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Oral Questions - Friday 12th June 2009

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QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWERS


To be raised by the Hon. Ravi Karunanayake when Parliament meets on Friday 12th June 2009

1. 0010/’09

Hon. Ravi Karunanayake – To ask the Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Administration and Deputy Minister of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order –

(a)    Will he inform this House –

(i)    the number of times that His Excellency the President has gone overseas;

Answer:
Eighteen (Up to September 2008)

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(ii)

Names of the Countries

(iii)

No. of people Accompanied

(iv)

The reason for Accompaniment

1.

India

66

To get done the expected duties relating to the relevant Ministries and Institutions at each visit

2.

Cuba

48

3.

United States of America

50

4.

Maldives

56

5.

China

74

6.

India

37

7.

Italy

37

8.

Barbados

19

9.

Jordan and Kuwait

53

10.

Switzerland

20

11.

United States of America

46

12.

India

22

13.

Uganda and Iran

32

14.

Japan

35

15.

United Kingdom

22

16.

China

34

17.

Italy

37

18.

United States of America

23

(b)    Will he state –

(i)    the cost incurred on these overseas trips; and

Answer:

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Country

(i) Cost incurred on those Overseas Trips

(ii) Significant gains from the trips for the Country?

India

Rs. 6,260,49.13

To build up strong official and personal links with their counterparts in the neighbourly nations.

Cuba

Rs. 2,239,212.00

Represented Sri Lanka at the XIVth Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

United States of America

Rs. 8,358,252.44

Led the Sri Lanka delegation to the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Maldives

Rs. 5,957,626.03

Discussing a range of bi-lateral matters

Signed MOU on Cultural Co-operation

Signed MOU on the Co-operation in the field of Education

China

Rs. 7,277,606.44

Annexure I

India

Rs. 8,876,822.27

Led the Sri Lanka delegation to the 14th SAARC Summit

Italy

Rs. 15,524,834.48

Annexure II

Barbados

Rs. 5,406,547.61

Participation at the Cricket World Cup final closing ceremony between Sri Lanka and Australia.

Jordan and Kuwait

Rs. 799,461.01

Annexure III

Switzerland

Rs. 1,803,252.07

Annexure IV

United States of America

Rs. 1,721,663.13

Led the Sri Lanka delegation to the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

India

Rs. 341,808.00

Addressed the 5th “Hindustan Times” Leadership Summit

Uganda and Iran

Rs. 6,221,428.20

Annexure V

Japan

Rs... 30,422,377.82

Annexure VI

United Kingdom

Rs. 15,175,734.31

Attended the passing out parade of Naval Cadets held at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, United Kingdom as the Guest of Honour.

Meeting with Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, KCB, ADC First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff of the Royal Navy and discussed co-operation between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka Navy in security matters.

China

Rs. 5,786,847.65

Annexure VII0

Italy

Rs. 39,943,995.59

Annexure VIII

United States of America

Rs. 47,373,794.07

Led the Sri Lankan delegation t the 63rd Session of United Nations General Assembly.

Annexure I

China


1.    Economic for a were held in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou with the participation of a large number of Chinese business leaders.

2.    Agreements signed during the visit

  1. Agreement on Economic and Technical Co-operation
  2. MOU between the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Areas Development.
  3. Agreement between the city of Guangzhou and the District of Hambantota on the establishment of Friendship City Relationship.
  4. MOU on two way investment promotion co-operation between the Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.
  5. MOU on co-operation in the Film Industry between the Film Bureau of China and the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka.
  6. MOU for the donation of Eye Corneas and the promotion of co-operation, exchanges, technical and technology transfers between the Red Cross Society of China and the Eye Donation Society of Sri Lanka.
  7. MOU between the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanisation Sciences and the Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture of Sri Lanka
  8. MOU on academic exchanges between Beijing Foreign Studies University of China and the University of Kelaniya of Sri Lanka.

