By Chandani Kirinde
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has brought six institutions including the Api Wenuwen Api Fund and the National Police Academy (NPA) under the Ministry of Defence.
The relevant Gazette notification was issued by the President on Saturday.
The Api Wenuwen Api Fund was set up as a collaboration between the Defence Ministry and the Central Bank to build 50,000 houses for the serving armed forces personnel in 2009 while the NPA used to function under the Police Department.The other institutions brought under the Defence Ministry are the MILODA Institute (Academy of Financial Studies) which is the training arm of the Ministry of Finance, the National Authority for the Implementation of Chemical Weapons Convention which was under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce during the last Government and the Sri Lanka Institute of National Defence Studies, and the Department of Multi-Purpose Development Task Force.
This Multi-Purpose Development Task Force which was established with the objective of creating a poverty-free Sri Lanka as envisaged in the presidential policy statement is headed by Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Nanda Mallawarachchi.
The Department of Immigration and Emigration which was assigned to the State Minister of Defense Chamal Rajapaksa has been brought under the Ministry of Defence in March.
Matters relating to Immigration and Emigration and matters relating to Sri Lankan citizenship were assigned to the Defence Ministry by an Extraordinary Gazette notification issued by the President. The Department was initially placed under the Defence Ministry after last year’s Presidential Election and assigned to the State Minister in January. The President has used his powers under Article 44 (2) of the Constitution which gives him the power to determine the assignment of subjects and functions to Ministers and non-Cabinet appointed by him.