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Sri Lanka expands defence ministry functions

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence has formally listed a series of training agencies including the National Police Academy, the MILODA Institute, a financial academy originally linked to the finance ministry, by gazette notice.

A gazette notice signed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said a ‘Department of Multi-purpose Development Task Force” would be under the Defence Ministry.

Unlike an Authority, Board or Corporation staff of a ‘Department’ usually gets lifetime pension.

“Enhancing the skills of low income recipient persons with lower educational qualifications through a human resource pool managed by professionals and involving them in diverse activities in the country’s development,” would be a function of the ministry of defence.

Sri Lanka has announced a program where ill-educated persons who have passed grade 08 will be would be taken to the state service and deployed on various tasks.

The program has been projected as a way to reduce poverty, amid concerns that it will further expand state spending and the debt burden of the country as the deficit expands and will result in a higher tax and interest burden later.

Information Minister Bandula Gunawardana said up to 150,000 new state workers would hired including 53,000 unemployed graduates.

Graduates from many Sri Lankan universities cannot find a job in productive sectors conducts fasts and protests to get a job with a lifetime pension in the state sectors.

Sri Lanka Institute of National Defence Studies, Api Wenuwen Api Fund, the National Authority for the Implementation of Chemical Weapons Convention was also formally listed under the Defence Ministry. (Colombo/May23/2020)