3.    The following projects were co-ordinated following visit undertaking by His Excellency the President to China, buy the Economic Affairs Division with related line Ministries including the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

i.    Hambantota Port Development Project

Total Project Cost – USD 360 Million
Implementing Agency: Sri Lanka Ports Authority

ii.    Hambantota Port Bunkering and Oil Tank Farm Facility

Total Project Cost – USD 76.7 Million
Implementing Agency – Sri Lanka Port Authority

iii.    Puttalam Coal Power Plant Project – Phase I

Total Project Cost – USD 455 Million
Implementing Agency – Ministry of Power and Energy / CEB

iv.    Puttalam Cost Power Plant Project – Phase 2

Total Project Cost – USD 400 Million
Implementing Agency – Ministry of Power and Energy / CEB

v.    Colombo, Katunayake Expressway

Total Project Cost – USD 248.2 Million
Implementing Agency – Road Development Authority

vi.    Construction of a few selected Road Infrastructure Elements

Total Project Cost – USD 400 Million – USD 10 Million (Grant)

vii.    National Performing Arts Theatre Project (Loan / Grant)

Total Project -, USD 21.2 Million
Implementing Agency – Ministry of Cultural Affairs

viii.    Procurement of Diesel Multiple Units and Passenger Carriages for Sri Lanka Railways

Implementing Agency – Ministry of Transport

ix.    Maintenance requirements at BMICH

Total Estimate Cost – Approximately USD 7.2 Million, which will be provided as a grant

x.    Following Project Proposals are under consideration

Grant / Technical assistance for Moragakanda and Kalu Ganga Development Project
Current Status – Response from the Ministry of Commerce in China is awaited

Rehabilitation of Southern Breakwater and the approach channels of the Panadura Harbour.
Current Status – Chinese Government has agreed to dispatch an expert team to Sri Lanka

Rehabilitation and improvement of Road from Devi Balika roundabout to Malabe
Project Cost – USD 11 Million
Current Status – Project proposal has been submitted to the Embassy of China

xi.    Rural Electrification Projects

Sri Lanka Government is seeking USD 45 Million to implement the Phase II of the above Project.

Annexure II

Italy

The significant gains from the trip

  1. His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka attended the High Level Conference on World Food Security, Challenges of Climate and Bio Energy, which was held in Rome with a delegation.
  2. From Sri Lanka’s point of view, it was an important Summit held amidst food crisis in the world. During the period of the Summit His Excellency the President was able not only to highlight Sri Lanka’s point of view on the food crisis, but also to exchange various other views on the various other issues including terrorism with the world leaders.
  3. More importantly, this conference provided an excellent forum for His Excellency the President to understand the mindset of the World Leaders on the issue of Food Security . This would indeed help to formulate Sri Lanka’s own policies on Food Security and take appropriate action to overcome the food crisis with the support of other nations.
  4. Therefore, participating in the above Conference Sri Lanka benefited immensely/ As a result of this participation Sri Lanka has been able to present its case on Food Security to solicit assistance from the World Body for a number of Projects in Sri Lanka.


