swaminathan provided compensation to 91 individuals who were affected from the fire, which erupted at the Kilinochchi market complex on 16th September 2016.

Compensation was awarded to the affected people during an event held at the Kilinochchi district secretariat on 28.12.2016.

About 122 shops were destroyed from the fire and after estimating the damages, the people who were affected from the fire were provided compensation today. Through a Cabinet paper presented by the Ministry, 74 million rupees were allocated to provide compensation to these individuals.

 

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Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:10


Parliament Speech by the Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

Honourable Speaker,

The Northern and Eastern Provinces were severely affected for more than thirty years by the internal conflict and caused a large number of internally displaced people in the conflict affected areas. Resettlement of the Internally Displaced Families in the Northern and Eastern Provinces continues as a significant issue to our country.

After January 2015, the government of good governance has started to release the lands of the Internally Displaced Families in their places of origin gradually. Lands extents of 2,990 Acres in Jaffna District, 1000 Acres in Trincomalee District and 474 Acres in Kilinochchi District have been released until now and 2,743 Internally Displaced Families have been resettled in these lands of 4,464 Acres. This land release gave a respectable improvement in lives of the people affected by the conflict and a projecting change in the national reconciliation and peace building in the country.

After returning to their place of origin or the relocated alternate locations, the Internally Displaced Families need to be provided with housing, sanitation, water supply and other basic infrastructure to enable them to have a durable solution. In the conflict affected areas, most of the families lost their houses and other properties. After returning they have no way for their livelihood. Land areas which were released after 25 years, need all basic infrastructure developments.

Therefore, the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs allocated 14,000 Million Rupees for the Resettlement Programme not only in the Northern and Eastern Provinces but the war-affected Sinhala border villages in Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts also.

  1. Development Projects of the Ministry for the Year 2016

In 2016, under this funding of my Ministry, Rupees 8,634 Million was allocated for the Housing Project in these 11 Districtson owner driven basis which has caused the beneficiariesinto financial hardship. Rupees 805 Million was allocated for the Water Project and 1,202 Wells are being constructed, 3,371 New Water Connections have been provided and 29 Community Water Supply Schemes have been established under the Water Project to solve the drinking water problem of the conflict affected people in the 11 affected districts.

In this year, in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces, 2,170 war-damaged houses have been renovated at a cost of Rupees 426 Million. Under the Development of Sanitation Facilities programme, Rupees 418 Million was allocated and 7,600 Toilets are being constructed. Rupees 758 Million have been allocated to develop the infrastructure facilities in the resettled areas. Utilizing this fund, 171 Internal Roads, 29 Schools, 23 Hospitals and 41 Pre-schools have been renovated. Under this project, 104 Domestic Electricity Connections were also provided and 03 Street Lamp Projects have been established in Kilinochchi district.

War affected many families severely and left many families without livelihoods. In order to improve the livelihoods of these families, Rupees 1,205 Million was allocated and agriculture, fisheries, livestock and self-employment relatedlivelihood assistancehas been provided to 12,050 resettled families in this year.

In addition to these projects carried out by the Ministry, certain special projects have been implemented for various purposes in Jaffna District worth of Rupees 583 Million. Special projects such as constructing a bridge between Kayts and Kaarainagar, providing passenger boats, constructing a jetty to Delft Island and Eluvaithivu, renovation of the road between Velanai and Kayts, and the clinical waste and solid waste management of the Jaffna Municipal Council have also been implemented in line with other projects.

The thirty years war remained a barrier to the cultural development of the Tamil people. Construction of a centre named “Jaffna Cultural Centre” has been started in Jaffna worth of Rupees 1, 700 Million with financial assistance from India to support the cultural activities of the Tamil community. This Cultural Centre consists of cultural library, art gallery, study rooms and open theatre. The financial assistance is given as a grant and Sri Lankan government should bear the duties and taxes only.

In addition to the Ministry Resettlement Programme, the institutions which are under this Ministry also conduct their programmes. The institutions under this Ministry are Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs, Department of Prisons, Department of Community Based Correction, Rehabilitation Authority, Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Palmyrah Development Board and Northsea Ltd.

Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs makes effort to preserve Hindu culture through awareness, improve spiritual mind of the people and celebrating national religious festivals. Department has taken action to promote Hindu religious education, conduct Hindu research and conference, practice moral and religious values among the Hindu youth through development of Aranery

Schools (Religious School) and provide assistance to develop Children Homes, Elders Homes, and Hindu Temples which are war affected.

Various assistant has been provided to 112,000 Aranery(Religious School) students to facilitate to improve their spiritual and moral activities by providing musical instruments, uniforms, books and conducting creativity competitions. 5,000 Aranery(Religious School) teachers have been trained to improve their capacity. Assistance has been given to 650 Hindu temples including war damaged temples for reconstruction and improvement of other infrastructure development. Financial assistance has been provided to 30 Children Homes to develop education for 1,600 children. Further to this, Ministry and the Department are processing to get public opinion in preparation of Animal Scarifying Act to control animal killing in the Hindu temples.

The main objective of the Department of Prisons is to contribute to build a civilized society by means of proper rehabilitation of inmates and thereby making inmates to law abiding humanitarian persons.Prison system consists of 3 Closed Prisons in Welikada ,Mahara and Bogambara, 19 Remand Prisons, 2 CorrectionalCentres in Pallansena and Taldena for youthful offenders, 9Work Camps, 2 Open Prison Camps in Pallekelle and Anuradhapura, 20 Prison Lock-ups and 1 Prison Training School for youthful offenders in Watareka. There are about 19,000 convicted and remand prisoners under their care and rehabilitation.Accordingly, 9,607 Rehabilitation Programmes have been conducted by getting involving 250,215 inmates within this year.78,198Convicted and unconvicted prisoners have been admitted during January 01 to August 31, 2016.

In 2016, Telephone Jamming System which disturb telephone calling has been introduced to stop using mobile phones from prison institutes and an Official Dog Unit with participation of Sri Lanka Police has been set up in the Department of Prisons. Rupees 57 Million has been spent  for purchasing the raw materials and other expenses for the industrial works within the first three quarters and earned Rs. 99 Million by the industrial division.

The government has recognized the need to undertake urgent reforms in the prisons with the view to convert prisons into correctional centres based on the international standards. The relocation of prisons from the cities to interior areas is being implemented as a public policy in order to utilize the high commercial valued prison land to urban development. Under this relocation programme, Colombo Prison Complex, Galle Prison, Matara Prison, Badulla Prison, Batticaloa Prison, Trincomalee Prison, Negambo Prison and Kegalle Prison are already proposed. In this year, Rs. 2,800 Mn was allocated for the construction of Angunukolapalessa Prison Complex in Hambantota and the Complex building will be handed over before end of this month. Construction of Jaffna Prison has also been completed.

The aim of the Department of Community Based Corrections is to make the minor offender a free person from wrong habits and makes them a respectable citizen of the country through an effective correctional process while keeping him in the society. In this year, 9,791Community Corrections Orders have been received from Magistrate and Circuit courts and 71 % are in relation to drug and alcohol and mostly reported in Colombo.2,597 Drug Prevention,Counsellingand Spiritual Programmes have been conducted by the Department Island wide.  In addition to these, 840 Free Service Programmes such as renovation of roads, repairs of temples and buildings have been completed with the contribution of the offenders under the Department of Community Based Correction.

Rehabilitation Authority / REPPIA is giving its fullest support for the National Frame Work in post- war recovery and development by improving the quality of life and harmonizes the civil society with sustainable livelihood in the conflict affected areas through implementing rehabilitations programs for the benefit of persons, properties and industries affected by terrorist activities, civil commotion and political violence.

Under the Financial Assistance Scheme of REPPIA, the maximum amount paid for the war affected religious place is Rs. 500,000/= and Rs.  47 Mn has been paid to reconstruct 307 damaged religious places until September 2016. Compensation up to a maximum of Rs. 150,000/= is paid to the Public Servants whose houses and property were damaged by the terrorist activities and  Rs 72 Mn has been paid for 643 compensation cases for the State Employees for property loss. Rs. 111 Mn has been paid for 1,300 Compensation cases forMostly Affected Persons. Cabinet has approved 525 Mn to continue the loan scheme up to a maximum amount of Rs. 250,000 for the Socially Re-integrated Trainees in 2017.

The main objective of the Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation is rehabilitation of misguided men,women, childrenand their family unitsby adopting varying therapies in order to ensure effective reintegration and reconciliation, through developing socio economic standards having identified their rights and cultural value. Our country has been successful in accomplishing the great task of sociallyreintegrating the misguided children and youth due to war through rehabilitation to become useful individuals with positive attitudes.

In addition to that, to reduce the narcotic drugs menace which has become agrave problem for thecitizensof Sri Lanka,Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation isinstrumental in setting up of the Kandakadu Treatment andRehabilitation Centre for the purpose ofcaring and rehabilitating the drug addicts. In this year,1,820persons including imprisonedoffenders have been attached to the Rehabilitation Centre. In 2016, misguided 44 male and 2 female ex-combatants and 411DrugOffenders have been rehabilitated and reintegrated. To support to the livelihood of the rehabilitees, a loan schemeto provide financial assistance from the state banks at a concessionary rate ofinterest of 4% has been initiated with the help of the RehabilitationAuthority / REPPIA established under this Ministry. Under this scheme, 1,799rehabilitated persons have beengranted loans.

