The Government yesterday (11), postponed presenting the General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University Bill to Parliament.
The Bill was listed in the Order Paper yesterday. It was mentioned in the Order Paper that the Prime Minister would present the said Bill to the House.
However, when the time came, Chief Government Whip Minister Gayantha Karunatileka said that the Government was postponing the presenting of the Bill. He did not mention an exact date but informed the House that it would be presented at a future date.
The General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University Bill is to provide for the establishment, maintenance and administration of a University known as the General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University; to impart higher education at the University level; to provide for the vesting of the Kandawala Estate and moveable property therein with the University; to repeal the Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy Act, No. 68 of 1981 and to provide for matters connected therein and incidental thereto.
The Bill came under severe criticism from the Inter-University Students’ Federation and the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA). The students’ movement staged several protest marches and the GMOA threatened that they would take trade union action against the Bill.
They said that through this Bill, the Government intends to give powers to the medical faculty of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, instead of abolishing it.