Annexure III

Jordan and Kuwait

The significant gains from the trip

  1. Signing of a Trade Agreement with Jordan – establishing a Sri Lanka – Jordan Joint Economic Committee
  2. Signing of a MOU on co-operation among Chambers of Commerce (FCCISL & CCC) with the Jordan Chamber of Commerce and Jordan Chamber of Industry.
  3. A Sri Lanka Business and Investment Forum was held to co-incide with the visit of His Excellency the President with the participation of a large number of Jordanian Businessman / Investors.
  4. The World Economic Forum on the Middle East – Dead Sea, Jordan – The Economic Affairs Division co-ordinated the participation of several leading businessmen form Sri Lanka at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, which was held concurrently with His Excellency the Presidents visit to Jordan. This is in keeping with the focus of His Excellency the President on improving ties with the countries of the Middle East. Hon M/FA participated in a panel discussion on “Success Stories in Development” to share experiences of Sri Lanka in moving towards development (Other participants on the panel included the Prime Minister of Pakistan, President of Croatia, President of Georgia, Former President of Ireland, etc.)
  5. Second Summit of the Group of Eleven (G 11)
  1. His Excellency the President led the Sri Lanka delegation to this Summit.
  2. Of particular importance are the efforts of the G11 to bring to the attention of G8 specific development concerns of the G11 Countries. His Excellency the President in his address at the Summit requested all member countries to work together to defeat terrorism.
  3. The G11 creates a platform for LMIC’s to present their case, jointly, to the developed world and particularly to the G8. The G11 seeks “targeted help” and “result oriented assistance” to accelerate the implementation of home grown development programmes in respective member countries.
  4. The Group G11 hopes to agree on a Framework on Economic, Trade and Cultural Co-operation to promote ties among member countries. Cabinet approval has been granted for Sri Lanka to sign proposed G11 Framework Agreement on Economic, Trade and Cultural Co-operation, which is scheduled to be signed at the G11 Summit to be held at the Dead Sea in May 2009. In terms of benefit, the Agreement contains useful provisions enabling G11 countries to further strengthen ties in the fields of tourism, trade, investment, information and communication technology, culture etc.
  5. A meeting was held between Chancellor Angela Merkel and His Majesty King Abdullah II in their capacities as President of the G8 and G11 respectively in November 2007 in Berlin, Germany. The exchange of views and the Agreement on the part of the G* Chair to report to other G* members and the upcoming G* Presidency, on the discussion held is significant in this respect. In particular, Germany welcomed the effort by His Majesty King Abdullah II to advance the G11 initiative and congratulated the other countries of the G11 on their determination to move forward with economic, political and social reforms. At this meeting both sides also stress the value of the relationship  between the developed and developing countries and the importance of supporting developing countries that are performing well, particularly those pushing forward with their reform efforts and delivering on their commitments.

Kuwait
The significant gains from the trip

  1. During the state visit of His Excellency the President to Kuwait the following two Agreements were signed.
    • Agreement on Cultural, Media, Education, Scientific and Technical co-operation.
    • Agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons
  2. Under the Agreement of the Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners, jailed Sri Lankan Expatriate workers’ for diverse offences and “Breeches of Service Agreements” in Kuwait would now be entitled to a “General Amnesty” period within which they could come back to Sri Lanka. The Lankan Government which earlier had to incur a considerable outlay for the repatriation of such persons, will benefit immensely from this Agreement.
  3. President Rajapakse and Emir Al Shabah had a cordial round of talks on bi-lateral and zonal issues of mutual interest, focused mainly on the Sri Lankan expatriate workers in Kuwait. They had exchange views on the prospect of these Sri Lankans securing more economically viable and lucrative job opportunities in Kuwait. The problems encountered by them and the possibilities of solving them expeditiously were also discussed. The two leaders had also discussed Kuwaiti Investment in Sri Lanka.
  4. During discussions His Excellency the President had Kuwait Fund Assistance was requested for the Weeravila Airport Project and the Moragahakanda Project. Discussions were also held to secure the possible assistance from the Kuwait side for the setting up of an Oil Refinery in Sri Lanka.
  5. A business and investment forum was held at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which His Excellency the President and several Ministers addressed. This forum was attended by Kuwaiti businessmen / investors.
  6. Dignitaries met during the visit included Mr. Abdulwahab Al-Bader, Director General of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, His Excellency Mr. Ali Al-Ghanim, Chairman – Chamber of Commerce and Industry, His Excellence Mr. Jassin Mohammed Al Khorafi, Speaker of the National Assembly, HH Sheikh Nasser, Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmad, Al-Jaber, Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Al-Sabah Al-Ahamed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait, H.E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah A;-Salem Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Oil of the State of Kuwait.


Annexure IV

Switzerland

The significant gains from the trip

1. Meeting with the High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Louis Arbor.

The High Commissioner made a request to conduct an official visit to Sri Lanka. His Excellency the President, while agreed to the visit was unconvinced of a need for a Permanent OHCHR presence in Sri Lanka or a UN Monitoring Mission at the present time.

2. Meeting with the President of Human Rights Council His Excellency Luis Alfenso de Alba, Ambassador of Mexico to the United Nations in Geneva.