The main activities of the Palmyrah Development Board are restoration of palmyrah plantations, production and promotion of palmyrah products, conducting handicraft training programmes, conducting research, operating sales outlets called “Katpaham” and improving the living standard of the dependent families through promote the palmyrah cottage industries.

Further Ministry has taken action to rehabilitate Thikkam Distilleries to promote the living standard of dependent families by using excess toddy in productive manner. Rs 113 Mn has been allocated to the Government Agent, Jaffna to procure necessary machineries and to reconstruct the buildings. In addition to this Rs 110 Mn has been allocated for Livelihood Development Project to promote cottage industries in thePalmyrah based villages and Rs 50 Mn allocated for the improvement of Palmyrah Research Institute to maintain the standard of Palmyrahproducts and for the research and development activities.Palmyrah Development Board has organised an exhibition successfully to promote palmyrah products and cottage industries.

Northsea Ltd is a hundred percent Treasury owned Fishnet Manufacturing Company with the aim to manufacturing and supplying standard quality fishnets to meet seasonal demand in order to encourage fishing activities and seafood production of the country. Fiveyear Strategic Plan has been formulated to increase the turnover and net profit by enhancing the sales of fishnets  through phase out replacement of old machineries with modernized machineries over the period of three years and  product differentiation and market penetration to compete with competitors. In this year, Rs 103 Mn has been released by the Ministry to modernize the fishnet factories by installing new machineries.

Further Ministry has taken meaningful action through the Cabinet to make viable company by supplying products to the Fisheries Ministry according to their requirements considering the social responsibility of Northsea Ltd. I wish to thank to Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Fisheries for this support. Ministry arranged to get Rs 50 Mn loan for capital investment with the help of the Treasury bond to recover from financial crises of the Northsea Ltd.

  1. Development Projects of the Ministry for the Year 2017

The present government of good governance is more concerned towards the issues of the Tamil people especially in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.Even though remarkable developments have been observed after 8th of January 2015, there are more needs for the people living in the Northern and the Eastern parts of the country after the thirty years conflict in these areas.

In the Northern Province, agricultural contributions are the major share of economy and hence Irrigation sector plays a vital role. Irrigation has been practiced in Northern Province since ancient times and is almost exclusively used for the cultivation of paddy. Irrigation Schemes in the Northern Province have storage reservoirs which assure supplemental irrigation during dry spells in the Maha season and assure irrigation facilities to limited area during the Yala season.

The Northern and Easter Provinces has large number of Major and Minor Irrigation tanks and channel system. During the conflict situation prevailed in these provinces, displacement of farm families from their cultivation area, maintenance of Irrigation schemes could not be carried out properly for more than three decades. In addition to this, severe damages caused by heavy floods have worsened the situation. As a result, most of the schemes were found to be in dilapidated condition. This has adversely impacted the Socio Economic situation of the provinces to greater extent.

There are 54 Major and Medium Irrigation schemes in the Northern Province under the Provincial Irrigation Department of Northern Province. These schemes primarily provide irrigation facilities to 70,181 Acres of cultivation land benefiting more than 28,000 farming families in this region. Valukkaiaru Drainage scheme providing drainage facilities to 2,000 Acres, 34 Salt Water Exclusion schemes providing saltwater exclusion facilities to 7,561 Acres and Jaffna Lagoon scheme of 20,000 Acres are also come under the purview of the Provincial Irrigation Department of Northern Province.

Due to the dilapidated condition of channel system, the water losses were very high and hence the resource utilization was well below the designed level. The malfunctioning of Salt Water Exclusion Schemes has caused Salt Water intrusion into the cultivable lands and ground water. Since most of the schemes were not fully rehabilitated for the past three decades, they are functioning below their potential level. Reduction of ground water and polluted ground water are becoming major issues in the Northern Province.  Therefore there is a need to implement an irrigation rehabilitation project to the Irrigation schemes in the Northern Province to ensure sustainable irrigation facilities in this region.

Therefore, rehabilitation of the abandoned or poorly maintained but operational schemes to bring the tank parameters back to the original designed profile is very essential. It needs Rs 8,855 Mn for the development of 9 Major and 45 Medium Irrigation schemes, Salt Water Exclusion schemes, Valukkaiaru Drainage scheme and Jaffna Lagoon schemes.

There are more than 2,000 Minor tanks available for water harvesting in the Northern region. However, nearly 800 Minor tanks are functional for irrigation. There are 417 Minor tanks in the Northern region and 176 Minor tanks in the Eastern region should be rehabilitated to irrigate 31,366 Acres of cultivation land and 14,268 famers will get benefits. It needs Rs 2,600 Mn for the development of the Minor tanks.

Restoration of economic assets and development of infrastructures are major considerations in the rehabilitation process. These rehabilitations will support to the resettled conflict affected people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. In 2017, this Ministry will allocate fund for the development of Minor tanks to support the agriculture and livelihood of the resettled peopleand to motivate cultivation in the abandoned agriculture lands.

In the Northern and Easter Provinces, Education sector also needs developments. Most of the schools were damaged due to the conflict situation. There are certain numbers of schools which were at the recently released areas of Jaffna district need reconstruction urgently.Therefore, in 2017, this Ministry will allocate fund for the development ofthe schools in the resettled areas to care the children of the resettled families.

Almost all families living in the Northern and Eastern coastal area had been severely affected by the conflict and lost their income generating sources.  But the coastal area has high potential for livelihood development activities related with Fisheries sector. Expansion of non-conventional livelihood such as Sea Cucumber andSea Weeds has to be explored. In addition to this, inland fisheries have to be developed tosupport livelihood of theconflict affected people.

Deep sea fishing has already been opened in the Northern coastal areas and necessary facilities and technologies need to be provided to the fishermen to improve their business. Consideringthe above facts, Ministry has planned to facilitate the non-conventional fishing and inland fisheries in next year and funds will be allocated to support to the livelihood development activities related with the Fisheries sector.

Along with the above programmes, Prisons Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs Ministry will implement the Resettlement Programme in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and the war-affected Sinhala border districts in 2017. The Ministry Resettlement Programme will include Housing, Sanitation, Water Supply, Livelihood Assistance and other Basic Infrastructure projects to improvement of social and economic conditions of the conflict affected people. The Ministry will also implement various projects in the coming years towards the welfare of conflict affected people.

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:38


 

The 86th death anniversary of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan

 The 86th death anniversary of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan was held on 30th November 2016 at the Southern Province Governor’s Secretariat in Galle.

Sir Ramanathan’s grandnephew, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs , D.M Swaminathan participated in the commemoration ceremony along with Southern Province Governor Dr. Hemakumara Nanayakkara and Western Province Governor K.C Logeshwaran.

 

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Tuesday, 20 December 2016 11:24


 

Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs 
(30/11/2016)

The 11th Passing Out Ceremony

 

The 11th passing out ceremony of grade II jailors and rehabilitation officers was held under the patronage of Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, D.M Swaminathan .

The passing out ceremony which was held at Prisons Grounds, in Borella was attended by Secretary to the Ministry Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy and Prisons Commissioner General Nishan Dhanasinghe.

Addressing the gathering Minister Swaminathan stressed that the prison officials should be disciplined first in order to maintain discipline among the prison inmates. The Minister pointed out that while the facilities provided for the inmates should be improved, the jailors should also be strict in their approach to minimise incidents of prisoners escaping jails and narcotics smuggling. He noted that otherwise the purpose of the prisons system is defeated.

116 grade II male jailors, four female officers and 12 rehabilitation officers passed out at today’s ceremony completing their training period.

 

 

 

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Friday, 25 November 2016 14:16


 

A Hindu Cultural event was held on 21st November 2016, under the patronage of Hon. Minister D.M. Swaminathan to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the Hindu Religious Affairs Department. The event was held at the Durgamani Hall in Nallur, Jaffna and intellectuals who have rendered a great service to Hindu Religious Affairs were felicitated by the Minister during this event.

 

 

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016 13:04


 

Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs
(02/11/2016)
 
Cabinet approval has been granted to provide compensation for the business owners affected by the Kilinochchi fire as per a Cabinet Memorandum submitted by Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan.
 
The Cabinet paper was submitted on 21st October 2016, by Minister Swaminathan, in concurrence with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
 
As per the recommendations of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe it has been approved to pay 74 million rupees for the 122 affected owners of the business establishments.
 
In addition, approval has been granted to establish a sophisticated fire brigade system in Kilinochchi with fire fighting bowsers, rescue vehicles etc at a cost of 97 million rupees.
 
It has also been approved to construct a market complex in Kilinochchi to support the business established destroyed by the fire at an estimated cost of 150 million rupees.
 
The fire broke out in Kilinochchi destroying nearly 122 shops on 16th September 2016.

 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 12:18


 

His Excellency, President Maithripala Sirisena handed over newly built 100 houses to displaced families in Jaffna and released another 454 acres of land on 31st of October . Hon. Minister D.M. Swaminathan also participated in the event.

The project was implemented with the finances allocated by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Hindu Religious Affairs. The newly built houses are situated in Kankasanthurai, Keeramalai, Nallinakkapuram village and the houses were built by the military.

