This week in Parliament (July first Sitting week)

Date : 15-07-2014



On the 08th July 2014, the Regulations under the Motor Traffic Act (Chapter 203) were taken up in Parliament. These regulations are known as “Motor Traffic (Public Service Driving Licence) Regulations No. 03 of the 2014” and will come into force on 01.01.2015.


carAccordingly, no driver can drive a public service vehicle for carriage of passengers unless he is authorized by a special endorsement by the commissioner General under Section 128A of the Act.


Any licence holder who intends to drive a public service vehicle for carriage of passengers should make an application to the Commissioner General together with Rupees 2,000/= as a levy for the issue of special endorsement by the Commissioner General. A specimen of the application form is published in the Schedule.


The following requirements and qualifications should be fulfilled by an applicant to obtain a special endorsement to drive a public service vehicle.

  • He should be between 23 and 65 of age
  • Should have 2 years driving experience
  • Should obtain a medical certificate issued by the National Transport Medical Institute
  • Should complete a first aid course from a recognized institution
  • Should pass a mechanical knowledge examination conducted by a recognized institution
  • Should successfully complete a training course conducted by an authorized institution
  • Should not have criminal record under any law


Objective: The ever increasing road accident rate has become a serious problem. Drivers who transport passengers should be experienced and disciplined. Those who are not aware of road rules are responsible for many road accidents. Careless driving is a key factor for fatal road accidents. Public transport is a responsible task which should be handled only by qualified drivers.


On the 9th of July 2014, two Regulations under the Marine Pollution Prevention Act No. 35 of 2008 were debated and passed.  According to the seaRegulations under the Gazette No.1771/19  all owners, operators, masters or agents of ports, harbour terminals, repair yards of ships or dry docks and relevant persons are required to have in their possession an Oil Spill Contingency Plan prepared by the Marine Environment Protection Authority. Any authorized officer of the Authority has the power to inspect the place and equipment. Where oil spill or oil pollution occurs it is the duty of owners, operators or agents of ports, ships etc to implement the Oil Spill Contingency Plan.  Further, the person responsible for implementing Oil Contingency Plan should record the details of every oil spill and should maintain the records for two years from the date of the spill for the inspection by the Marine Environment Protection Authority.


According to the Regulations under the Gazette No. 1829/38, no person can dump harmful substances or pollutants to the sea, its shore and the coastal zone, except under the authority of permit issued by the Marine Environment Protection Authority.  Any application for a permit for dumping should be made to the Authority in a specified form. The Authority can prohibit dumping substances in certain areas.


Every permit holder must allow authorized officers of the Authority to have access to the premises where the harmful substance or pollutant to be dumped.  The authorized officer is empowered to take samples, to examine relevant books or records and to take photographs of sites. The authorized officer should prepare a report of the sample tested and permit holders must submit a report to the Authority within 7 days of dumping.


Objective: To protect the ocean of Sri Lanka. By adding harmful substances to the sea, the marine resources are destroyed. The human beings too will be affected. Due to environment pollution in the ocean and coastal areas, the tourism sector will be affected.


 police logo

On the 10th of July 2014, an Adjournment Motion moved by the Opposition was debated.   The breakdown of law and order and the rule of law was the focal point.  The conduct of the Police Department was examined and it was severely criticized by Opposition lawmakers.




On the 11th July 2014, the Second Reading of the Sri Lanka Fundamental Studies IFS logo(Amendment) Bill took place.  The institute had been established under the Sri Lanka Fundamental Studies Act No. 55 of 1981. The aim was to initiate, promote and conduct research with particular emphasis on mathematics, physics, chemistry and philosophy. Arranging lectures, meetings, seminars and symposia, inviting scientists, establishing liaison with scientific workers also come under the purview of the Institute.  This institution comes under the Ministry of Science and Technology.


According to the Amendment, a Board of Governors would be formed. The following ex-officio members would serve.

  • The advisor to the President on scientific affairs,
  • The Chairman of the University Grant Commission
  • The Director of the Institute


Moreover, 4 persons appointed by the President, 2 persons appointed by the Minister and 2 persons elected from among its members by the Research Council.


On the same day Amendments under societies Ordinance No.16 of 1891 were passed. Fees regulations of Societies were imposed by Gazette Notification No. 10703 by the minister of Industry and Commerce. Implementation of the Societies Ordinance is vested with the Registrar General of Companies. During the debate country’s export sector and trade became the subject matter.


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