(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – President Maithripala Sirisena emphasized the necessity of Line Ministries working jointly in the process of national development to achieve the development aspirations of the people as well as the country.
The President further said that it is the responsibility of all the secretaries to the ministries to extend their fullest cooperation to achieve success of relevant projects, without giving its duties only to the responsible ministry.
President Sirisena made this observation while addressing the Ministry Secretaries at the Presidential Secretariat, on Monday (17).
The President also highlighted the necessity of maintaining some control over the foreign travels by the Ministers and the Ministry officials from top-to-bottom level, and said that some Ministers and Officials when they leave the country to attend conferences, they remain in those countries even after those conferences were concluded. He urged the Ministry secretaries to control this situation as well as to implement a programme to train officers, instead of the same officer traveling overseas annually.
Furthermore, the President expressing his views regarding the transfers of the Divisional Secretaries, said that a Divisional Secretary cannot hold the position for a long period of time at the same location, because of a need of somebody, He added that regarding the transfers a policy decision should be implemented.
The President said that he has signed many MoUs with foreign countries following his visits to those countries and instructed the Secretaries to establish a separate division under a Additional Secretary in this regard, to implement and follow up of these agreements to achieve the expected targets.
The President recalled that twelve agreements were signed during his state visit to Bangladesh. “The Prime Minister of Bangladesh said it was the largest number of agreements signed by the government of Bangladesh within one day”, he said.
President Sirisena emphasized he will take actions to hold progress review meetings at all ministries shortly. He said the performance of those ministries throughout last two and half years will be reviewed and also the attention will be paid on their goals for 2020.
The President directed to the Secretaries to the Ministries to complete taking over the lands to build houses for those who lost their houses due to flood.
He also looked into the facilities including drinking water, provided to the people in the areas of draught.
The President drew the attention of the Secretaries to the Ministries about their responsibilities at ministry level to be fulfilled to provide relief to the people faced problems due to Uma Oya Project.
During the discussion attention was also paid on filling the vacancies at ministries.
The President pointed out the need for a publicity program to educate people about the development activities carried out at ministry levels. He directed to deploy press officers from all ministries to work in connection with the Government Information Department on this regard.
He stated that the program to be initiated for the country and the people should be more communicative to the people. He said Secretaries to the Ministries should meet once in three months and discuss about this.
Secretary to the President Austin Fernando also joined in this discussion.