 

 

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016 12:28


 

Hon. Minister D.M. Swaminathan was the chief guest of the exhibition organized by the Palmyrah Development Board. It was held from 21 October to 23rd October at Jaffna Central College.

 

 

 

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Tuesday, 22 November 2016 10:36


 

United Nations Special Rapporteur

Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ms. Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, met with Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs on 11/10/2016.

Having a discussion with Minister Swaminathan Ms. Rita Izsák-Ndiaye, who is in Sri Lanka to assess the current situation of the national, ethnic and religious minorities,  stated that more focus should be placed on the current situation with regard to human rights and minority issues, rather than dwelling on the past.

The Minister stated that the present government has taken many steps to improve the human rights situation in the country. He informed Ms. Izsák-Ndiaye that the government will be abolishing the Prevention of Terrorism Act and that it will be replaced with a new Act.  Speaking further with Ms. Izsák-Ndiaye, the Minister said that the government has established and strengthened independent commissions to ensure the rights of minorities as well as the other citizens of Sri Lanka.4T2A0561

Sunday, 23 October 2016 23:21


 Task Force Meeting

Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

Several crucial points were discussed to accelerate the resettlement of IDPs of the Northern Province meeting held on 20/09/2016 by the Task Force, on Resettlement of Protracted IDPs in the Northern Province.

Co chairs of this Task Force, Minister of Prison Reforms, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M.Swaminathan, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishard Bathiudeen and Minister of Agriculture Duminda Dissanayake were present at yesterday’s meeting. Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Faizer Mustapha is also a co chair of this Task Force.

Senior officials of the relevant ministries including National policies and economic affairs, Housing and construction and the Department of National Budget also participated in the meeting.

The meeting focussed on addressing the urgent Infrastructure requirements, housing requirements and maintenance of Hospitals and Schools which would benefit the IDPs.

During the meeting it was also stated that a social survey will be conducted jointly by the Government of Sri Lanka and the UN agencies to assess the requirements with regard to accelerated resettlement in the North.

task force meeting photo 1475987728 103.247.48.26

Friday, 21 October 2016 10:14


parliament answer part 1parliament answer part 2

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:42


 

 Release of 454 Acres of Private Lands by Sri Lanka Army in Tellipalai, Jaffna

Land Release

Friday, 21 October 2016 12:36


Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs   Hon. D.M Swaminathan attended the conference on ‘Migration and IDPs in South Asia’, today (25.08.2016). The conference was organized by the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies in cooperation with the Centre for South Asian Studies and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Speaking at the conference Minister Swaminathan stated that the present government has provided a budgetary allocation of 14 Billion rupees to resettle and improve the living standards of people in the conflict affected areas and the former threatened villages. He stated that this budgetary allocation is being utilized to provide durable solutions to the internally displaced families and the refugee returnees from India. He further stated that as a result of the implementing development projects in the North, the Northern Province’s contribution to the national economy amounts to about 12% of the GDP.

 

Migration and IDPs in South Asia

 

Keynote Address by Hon. D. M. Swaminathan MP, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

There are 214 million estimated international migrants in the world today where they comprise 3.1 percent of the global population. Global migration flows have increased in magnitude and complexity due to economic and human security factors. The last two centuries have witnessed several waves of migrant flows across the world.

Migration is not new for South Asia. In the colonial period, millions of indentured workers were recruited. In the South Asian region, the factors influencing migration are multi-faceted. Poverty is seen as one of the key root causes. The income disparities in the South Asian region will remain pronounced and will continue to underprop the economic incentives for the ‘poor and low skilled’ to migrate.

Another main cause for migration is connected with political struggles.The internal conflict in the South Asian countries caused large-scale refugee movements. The openness of the United States, Canada, and Australia to family migration meant that primary movements from South Asian countries as asylum seekers.

At the end of 2008, war-torn Afghanistan which millions of people first fled in 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded remained the biggest global source of refugees, with 2.8 million (one-fourth of the global refugee population) in 69 different asylum countries according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Pakistan hosted the most refugees of any country in 2008, with 1.8 million, nearly all from Afghanistan.

The long civil war in Sri Lanka led to mass internal displacement as well as refugee outflows. In 2001, an estimated 144,000 Sri Lankan Tamils were living in camps in India, while other Tamils were dispersed around the world. The resurgence of fighting in 2006 led to new displacements, especially of Tamils from the north of the island.

In January 2009, UNHCR counted 137,752 Sri Lankan refugees around the world, and over half a million persons internally displaced within Sri Lanka. The final war of April-May 2009 led to many civilian deaths and injuries and to further large scale flight. In early July 2009, 280,000 persons were reported to be housed in government camps in northern Sri Lanka.


South Asian countries are experiencing large scale internal migration due to the urbanization. There are lot of poor rural urban migrants.

Migration was considered a problem in the developing world, including South Asia, in the past for its negative implications for development in terms of brain drain and labour force reduction. However, in recent times, the benefits of migration have received greater attention in the development discourse, particularly considering the importance of remittances as a source of foreign exchange as well as numerous human development benefits such as knowledge, skill and technology transfers, reduction in unemployment, poverty reduction, and empowerment of underprivileged segments of the society. Therefore migration has been a critical factor in South Asian economies as a source of employment and livelihood for workers, and as a source of remittances which provide a stable flow of external finance.

 

The remittances of migrants represent a significant proportion of most South Asian countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as foreign exchange earnings. South Asia has traditionally had a comparative advantage in the export of low-skilled labour at low cost. Therefore we can see that there has been a growth in migration from South Asia into new markets all over the world.

When we look Sri Lanka in the IDP context, the people from Northern and Eastern Provinces were severely affected by the civil conflict that continued for more than thirty years. This led to a large number of Internally Displaced People in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The protracted civil conflict in the country imposed massive and long-lasting human, social and economic costs which are immeasurable. The human and social costs of death, disability and the mental trauma affected the same Internally Displaced People severely. The economic cost of the thirty years civil conflict is also very high. Houses, properties and other belongings of those people were totally destroyed due to the conflict. Resettlement of the Internally Displaced Families in the Northern and Eastern Provinces continues as a significant issue in national and international level.

Since the cessation of the armed conflict in May 2009, there was much improvement in lives of people affected by the armed conflict. The then Government of Sri Lanka planned and initiated a resettlement programme for the Internally Displaced Families. From May 2009 to up to now, 237,535 Families consisting 821,305 Persons have returned to their places of origin or relocated in alternate locations in Northern and Eastern Provinces. Most of the people who were displaced during the last six years period have returned to their places of origin or relocated in alternate locations. Hence 13,324 Internally Displaced Families consisting of 43,026 persons either live in the Welfare Centres in Jaffna or with their friends and relatives.

After January 2015, there were prominent improvements in the existence of the Internally Displaced People in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.   As the first step to the reconciliation and peacebuilding, the Ministry of Resettlement has taken necessary steps with the support of the new Government of Sri Lanka, to release the lands of the Internally Displaced Families in their places of origin gradually. Lands extents of 1,760 Acres in Jaffna District, 903 Acres in Trincomalee District and 474 Acres in Kilinochchi District have been released in 2015 and 2016 and 3,152 Internally Displaced Families have been resettled in these lands. This land release gave a highly regarded improvement in lives of people affected by the conflict and a projecting change in the national reconciliation and peacebuilding in Sri Lanka.

After returning to their place of origin or the relocated alternate locations, the Internally Displaced Families need to be provided with housing, sanitation, water supply and other basic facilities as infrastructure (Access roads, Schools, Hospitals) to enable them to have a durable solution as predicted by the UNHCR. In the conflict affected areas, most of the families lost their houses and other properties. After returning they have no way for their livelihood. Land areas which were released after 25 years, need all basic infrastructure developments.

Therefore the present Good Governance Government of Sri Lanka has taken necessary actions to rebuild the conflict affected areas and to uplift the living status of the Internally Displaced Families through providing durable solutions to them. The Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs identified that providing of basic needs and facilities to the newly resettled families is an urgent and important matter to ensure resettlement with durable solution. Therefore Ministry planned and initiated a rapid Resettlement and Development Programme for the Internally Displaced Families in 2016.

Even though the present Government has financial difficulties in the Treasury due to the financial mismanagement of the former government, a special attention was given about the Internally Displaced People when prepared the budget proposal and in 2016,   a distinct budgetary allocation of Rs.14 Billion has been allocated for the Resettlement and Development Projects for the conflict affected areas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and Former Threatened Villages in the border districts like Ampara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Puttalam. This budgetary allocation is being utilized to provide durable solutions to the Internally Displaced Families and the Refugee Returnees from India. As a result the Northern Province has contributed around 12% of the GDP while the other provinces contributed around 7% of the GDP.

The present Government of Sri Lanka recognizes that the provision of durable solutions to the Internally Displaced People when they return to their places of origin will heal the wounds of war and forging a strong sense of unity within a diverse polity. A meaningful solution will positively impact on the lives of the Internally Displaced People and those affected by displacement and a sustainable and all-inclusive reconciliation can also be achieved.

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Thursday, 25 August 2016 16:00


News Paper Article published on Resettlement and Development projects Implemented by the Ministry...

