Cabinet Spokesman Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday announced several important Cabinet decisions taken during the Cabinet meeting presided over by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on Thursday.
Accordingly, Cabinet approval was granted to amend the Land Reforms Ordinance of 1935 to ensure equal land rights for women following the Cabinet paper jointly presented by the Justice and Law Reforms Minister John Seneviratne and Agriculture, Lands and Irrigation Minister Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Provisions related to treating of women differently (treating women discriminately) will be removed by these amendments.
`According to the Land Reforms Ordinance of 1935 lands given by the Government are granted to males and when ownership of such lands passed on to the next generation a priority list was followed where men received first preference and women only thereafter`.
In terms of this priority list, the ownership of the land first passed to the son, then to the daughter and thereafter the male who was next in line and thereafter to the female next in line and extended to 12 categories.
`However, this provision will be changed to include only six categories and mentioned as children instead of the gender of the person next in line such as son, then daughter,` Minister Samaraweera said.
The main intention of this proposal is to strengthen the United People`s Freedom Alliance Government`s policy of ensuring equal rights for women, he said.
According to a cabinet paper presented by Indigenous Medicine Minister Tissa Karaliyedda cabinet granted approval to convert the Borella Ayurvedic Hospital into a leading Teaching Hospital at a cost of Rs. 1204 million (Rs.1.2 Billion) during the period 2005 and 2009.
The project will be implemented in three phases and the Government has already granted Rs. 64 million to the Ayurvedic Department to commence the project. Rs. 153.4 million will be released next year to demolish the old OPD and to build a modern OPD.
The Government aims to promote indigenous medicine systems and expand Ayurvedic medical treatment in Sri Lanka through this project.