බන්ධනාගාර ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ,පුනරුත්ථාපන, නැවත පදිංචි කිරීම සහ හින්දු ආගමික කටයුතු අමාත්‍යාංශය

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව

English (United Kingdom)SinhalaTamil

කරුණාකර ඇතුල්වන්න

මෙහි ඇතුල් වීමෙන් නවතම සංවර්ධන පුවත් හා ව්‍යාපෘතීන් ගැන ඔබ දැනුවත් කළ හැක.

වාර්ෂික ප්‍රගති වාර්තා

current events

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.

2016 ජූනි 24 වෙනි සිකුරාදා, 04:30



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 

2016 ජූනි 16 වෙනි බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා, 05:47


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.

infffdex

 

 

2016 ජූනි 06 වෙනි සදුදා, 10:37


4t2a48444t2a4850

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.

2016 මැයි 26 වෙනි බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා, 11:00


 

 

 

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.

4t2a45114t2a4551

 

4t2a4526

2016 මැයි 19 වෙනි බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා, 10:13


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.

4t2a41064t2a4120

4t2a41224t2a4131

4t2a41374t2a4172

4t2a41754t2a4199

4t2a42334t2a4245

4t2a4288

 

2016 මැයි 12 වෙනි බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා, 06:28


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

4t2a24694t2a2500

4t2a25054t2a2555

4t2a2563

2016 අප්‍රේල් 06 වෙනි බදාදා, 10:47


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.

4t2a18954t2a1944

4t2a19994t2a2124

4t2a2360

 

2016 අප්‍රේල් 06 වෙනි බදාදා, 10:37


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

4t2a15424t2a1567

4t2a15834t2a1676

4t2a16894t2a1681

2016 අප්‍රේල් 06 වෙනි බදාදා, 10:26


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.

 4t2a08574t2a0880

4t2a09084t2a0927

4t2a09594t2a0982

4t2a10594t2a1065

4t2a1084

2016 මාර්තු 15 වෙනි අඟහරුවාදා, 07:32


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

 4t2a04954t2a0497

 

4t2a05094t2a0584

 

4t2a05904t2a0601

2016 මාර්තු 09 වෙනි බදාදා, 06:58


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.

4t2a96414t2a9360

4t2a00964t2a0027

4t2a94534t2a9735

 

 

2016 මාර්තු 02 වෙනි බදාදා, 11:13


 

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.

4t2a92354t2a9247

4t2a92654t2a9270

4t2a92794t2a9287

 

2016 මාර්තු 02 වෙනි බදාදා, 11:02


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

 euntitled 4euntitled 2

euntitled 3euntitled 4

 

2016 මාර්තු 02 වෙනි බදාදා, 10:01


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.

 4t2a87774t2a8772

4t2a87644t2a8751

2016 පෙබරවාරි 09 වෙනි අඟහරුවාදා, 08:38


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.

4t2a84954t2a8494 1

2016 පෙබරවාරි 01 වෙනි සදුදා, 04:20


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.

4t2a81714t2a8146

4t2a82304t2a8185

4t2a81974t2a8312

4t2a82624t2a8275

2016 ජනවාරි 20 වෙනි බදාදා, 06:20


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

2016 ජනවාරි 12 වෙනි අඟහරුවාදා, 05:18


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.

 4t2a77054t2a7777

4t2a77304t2a7759

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4t2a7791

2016 ජනවාරි 12 වෙනි අඟහරුවාදා, 05:14


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.   

 4t2a76324t2a7628

 4t2a76084t2a7617

2016 ජනවාරි 12 වෙනි අඟහරුවාදා, 04:51


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.

4t2a75434t2a7522

 

4t2a75334t2a7501

2016 ජනවාරි 01 වෙනි සිකුරාදා, 10:23


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.

 4t2a74224t2a7424

 

4t2a74254t2a7429

 

4t2a74484t2a7461

 

4t2a74784t2a7483

2016 ජනවාරි 01 වෙනි සිකුරාදා, 10:12


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.

fc5f10fa 94d6 4711 9413 d22448f890a3

d800cd64 813a 4e58 bc16 3043a7d0ad8d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4a27114a 1903 4ac7 b2d9 de44fbac1562

3a2eb511 9a84 49b1 8d97 c90f49aa33c8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50456ca2 88bf 41f8 bdd2 55cb6dd583a8

e584df22 4819 4e01 a481 6d44816999ee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dde0b18a 8a17 43a6 8065 90793ceaffea

 

 

2015 දෙසැම්බර් 30 වෙනි බදාදා, 05:14


 

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

2015 දෙසැම්බර් 16 වෙනි බදාදා, 04:45


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.

2015 දෙසැම්බර් 10 වෙනි බ්‍රහස්පතින්දා, 11:45


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

2015 දෙසැම්බර් 01 වෙනි අඟහරුවාදා, 11:04


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.

2015 නොවැම්බර් 13 වෙනි සිකුරාදා, 07:49


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.

2015 නොවැම්බර් 13 වෙනි සිකුරාදා, 07:53


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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 නොවැම්බර් 04 වෙනි බදාදා, 06:08


 

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.

 

2015 නොවැම්බර් 02 වෙනි සදුදා, 07:02