 

Click to Read

Monday, 01 August 2016 14:46


Minister of Prison Reforms Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, Hon. D.M. Swaminathan presented land ownership certificates to over 190 families living in Sidhambarapuram village in Vavuniya, on Thursday.

The Sidhambarapuram village was a camp that housed families who were in temporary settlements for the last 25 years. The villagers were temporarily settled in this area in 1990 after they were displaced due to the conflict situation in the North.

In an effort to bring normalcy into their lives after being affected by the war and giving them the opportunity to establish permanent housing, Ministry of Prison Reforms Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs presented these land ownership certificates.

“ We are committed to ensure the well being of the Tamil Community and all projects implemented in the North are to benefit the people living in these areas. The Tamil community should understand that the present government has not done anything that would adversely affect them” said Minister Swaminathan.

Chief Minister of the Northern Province, Hon. C.V Wigneswaran also participated in the event.

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Thursday, 14 July 2016 10:21


Discussion with Head of EU Delegation

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Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:19


The Department of Civil Engineering of the Engineering Faculty of Peradeniya University conducting a study about the technical implications of the 65000 housing project in the North, has stated that the pre- fabricated houses are the best option to meet the high demand for housing in the war affected Northern and Eastern provinces.

The study is an academia driven independent assessment carried out with regard to the technical implications of the 65,000 housing project implemented by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs.

click here to view the report.

Friday, 24 June 2016 10:00



Speech to Parliament by Minister of Prison Reform, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs Minister

Honourable Speaker,

As everyone knows, unlike the past governments, the present day government of good governance is more concerned towards the issues of the Tamil people. Even though tremendous developments have been witnessed after 8th of January 2016 in the lives of people living in the Northern and the Eastern parts of the country, the government of good governance and me has been facing criticism all the time.  I think that I will be able to adequately answer such criticism in today's parliamentary speech.

I wish to take this opportunity to give a clear picture of the development projects undertaken by my Ministry, including the 65,000 Housing Project, and to answer the questions raised by some parliamentarians.  

  1. Development Projects of the Ministry for the Year 2016

The government of good governance has paid special attention towards the people of the North and the East, who have been victimized by the 30 years long war. The Ministry of Prison Reforms and Development, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs, has allocated 14,000 million Rupees to resettle and rehabilitate them. The allocated 14,000 million rupees is being utilized for the rehabilitation and resettlement of all the innocent people including resettled people of the North and the East, refugees repatriated from India, and the war-affected Sinhala border villagers.

Under the funding of my Ministry, 10,030 permanent houses are being newly built in 11 Districts including 08 war affected districts of the North and the East and the border districts of Puttalam, Anuradapura and Pollannaruwa. While the Housing Project is underway, 647 million Rupees has been allocated to facilitate drinking water to 11 war affected Districts. Steps have been taken to solve the drinking water problem of affected people by constructing public wells, renovating the existing public wells and providing water lines to houses.

In the Northern and the Eastern Provinces, 2400 war-damaged houses were renovated at a cost of Rupees 480 million. Under this programme, Rupees 200,000/= was provided to each family for the renovation of houses.

Rs. 418 million has been allocated to improve the sanitation facilities of 7600 families. The construction work of toilets has already been commenced.  Under this scheme, a toilet is built at a cost of Rs 55,000/=.

Rupees 632.70 million have been allocated to develop the infrastructure facilities in the resettled areas. Utilizing these funds, roads and school buildings will be renovated while improving sanitation and drinking water facilities in the schools.

War has affected many families severely, and left many families without livelihoods. In order to improve the livelihoods of these families, measures have been taken to provide Rupees 100,000/=   as livelihood assistance to each family. Accordingly Rupees 1,205 million has been allocated.

Rupees 154 million have been allocated to provide optional lands and to construct permanent houses to develop infrastructure facilities to people in the Mannar District  whose lands are in the possession of armed forces.

The landmines which have been buried in the war torn areas still remain a big problem to people. Rs. 20 million has been allocated through the Ministry to demine those areas with the help of foreign experts.

Palmyra industry takes prime importance in the livelihood of most of the people in the North and the East. Rupees 160 million have been allocated to Palmyra related development programs. Accordingly Rupees 110 million has been allocated to the Palmyra based livelihood development programmes and Rs 50 million to expand the services of Palmyra Research Institute and the development works are underway now.

As the Northern and the Eastern Provinces are gifted with sea frontage, the fisheries industry remains one of the most important livelihood modes of most of the people in these Provinces. The war had severely affected the fisheries industry. North Sea Limited has resumed its labours to strengthen the fishery families and to improve their living standards. Rupees 103 million have been allocated to further modernize fishing net manufacturing factories in Kurunagar, Lunuwila, and Weeravila this year.

In addition to these projects carried out by the Rehabilitation Ministry, certain special projects have been implemented for various purposes in the Jaffna District. Rs. 1987.35 million has been allocated for this purpose.

Special projects such as constructing a bridge between Kytes and Kaarainagar, providing passenger boats, constructing a jetty to Delft Island and Eluvai Thivu, renovation of the road between Velanai and Kytes, and the clinical waste and solid waste management of the Jaffna Municipal Council have also been implemented in line with other ongoing projects.

The 30 year war remained a barrier to the cultural development of Tamil people. Arrangements are nearing completion to construct a cultural centre close to Jaffna library at a cost of Rs.1, 400 million with financial assistance from India.

In 2016, Rs. 93 million have been allocated to renovate the Hindu Temples which were damaged due to the conflict. The renovation works have been started by the Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs.

Prisons Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Affairs Ministry has implemented all programmes which could be implemented by the Ministry within this year under the good governance towards the people who were affected by three decade war. The Ministry will also implement various projects in the coming years towards the welfare of war affected people.

 

  1. 65,000 housing programme

 

Due to the war, internal displacement and destruction to movable and immovable properties of the people of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces occurred on a large scale. After the end of the war, civilians began to resettle in liberated areas. Most of their houses were fully or partly damaged.

Housing projects for those who lost their homes were undertaken with the assistance of World Bank and Indian Government.  Yet there is a need for 137,000 more houses and the present government has to go for a Housing Project to fulfil the housing needs of those affected.

Due to the three decades of war and the ongoing development projects, the government is facing a heavy financial deficit.  According to the decision of the Cabinet it was decided to request proposals from international and national house builders who have the capacity to undertake construction of houses with concessionary financing arrangements from reputed financing institutions.

In accordance with the Cabinet decision, call for Expression of Interest from the bidders who can reveal the source of funding, was issued in the papers in September 2015. Accordingly 35 companies from Sri Lanka and overseas, submitted the Expressions of Interest.

Based on the Circular of the Ministry of Resettlement, 15 companies pre-qualified for the bid after the evaluation of Expressions of Interest submitted by 35 companies.  In October 2015, above mentioned 15 companies were requested to reveal their technical and financial capabilities including Project Proposals, in an application form provided by the Ministry of Resettlement.  According to the Procurement Guidelines the two envelop system was implemented for evaluation purposes. Only bids accompanied with the bid security of Rupees 650 million were accepted. The Project Committee appointed by the Ministry carefully analysed each project proposal and financial proposal of the technically qualified bids opened during the evaluation only for the two technically qualified bidders.

Out of the 15 companies only 13 companies paid the required non-refundable deposit to collect the Application for Proposal and out of 13 companies, only 8 companies have submitted the proposals by December 2015.  Out of the 8 companies only two companies have submitted bid security for the amount of Rs.650 million and acceptable technical proposals.

The confirmed concessionary financing arrangements are a mandatory requirement for eligibility in the financial evaluation process. Only one of the two companies fulfilled the financial evaluation requirements. ArcelorMittal Construction, France has submitted a detailed financial package, and won the bid successfully.

After winning the bid, details regarding ArcelorMittal Construction - France were submitted to the Negotiation Committee appointed by the Cabinet. This committee submitted a comprehensive report to the Cabinet. That resulted in appointing a Special Official Committee in February 2016, headed by the Treasury Secretary and   paved the way to include people’s opinion, and environmental potentialities.  

In order to get a clear understanding of the people’s opinion, two model houses were built in Kopay and Thellippallai in the Jaffna District.  According to the recommendations of the Special Official committee, people were requested to visit these houses and express their views and interests. Since then the general public have been visiting these homes. Selecting the beneficiaries was through paper advertisements and application forms were distributed accordingly.

Housing project comprising 65,000 houses would be carried out by the France based company Arcelor Mittal Construction, which has its branches in 79 countries and has a workforce of 220,000. And it is the world’s leading company in the production of metal.  This proves without any doubt that these houses will be of international quality. These 65000 mortar type houses have a minimum lifetime of 70 years and the company has already given 30 years of guarantee.

The estimated cost of the two companies, to build a house with an extent of approximately 550 square feet, was evaluated at the final stage. Accordingly, Arcelor Mittal Construction was providing a house at a cost of Rupees 2,180,000/=while EPI-OCPL Consortium was ready to offer a house of the same extent at Rupees 1,325,590/=. But ArcelorMittal Construction - France is providing fully furnished houses which includes solar panel, tube well, furniture including bed and pantry cupboards, T.V, gas cookers, water supply and Wi-Fi. Therefore there is cost of 2.1 Mn is not just for basic house but a fully furnished house with all facilities. This project will definitely raise the living standards of the people of Northern and Eastern provinces.

