By Chandani Kirinde
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last night amended the Gazette notification on the subjects and functions of Ministers and State Ministers and did away with the State Ministry of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation, and transferred all functions assigned to it to the Minister of Justice.
Lohan Ratwatte served as the State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation until he resigned last September over allegations that he threatened inmates at the Welikada and Anuradhapura Prisons.
He continues to be the State Minister of Gem and Jewellery Related Industries.
The State Ministry of Aviation and Export Zones Development headed by D.V. Chanaka was given additional powers including the supervision of activities of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.
The other functions assigned to the State Ministry included the development of the second runway and the passenger terminal of the Katunayake Airport, development of domestic passenger terminal at the Katunayake Airport and domestic airports including the Nuwara Eliya airport, initiating commercial operations and improving the facilities at Mattala Airport, upgrading SriLankan Airlines and expanding air cargo facilities.
The Central Cultural Fund and the Buddha Sasana Fund which were under the Minister of Economic Policies and Plan Implementation were brought under the Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs.
There were changes made to the subject assigned to the State Minister of Education Reforms, Open Universities and Distance Learning Promotion with the National Institute of Education brought under it.
There were changes also made to the subjects and functions of the Ministry of Industries as well as the Ministry of Minister of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government.