According to the expertise report of the Peradeniya University, the prefabricated housing construction programme will not involve local labour or resources and the construction period will be comparatively much less. The expert committee has pointed out some shortcomings as well   Arcelor Mittal Construction agreed to raise the foundation level of these houses, in accordance with the area's rainfall and flood conditions, and also agreed to use metallic coated steel for the construction purposes. Arrangements will be made to use firewood as a means of cooking outside the house. 

Members of Parliament Hon. Charles Nirmalanathan and Hon. Sumanthiran have commented adversely regarding the 65000 housing project, complete explanations were given in the Newspapers. Ministry requested the people to visit the model houses and submit their applications. I wish to inform this house that the people of the Northern Sri Lanka submitted their applications willingly. In the Jaffna district we have received 32,050 applications for the housing project. And I also wish to inform that a total of 97,232 applications have been received from Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara.

I always prioritize the needs of the people I serve. With my detailed speech I wish to convey the message to Hon Member of Parliament Charles Nirmalanathan that anyone would understand the complete transparency maintained in relation to the 65,000 housing Scheme. I also wish to inform Hon. Member of Parliament Charles Nirmalanathan that it is not right to put forward allegations without evidence.  They falsely alleged me of using the housing project for personal gains. Even though the allegation has been proven false by maintaining a complete transparency throughout the housing project, they are now falsely accusing the party leadership.

Hon Member of Parliament Charles Nirmalanathan also inquired me about the arrests of rehabilitated cadres. Arrest of a person is related to the country’s law and order, and to maintain law and order not only Tamils, persons from other communities are also arrested. If anyone is arrested unlawfully, instead of condemning vehemently, please bring it to my notice. I will take up the issue with the President and Prime minister, discussing with them I will obtain an appropriate solution.

Co-chairmen of the District and Divisional Co-ordinating Committees are appointed by His Excellency the President. A parliament member’s developments are not only restricted to his electorate.  I had been elected to Parliament by the National list, according to the votes casted by the people all over Sri Lanka. I wish to inform that I have the right to develop any part of Sri Lanka.

Hon. Member of Parliament Charles Nirmalanathan was inquiring about my linkages with Vanni. I am not an Alien. My contact with the Northern Province is historical.  My ancestral home which is almost 175 years old is still in Manipay. My grandfather Mr Mooththathambi was the founder of the Nallur Mangaiyarkkarasi Vidyalayam and the Monastery in the Nallur West road.  By donating their lands to Manipay Hindu College, Parameshwara College and Ramanathan College, they have contributed towards the educational development of our people.  I wish to bring this to the notice of Hon Member of Parliament Charles Nirmalanathan. 

Parameshwara College which was founded by my ancestors is now considered as the Jaffna University, as it excels in all disciplines. For the past 75 years the Garden Festival of the renowned Murugan Temple Nallur has been conducted by my family and now I was graced to continue that.  I wish to advice Hon Member of Parliament Charles Nirmalanathan not to comment on things that he is unaware of.

Hon. Member of Parliament Anura Kumara Disanayake questioned about the building which our Ministry obtained. Ministry of Resettlement is functioning in a building in Kollupitiya with an extent of 17,923 square feet. Earlier this Ministry engaged only with the resettlement activities. Later, subjects of the Hindu religious affairs, rehabilitation and prisons reforms had been comprised additionally to my Ministry.  Therefore, the number of staff and institutions under the Ministry were increased.  In order to bring all the departments and institutions of the Ministry under one roof, a building with an extent of 35,100 has been rented out.

When the ministry invited for tenders, the building, which the first lowest bid was submitted was not vacant and the same institution is functioning up to now in that building. Some important facilities, such as parking and lift had to be shared with other organizations, in regard to the building for which the 2nd lowest bid was submitted.  The difference of the monthly rent per square feet between the 2nd lowest bid and the 3rd lowest bid is Rs. 5.00.  So we were left with no option than acquiring the building at Kollupitiy to which the 3rd lowest bid was submitted. 

It was decided to pay Rupees 114/= as the effective rent per square feet.  I wish to inform that according to the recommendations of the Ministry Procurement Committee, the final decision regarding the building rental was taken.

I wish to say that if all the departments and institutions of a ministry functions under one roof, time wastage and fuel cost will be reduced resulting in expedite efficient services. The building which we have rented out now, does not have separate meeting rooms. The common auditorium has to be utilized for the purpose of conducting meetings.  This will restrict mobility, at the same time all the institutions will be using the same office furniture.

Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Hon. Mavai Senathirajah has stated that I am refusing to cooperate with them. I request Palimentarian Hon. Mavai Senathirajah, who has extensive experience regarding the situation of the North and East, to reveal the reason for such allegation.  I have acted promptly whenever the TNA Parliamentarians pointed out reasonable issues and I am unable to accept this allegation.

I wish to bring to the notice of Parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah that after the government of good governance came to power release of approximately 3,140 acres of land in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, the rehabilitation and resettlement processes and the above mentioned developments are fulfilled with my fullest cooperation and support through my ministry.

I was made aware that you made the statement at the celebrations of Jaffna Nadeshwara College starting its educational process at its own place. I wish to inform that almost a month back I allocated Rupees 3 million from my Decentralized Budget, for reconstruction process of Jaffna Nadeshwara College.  

 

D. M. Swaminathan

Minister of Prison Reform, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs 

Thursday, 16 June 2016 11:17


Prime Minister Hon.Ranil Wickremesinghe graced the 107th International Rotary Convention which was held in Seoul, South Korea, as a special guest and Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Hon.D.M Swaminathan also participated in this event  as a Rotary member representing Sri Lanka.

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Monday, 06 June 2016 16:07


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Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister Hon. D.M. Swaminathan met IGP Pujith Jayasundara on Monday. The meeting was held to discuss the security situation in Jaffna. Concerns were raised about the violent crimes reported from Jaffna, including the incidents that involved the “Ava” criminal gang. The IGP and the Minister discussed how to curb gang related activities , sword attacks and other violent incidents that were reported from Jaffna during the past weeks.

IGP Jayasundara informed Minister Swaminathan that more arrests have to be made with regard to recent violent incidents.

Thursday, 26 May 2016 16:30


 

 

 

Strengthening the long term economic cooperation between the Government of Japan and the Government of Sri Lanka, Rs, 2100 million rupees was granted to the University of Jaffna by Japan. The grant provided to the University of Jaffna will be utilised to complete the construction of the research and training building of the University. This grant will also improve the dry zone agricultural research programs, educational programs and promotional activities carried out in the Northern Province. The agreement pertaining to this grant was signed yesterday ( 18/05/2016) by Secretary of the Finance Ministry Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga and by the representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr. Kiyoshi Amada.

Minister of Finance Hon.Ravi Karunanayake and Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Hon.D.M Swaminathan attended the event that was held to sign the agreement.

The event was also attended by the Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University Professor V. Arsarathnam and Director General of the External Resources Department, Mr.Priyantha Rathnayake.

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Thursday, 19 May 2016 15:43


Speech of Hon. Minister D.M. Swaminathan- Minister of Prison Reforms Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

(3rd Asia Pacific Regional Correctional Managers’ Conference- 10/05/2016)

We are proud that the third Asia Pacific Regional Correctional Managers’ Conference is held this year in Sri Lanka. This is the first time that the conference is taking place in Sri Lanka and our country is looking forward to share our ideas and be educated from the experiences that will be shared during the conference. This conference will be a great opportunity to professionalise the Prison Managers so that the prisons system is enhanced into effective correctional centres.

In a backdrop where our prisons systems is also going through reforms, we are delighted that the correctional managers’ of the participating countries are here to share their knowledge and experiences on the classification of offenders, medical ethics in prisons, prison designs and classification and providing secure detention centres  for women.

Currently the Ministry of Prison Reforms is making preparations for the relocation of the Welikada Prison and we are also conducting pilot projects to check the feasibility of establishing a dog unit to tackle the drug issue in prisons. Our Ministry is also taking steps to provide water, sanitation, adequate medical care and other basic needs for the prisoners in accordance to the minimum requirements prescribed by the ICRC. Using modern technology for security measures in prisons, professionalising the staff at the Prisons Department, improving the rehabilitation programmes provided for prisoners are the other areas that we are focussing on to improve the standards of the prisons system in this country.

With these reform programs underway, the Asia Pacific Regional Conference is a golden opportunity for us to learn the experiences, best practices and challenges from the other participating countries.  

Twenty officers from the Sri Lankan Department of Prisons will be participating in this conference and I am convinced that this programme will assist our officers to balance both security and humanitarian needs in prisons. Both these factors need to be improved in our prisons system and prisons cannot be effective correctional centres if these two factors are poorly managed. Hence I believe that the theme of this conference is both timely and practical not only for our country but to the entire Asia Pacific Region.

We are keen to carry out reforms in the prisons system while adhering to international standards such as the Mandela Rule and the humanitarian requirements prescribed by the ICRC. Our commitment is to make the prisons system more humane and effective by adhering to the UN international standards.  The department of prisons have also organised a field visit to the Pallekele Open prisons’ Camp as most of the countries are interested to study our Open Prison Camp System. I hope this experience will be useful as well as educational to the participants of this conference.

Lastly I would like to extend by sincere thanks to  the facilitator of this conference;  the International Committee of the Red Cross and the host institution; the Department of Prisons of Sri Lanka for organising the conference. I hope this year’s conference will truly have a positive impact on the prisons systems of the participating countries so that all of us in the Asia Pacific region can move forward with a humanitarian approach to transform prisons into efficient and effective correctional facilities.

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Thursday, 12 May 2016 11:58


Hon. Minister inspecting the Sniffer dogs at Welikada Prison to combat nacotic and drugs in prisons on 28th March 2016.

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Wednesday, 06 April 2016 16:17


Hon. Minister attending the Laying Foundation Stone for the Hindu  Swami Cultural Centre and also constructed houses in Pothuvil area with Hon. K. Kodeeswaran MP in the Pothuvil area.

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Wednesday, 06 April 2016 16:07


Hon. Minister attending the Sampoor land releasing ceremony with Hon. R. Sambanthan, the opposition leader on 25th March 2016, Trincomalee District.

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Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:56


Jaffna Visit on 12th March 2016

Hon. Minister with His Excellency The President Maithripala Sirisena inspecting the Pilot Model House in the 65000 permanent housing programme  at Oscar lane Urumpirai Kopay DS Division, Jaffna on 12th March 2016. And also Hon. Minister with His Excellency The President Maithripala Sirisena attended the land releasing (701 acres of land) ceremony held at Nadeswara College, Kankesanthurai (KKS) Jaffna on the same day.

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Tuesday, 15 March 2016 13:02


Hon. Minister inspected a model house at Selvarasapuram, Kopay, Jaffna on 4th March, 2016 in the 65,000 housing project.

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Wednesday, 09 March 2016 12:28


Hon. Minister attending the National Creativity Awards- 2015 (For Hindu Religious Aranery School Children) as the Chief Guest which was organized by Hindu Religious Department held on 27th February 2016 at Bambalapitiya New Kathisesan Hall, Colombo 04.

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Wednesday, 02 March 2016 16:43


 

Hon. Minister addressing A Three Day workshop on enhancement of Prison Administration for Prison Staff Officers as the Chief Guest , which had been organized by Prisons Department at SLIDA on 26th February 2016.

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Wednesday, 02 March 2016 16:32


Hon. Minister attended the ACCA Sustainability Reporting Award 2015 on 24th February 2016, at Kingsbury Hotel as the Chief Guest. The following was the speech he made at the function.

Message from the Minister……

I am very pleased to have the opportunity of acknowledging the work of the ACCA ( Sri Lankan Chapter) which is one of the lead internationally recognized accountancy body conducting its annual sustainable reporting award process for the year 2016. In today’s context, many corporate sectors while focusing on profit and profitability, also explained their perspectives on human resources, technology, customer satisfaction, marketing, research and innovation to sustain their operations. Moreover, corporate sector had paid more attention to the long-term sustainable operations rather than mere short term orientation. Further, when it comes to development projects and programmes, donor community and development partners are more concerned about the aspects of sustainability. When sustainability aspects are over looked, the projects tend to ignore the operational phase and the delivery of results finally ends-up in project failures and poor performance. In this context, the ACCA has moved one step forward in expanding the sustainability concept and reporting from projects and programmes to corporate sector performance. The sustainability report has been led by the ACCA and it basically captures the sustainability dimensions and reporting the same through a comprehensive approach. This helps the stakeholders to get a balanced prospective of the company or organization. The system also helps to strengthen decision makers with evidence-based information regarding the performance and the perspectives of the organization. In today’s business world sustainability related reporting is imported when it comes to corporate social responsibility and for long term investment decisions. I am very pleased to note that the ACCA is motivating and recognizing sustainability reporting through competitive awards which in an excellent initiative and it helps corporate sector to go beyond the profit an profitability focused criteria. Corporate failures can be avoided through such sustainability mechanism and reporting system which makes organizations successful and helps communities to have sustainable employment and working conditions. The Sri Lankan corporate sector has been invited by the government to contribute in the development efforts of this National Government and I have no doubt that the ACCA will have to play an important role. I wish the ACCA all success in its current and future endeavors.

D.M. Swaminathan

Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

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Wednesday, 02 March 2016 15:31


A Religious Pooja on 68th Independence Day

 Hon. Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs attended a Special Religious Pooja at Ponnambala Waneshwara Kovil on 4th February 2016 to mark 68th Independence Day. The Secretary to the Ministry Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy and Hindu Cultural Department Director U.Umamaheswaran were also present at the occasion.

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Tuesday, 09 February 2016 14:08


Sri Lanka accedes and ratifies Ottawa Convention -

Hon. D.M. Swaminathan

A workshop on resource mobilization for mine action programme in Sri Lanka organized by National Mine Action Centre, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs in collaboration with Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) was held at Renuka Hotel Colombo on 26th January 2016. Hon. D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs graced this occasion as the chief guest made the key note address at the workshop. In the speech, Hon Minister insisted that this is the right time for Sri Lanka to accede and ratify the Ottawa Convention. He further stated, Hon Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe expressed his consent that Sri Lanka be a state party in the Ottawa Convention. The Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs is going to submit a joint Cabinet Paper with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the course of next week on this regard. From 2002 upto now an extent of 92 sq Km mines and unexploded ordnance affected lands have already been cleared and handed over to the conflict affected communities. However another mines and unexploded ordnance confirmed hazarded area extent of 64 sq Km lands yet to be cleared in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The mine clearance and resettlement are interrelated further livelihood of resettled communities hindered by land mines. Mine action programme in Sri Lanka is one of the priority areas in the present context of Sri Lanka. It is well-connected with the ongoing government reconciliation programme. The National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) with the technical assistance of GICHD has prepared a strategic plan for 2016-2020 for mine action programme in Sri Lanka. According to this strategy the vision of the programme is mine and explosive remnant of war threat free Sri Lanka by 2020. In order to achieve this target acceding to Ottawa Convention is going to be a mile stone. Further by acceding the convention the country will join in the universalization of the treaty particularly in the South Asian Region. Further it is important to accelerate the mine action programme and obtain support from the international Community. Therefore Sri Lanka by being a state party of the Ottawa Convention may have benefits in relation to resource mobilization as well as the image building. Hon. Minister further said that the policy of the government is to welcome all the international agencies to be a partner in the post conflict development of Sri Lanka. At this workshop representatives of USA, UK, Canada, Swiss, Japan and demining agencies such as Hallo Trust, MAG, Dash, Sharp,Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy Secretary and Additional Secretary Mr. M.M. Nayeemudeen of the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs were also present.

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Monday, 01 February 2016 09:50


National Thai Pongal Festival 2016

National Thai Pongal Festival was held in the Weerasingham Hall in Jaffna on 15th January 2016. Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, D.M.Swaminathan organized the Programme with the help of the Prime Minister's Office and State Ministry of Child Affairs. Governor of the Northern Province H.M.G.S.Palihakkara, Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V.Wigneswran, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, his wife Maithree, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs, D.M.Swaminathan, Visiting British Minister of State of Foreign Affairs Hugo Swire, Minister of Law and Order and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayake and State Minister of Child Affairs Vijayakala Maheshwaran were present at the ceremony.

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Wednesday, 20 January 2016 11:50


Media Message

President Directs Sri Lanka Army to Release 701.5 Acres of Land for Resettlement in Jaffna District

His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena has directed the Sri Lanka Army to release 701.5 acres of lands in Tellippalai D.S. Division and Kopay D.S. Division following the request made by Hon. D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs. 468.5 acres of land in Tellippalai D.S. Division and 233 acres of land in Kopay D.S. Division was released by the Sri Lanka Army on 29th December 2015 to process resettlement. The 30 year war resulted in internally displaced families and the private lands owned by the people were occupied by the armed forces. With the cessation of the armed conflict in the country in May 2009, there was very little progress made in releasing the lands to the original occupants. In Jaffna there are 12,000 families still live either in welfare centres or with friends and relatives as their lands were not released for resettlement. The largest area of lands occupied by the Forces is in Tellipalai and Kopay D.S. Divisions.

Hon. D.M.Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs submitted a Cabinet Memorandum dated 7th December 2015 requesting His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena, Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers, for the release of private lands occupied by the armed forces for resettlement in Jaffna district. The details of the lands released include Kankesanthurai South, Palaiveemankamam North and Thaiyaddi South which covers 213.5 acres and Palaly South, Palaly East and Palaly North which covers 255 acres. In Tellipalai D.S. Division 468.5 acres of private lands have been released. In Kopai D.S.Division, Valalai 233 acres occupied by the armed forces have been released. Accordingly, the total acres of land released are 701.5 acres. Further, it is noted that in the Kopay area almost 100% of the private lands have been released for resettlement. 

Following discussion at a meeting held in President’s Office with the officers of the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Army Commander, District Secretary, Governor’s Office of Provincial Council and other authorities 701.5 acres of land was released. Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs informed that 29th December 2015, the Divisional Secretary of Tellippalai and Kopay have already taken over the 701.5 acres of lands and commenced removal of fences.

This will enable the resettlement of over 700 families and provide livelihood opportunities through agricultural activities in the Jaffna District. Release of lands to the displaced families to resettle them in their original place of residence is a major milestone to ensure durable solution and establishing sustainable peace in the war affected Northern Province.

Further, the resettled families will be provided with resettlement allowance by the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs for land clearance, tool kits, food package and temporary shelter. Further, 65,000 housing programme initiated by the Hon. D.M. Swaminathan, Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs will give first priority to the resettled families said Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs. These houses will have solar electricity, water, sanitation facilities and furniture.

Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy, Secretary also stated that in addition to the 701.5 acres released now and in 2015 already 1000 acres of land from Jaffna, 500 acres from Kilinochchi and 1000 acres from Sampoor, Trincomalee and other small parcels of lands had been already released by the state for the resettlement of IDPs and returnees where they had lived previously. With the Christmas, New Year and Thaipongal, this initiative demonstrates the good gesture on the part of the Government towards finding durable solutions for the conflict affected people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

V.Sivagnanasothy,

Secretary,

Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

Tuesday, 12 January 2016 10:48


Hon.Minister attend the Garlanding Ceremony of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachchalam as the Guest of Honour

Hon.Minister attended the Garlanding Ceremony of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachchalam as the Guest of Honour at the President Secretariat on 9th January 2016, The Chief Guest was Hon. John Amarathunga, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs.

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016 10:44


Hon. Minister D.M.Swaminathan invoke blessings to His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena

Hon.Minister D.M.Swaminathan attended a special religious Pooja at Ponnambalawaneswara Kovil at Kotahena to invoke blessings to His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena to mark the successful completion of one year term of office on 8th January 2016.   

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016 10:21


The New Year Function at Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs

Hon. Minister D.M.Swaminathan graced the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs as the Chief Guest.The Secretary to the Ministry V. Sivagnanasothy were also present.  The Department had organized a function of religious observance on 01-01-2016 at Sri Ponnambalawaneswarar Devasthanam, Kotahena, Col-13.

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Friday, 01 January 2016 15:53


New year function at the Ministry 

Hon. Minister D.M.Swaminathan participated as the Chief Guest at the New Year Function which held at the Ministry Premises on 01-01-2016. The Secretary to the Minister Mr. V. Sivagnanasothy, Additional Secretaries, Staff of the Ministry, Commissioner General of Prison and other Department Heads were also present.

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Friday, 01 January 2016 15:42


A special Christmas mass at the Walikada Prison

Archbishop of Colombo Malcom Cardinal Ranjith conducted a special Christmas mass at the Walikada Prison on 25th December 2015. Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M. Swaminathan and Commissioner General of Prison Nishan Dansinghe also attended the event.

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Wednesday, 30 December 2015 10:44



Speech of Hon. Minister at the Committee Stage Session of the Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

Hon. Chairman

The Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs is mandated with the responsibilities of undertaking resettlement and rehabilitation programmes specially in the war affected Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Ministry also has a wider mandate to reform the prisons and convert the prisons into rehabilitation and correction centres. Further, this Ministry is also responsible for preserving, promoting and propagating of Hindu religious activities island-wide and enhance spiritual development, peace, harmony and social integration of the community.

Resettlement of Conflict Affected People

The Ministry maintained welfare centres for the internally displaced people (IDPs) and supported the resettlement of IDPs and returnee refugees by providing temporary shelters and resettlement allowances. Dry rations were provided with the support of the World Food Programme (WFP). The Government of Sri Lanka provides resettlement allowance of Rs.38,000/- per family. In 2015, resettlement allowances were provided to 1,552 families.

The Ministry also resettled the conflict affected people in the original places of living with their consent and gave priority for safety of the resettlers by ensuring landmine free resettlement programme. Ministry has resettled 157,000 families in the Northern Province and 76,000 families in the Eastern Province up to 30th September 2015. There are 13,217 families consisting of 43,977 persons are still in the welfare centres and with friends and relatives who need to be resettled. His Excellency the president and the Hon. Prime Minister are committed to accelerate the resettlement of these families in 2016.

With regard to refugee returnees, in 2015, four hundred and twenty nine (429) refugee returnees have returned to Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu, India. According to the UNHCR report, over 100,000 refugees are still in welfare camps and with friends and relatives in Tamil Nadu, India.

The conflict affected families who lost their properties, business undertakings, kiths and kins who suffered injuries are being compensated through an approved scheme by Rehabilitation of Persons, Properties and Industries Authority (REPPIA). 545 government servants and 717 general public were given property compensation ranging from Rs.100,000/- to Rs.150,000/-. 1446 persons were provided compensation for death and injuries in 2015. 259 places of religious worship were given compensation for damages. Housing grant given to 760 persons and housing loan, self employment loan were also provided to conflict affected persons.

Release of Lands under Military Control (Demilitarization)

About 8,000 acres of private lands are still under the control of the forces and will be gradually released for resettlement. The Government is in the process of releasing land as a positive major step forward to ensure the resettlement of IDPs and returnee refugees in their original places of living. 1,000 acres of Lands from Jaffna, 500 acres of lands from Kilinochchi and 1,000 acres of lands from Sampoor, Trincomalee and other small parcels of lands were released by the state for resettlement purposes. Similarly, the Government is committed to release lands on a phased out basis where military troops are occupied in the Northern and Eastern province to facilitate the resettlement of the displaced people.

Durable Solutions: Housing, water supply sanitation and infrastructure facilities

The Ministry also supports conflict affected people and refugees returnees with durable solutions which includes provision of water supply and sanitation facilities, housing programmes and other basic infrastructure facilities, compensation packages for war affected families and livelihood facilities. The past years did not have adequate budgetary provisions for supporting durable solutions. However, I am very pleased to note that the 2016 budget has provided Rs.14 billion for the development of Northern and Eastern Provinces that was affected by conflict. Further the budget 2016 also emphasizes strong focus for resettlement of IDPs, refugee returnees, 20,000 housing programme and livelihood and income generation programmes. Also Budget 2016 proposes to convene a special donor conference in 2016 to generate support from bilateral and multilateral agencies to enhance the rehabilitation of the North and East

The Cabinet of Ministers also granted approval to undertake 65,000 housing programme with concessionary financing arrangements to the displaced families. Moreover, the Indian Government has also supported 46,000 housing units under its grant assistance programme which will be completed by end of this year. Further, assistance has also been provided by the Government of Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Bahrain for 500 over houses in Mannar district and are in various stages of progress. Under the European Union grant programme 3,400 housing units are to be provided and livelihood and income generation support is also to be extended to the conflict affected families. The Ministry undertook several relocation programmes and provided alternative locations to displaced families as a result of military occupation in private lands. Keppapilavu relocation programme in Mullaitivu district with 287 houses including infrastructure facilities is an example of Relocation Programme and has been implemented.

High Impact Special Projects

In November 2015, based on a Cabinet paper submitted by me, the Government has allocated additional Rs.2,000 Mn for high impact ten special projects which have been jointly identified by the provincial authorities and the central government. High impact 10 special projects includes construction of bridge and causeway across the sea between Kayts and Karainagar town; construction of new passenger boat with 100 passenger capacity like kumudini boat; construction of jetty in delft and rehabilitation of jetty in Elluvaithivu, Kayts; renovation of roads from Velanai to Kayts; establishment of clinical waste management system in 5 districts of the Northern Province; establishment of the disposal system for human excreta in Vadamarachchi, Thenmarachchi and Valikamam in Jaffna district; systematization the collection and segregation of solid waste in Jaffna municipal council area; seaweed farming in the coastal areas in the Northern Province; Livelihood and income generation projects covering value addition and marketing of milk products, Vathiri leather industries, Kamachchi Ambal light engineering industries in Kopay. These projects will be implemented through a novel modality where Central Government and Provincial Council will closely collaborate with the joint steering and implementation mechanism.

Livelihood Development

With regard to livelihood and income generation opportunities, Palmyrah Development Board has implemented many development projects in the Northern and Eastern Provinces such as Mylambavali handicraft village in Batticaloa, Navithanveli handicraft village in Ampara, Pathinipuram handicraft village in Trincomalee and jaggery plant programmes were implemented in Koddikamam. In 2016, Rs.200 Mn has been set-aside for palmyrah sector development to improve the livelihood activities of the conflict affected community.

Further, to strengthen the livelihood of the coastal community, ADB is formulating a project to the value of US$ 68 Mn to support and strengthen the fishery habours and anchorages, aquaculture development, seaweed farming and related developmentin the Northern and Eastern Community.

Social integration of ex-combatants

Moreover, with the view to ensure reconciliation, the Government is committed to release remand prisoners who have been detained for long period without any charge sheet or for minor offences. Already 39 remand prisoners have been given bail. Release of other prisoners is being examined by the Attorney General Department. With regard to ex-combatants a total of 12,000 have been rehabilitated by the Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation and reintegrated into the society.

Prison Reforms

With regard to the prison reforms, the Government has emphasized the importance of upgrading the traditional prisons systems and looking at the prisons as rehabilitation centers and correction centres. Various reform efforts on prisons including relocation, reducing congestion, involving detainees in development, open air prison camps, improving of infrastructure facilities, improving health conditions of prisoners and integrating the prisoners into the society are being seriously considered for implementation. Shifting of prisons of Welikada, Badulla, Tangalle and other prisons from heavily populated and fast commercially developing cities to areas away from these cities as part of the prison reforms agenda is being implemented in an accelerated manner. ICRC guidelines will be used for the design of new prisons to ensure international standards. The Bogambara prison has been shifted to Pallekelle and Tangalle prison is to be shifted Angunakollapelassa by June 2016 under the reform initiative. Also drug detector dogs will be used to keep the prisons safer and free from drugs. The dogs will be trained to sniff out drugs to ensure that all our prisons are more safer.

Hindu religious development for spiritual advancement

Ministry with the support of the Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs extents support for promotion of spiritual development through rehabilitation and upgrading of Hindu temples, conduct of religious schools (hindu aranery schools), promotes religious and cultural activities to establish a spiritually and morally advanced society. 540 religious places of worship mostly affected by conflict have been renovated and the amount spent was Rs.85Mn. Government of India has entered into an agreement to establish a Cultural Centre in Jaffna at a cost of Rs.1200 Mn. The Ministry in close collaboration and support of the Indian government has facilitated gratis visa for over 450 Iyappa swami devotes to participate in the dharshion of Sabarimalai iyappan kovil in Kerala.

Ministry is also supported by implementation agencies such as Rehabilitation Authority, Resettlement Authority, Bureau of Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Department of Prisons, Community Based Correction Department, Youth Training School, Northsea Limited, Palmyrah Development Board and Department of Hindu Cultural Affairs which play a significant role in achieving the vision and mission of the Ministry to meet the governments national development policies and strategies.

I wish to specially thank His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena for the leadership provided and Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe, the Prime Minister for his guidance and direction to achieve the national development goals and expectations. I also wish to thank the Finance Minister Hon. Ravi Karunayake for supporting in all possible ways to implement the resettlement programmes of the government. This Ministry is also very closely works in partnership with the office of the national unity and reconciliation which is headed by the former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. Further, we also very closely work with the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera   to win the confidence and trust of the international community.   I also wish to thank State Minister Hon.M.L.A.M.Hisbulla, Mr. Bradman Weerakoon, Advisor and the Ministry Secretary Mr.V.Sivagnanasothy and the staff for their support and cooperation extended. I also wish to seek the advice of the Members of Parliament on any particular measures that this Ministry should take to enhance its objectives in the future. Your suggestions would be most welcome.

Thank you.

Hon. D.M.Swaminathan. M.P.

Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 10:15


Prayer Service for the Channai Flood victims, in Colombo

Hon. Minister of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan was the Chief Guest at a special Prayer Service that had been organized with an aim to invoke blessings for Tamil Nadu Chennai City flood victims’ relief, rehabilitation and the people who lost their lives and property. The prayer service took place at Siva Subramaniyam Temple, Slave Island, Kew Road, Col. 02. The prayer service was organized by Indo-Lanka Fisherman Welfare Forum (ILFWF) advisor SP. Anthonymuthu. The Co-Prayer service and Pooja was conducted by the Chief Priest R. Rathesan Kurukkal on Monday 7th Dec.2015 at 8.30am.

Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:15


India Prime Minister Hon.Narendra Modi meets Hon. Minister D.M.Swaminathan

Tuesday, 01 December 2015 16:34


Message from the Hon.Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs,D.M. Swaminathan

Deepavali is an occasion of ‘Festival of Lights’

Deepavali marks Lord Krishna’s victory over Narahasuran who had gained sufficient strength to drive the Gods away from their abode. Deepavali symbolizes the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.

The Deepavali Festival, being a unifying force that spreads understanding, tolerance and harmony among all people irrespective of ethnic, religions, caste or class differences is a fitting occasion for us to redouble our efforts to bring about greater understanding among our people, and restore peace and harmony in the country. It may dispel the darkness of terror and illuminate our country.

May the light of goodwill and peace dispel the darkness of terror and illuminate our land. Deepavali is a time for celebration, but it is also a time for reflection – a time when we must remember that there are always others less fortunate thank ourselves. This festival reminds us all that we should commit ourselves to helping those in need. I wish you, your families and loved ones Happy Deepavali.

Friday, 13 November 2015 13:19


UNITY CAMP 8 on the theme of “ POWERING DREAMS : BUILDING LEADERS”

 

Hon. Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan attended the UNITY CAMP 8 on the theme of “ POWERING DREAMS : BUILDING LEADERS” as the Chief  Guest on 24th Oct 2015 at Chundikuli Girls’ College, Jaffna. The camp was organized by Unity Mission Trust which is committed to foster unity, reconciliation and healing amongst teenagers and young adults across Sri Lanka. 

Hon. Minister explained the importance of the unity among the youths and how it should be maintained as Sri Lankans. And also the Minister highlighted how the use of drugs ruins the valuable life of youths. My request is that we must live in this country as brothers and sisters. Through this unity camp we are able to gather many valuable things that our life needs. And also the minister noted that the youths representing from the all nationalities and from the nine provinces is highly appreciated.

Friday, 13 November 2015 13:23


Hon. Minister attended Kalai Vizha of Tamil Literacy Association of Colombo Royal College(Navarangahala) as the Chief Guest

Hon. Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M. Swaminathan attended the 15th Kalai Vizha of Tamil Literary Association of  Colombo Royal College (Navarangahala) as the Chief Guest on 1st  November 2015.  The Principal of Royal College Mr. H.A.U.Gunasekera attended this function as the guest of honor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 04 November 2015 11:38


NorthSea Ltd

Vision

Be of excellent contributory to the Fisheries sector by supplying adequate high grade fishing nets and other fishing gears to meet the requirements of the local fishermen so as to achieve enhanced harvesting of sea food.

Mission

Manufacturing and supplying standard quality of fishnets and other fishing gears to meet seasonal demand in order to encourage fishing activities and seafood production of the country.

Major Activity

Manufacturing and supplying of fishnets and fishing gears and mending twine to the fishermen in the country.

Policy

The company will give all opportunities to village level fishermen co-operative societies; doing business activities as welfare bearing in mind that this is a government organization, giving priority to fisherman welfare which in turn contribute to the country’s economy.

Thrust Area

  1. Production of Fishnet and servicing the fishermen
  2. Meeting the Seasonal Demand of the Fishing Community by producing appropriate high grade fishing nets and other fishing gears.

Company overview

North Sea Ltd is 100% Treasury owned Fishnet Manufacturing Company, established in June 2001 under Companies Act No. 17 of 1982 and re-registered under new Companies Act No. 07 of 2007.

The company is manufacturing and supplying standard quality fishnets to meet seasonal demand in order to encourage fishing activities and seafood production of the country.

Initially it had a fishnet factory at Gurunagar – Jaffna and Boat yard in Karainagar. Subsequently the fishnet factories at Lunuwila and Weerawila were transferred to Northsea Ltd from Ceynor Foundation Ltd which was under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Boat yard in Karainagar was handed over to Ceynor Foundation Limited vide Cabinet Decision dated 02nd November 2010 and the Northsea Ltd took over the two factories and commenced the operation from November, 2011. Presently the total employees of the company are259 nos., with 9 nos. in Head Office, 65 nos. in Gurunagar, 118 nos. in Lunuwila and 67 nos.in Weerawila.

Physical and Financial Progress up to 15.09.2015

   Production of Fishnet 2015

Production of Fishnet in 2015
Month  Production - Mt.
Gurunagar  Lunuwila   Weerawila Total
January 12.52  6.52            8.60     27.64
February            16.66            5.61  2.17     24.44
March              6.77 7.17             3.29     17.23
April              4.18            4.07             3.86     12.11
May              9.18            5.99             4.45     19.62
June            10.57            7.50             7.74     25.81
July 2.27            7.83             2.97     13.07
August              1.97            7.59             2.00     11.56
September up to 15th 1.38 2.51 1.51       5.40
Total            65.50          54.78           36.58   156.86

Sales of Fishnet 2015

Sales in  2015
Month Sales -Mn
 Gurunagar  Lunuwila  Weerawila  Total
 January              5.67       11.433           0.294       17.40
 February              1.22         10.83           0.495       12.54
 March              7.49         11.46           0.730       19.68
 April             0.472         9.349           1.308       11.13
 May             9.427       10.914           0.663       21.00
 June           10.425       15.350           1.523       27.30
 July              1.90       10.109             0.41       12.42
 August              3.03         6.741           0.854       10.62
September up to 15th              1.06           4.65             0.51         6.22
 Total          40.697       90.832           6.784   138.312

No-244, Galle Road

Colombo 04

T.P.- 011- 4343345, 011- 4343447

Fax - 011-2592270

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 11:25


Malaysian Delegation Meets Hon. D.M.Swaminathan

 

The Special envoy of Malaysia Mr.Dato Seri Utama S. Samy Vellu, High Commissioner of Malaysia Mr.Azmi Zainuddin and Dr.Suresh Marcandan and delegation paid a courtesy call on Hon.Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs D.M.Swaminathan at his Ministry on 22nd Oct. 2015.

The motive of the meeting was to see the possibilities of assisting the government in the resettlement process. And also what type of support can be extended by the government of Malaysia. The Secretary to the Ministry V.Sivagnanasothy was also present on the occasion.

 

Monday, 02 November 2015 12:32