Ambassador de Alba briefed His Excellence the President on the institutional building process of the Human Rights Council emphasising the need for member states to opt for a strategy of participating in those institutions. He also shared the experience of Mexico concerning international institutions / campaigns into Human Rights violations such as abduction / disappearances with special reference to errors in identification and counting. His Excellence the President responded by stressing the importance  of the role of member states  in the HRC especially in establishing a Code of Conduct for INGO’s. He also expressed Sri Lanka’s determination to actively participate in the HRC and its institutions.

3. Joint meeting with the Vice President of the ICRC Mr. Jacques Forster and Mr. Markku Niskala, Secretary General of the IFRCS followed by bi-lateral meeting with Vice President of ICRC.

His Excellence the President was appreciative of the role played by ICRC emphasising that is was the first International humanitarian Organisation to respond to GOSL request to assist people in Vakarai after it was cleared. The ICRC sought information from His Excellence the President on action taken by the authorities on the murder of two staff members of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society.

4. Meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Antonio Gulerres

It was an extremely cordial meeting at which the President greatly appreciated the role of UNHCR and briefed the High Commissioner about the political situation in Sri Lanka.

5. Meeting with Secretary General of the Amnesty International, Ms. Irene Khan

The AI delegation and Sri Lanka delegation had a free and frank exchange of view on the Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka site took exception to the “Cricket Ball Campaign” launch by AI. The Attorney General clarified certain issues concerning investigations.

6. Meeting with the Secretary General of the International Commission of Jurists, Mr. Nicholas Howen

The ICJ delegation and Sri Lanka delegation had a free and frank exchange of views on the Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka. The Attorney General made a detailed rebuttal of ICJ concerns in relation to the investigations into the killing of ACK workers.

7. Meeting with Mr. Prakash P. Hinduja, Chairman / Advisory Board, Ama Bank, Switzerland.

Mr. Hinduja expressed interest in commencing a number of ventures in Sri Lanka, which would be of mutual benefit. His Excellence the President while welcoming the initiative stressed the importance of employment creation.

8. Meeting with Minister of Eric Solheim

A cordial discussion followed by a one-on-one meeting between His Excellence the President and Minister Solheim.

9. Meeting with groups of Sri Lankans

The discussion was co-chaired by His Excellency the President and Hon. Douglas Devananda and also attended by Mr. Rajasingham, Editor of the Asian Tribune.

The meeting was attended by two anti-LTTE Tamil Groups and one predominantly Sinhala Group. The discussion entailed a frank and cordial exchange of views on the issue of devolution, SLPA proposals, APRC as well as LTTE activities in Swiss society. PRUN explained the tasks and responsibilities of the mission in relation to and distinct from the expatriate community in Switzerland and agreed to assign a Junior Officer for liaison no sooner the MFA brings the cadre of the Mission up to normal level.

Annexure V

Iran

As a result of this trip a MOU regarding a number of Projects together worth 1.4 Million US Dollars were signed between Sri Lanka and Iran.

As regards purchase of Oil, Iran agreed to grant an instant credit facility (amounting to bout 700 Million US Dollars) with validity extending to Four months.

Signing of the MOU for the Uma-oya Multipurpose Project in Sri Lankan, by this multipurpose development project Irrigation facilities will be provided to an area of 5,00 H.A. in the dry zone of North Eastern Sri Lanka a Power Station will be constructed for generation of 100 Megawatts of Hydro Electricity. A financial assistance of 450 Million US Dollars will be made available towards this project. The Agreement on this assistance was signed on April 28 2008.

A MOU was signed between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Islamic Republic of Iran on augmenting Oil Refining capacity of the Oil Refinery of Sri Lanka. Accordingly, an Agreement was signed on 23.08.2008 to expand the present oil refining capacity of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery to twice the present level (that is to increase the present capacity of 50,000 barrels a day to 100,000 barrels a day). This agreement on expansion on production was signed on 23.08.2008 between Sri Lanka and Iran. An assistance of 750 Million US Dollars will be granted for this expansion project.

During the year 2007 a total trade turnover between Sri Lanka and Iran had increased to 902 Million US Dollars and this was the highest turnover recorded so far. In 2006, the trade turnover reported was 810.5 Million US Dollars. His Excellence the President’s visit to Iran has helped in achieving these results.

The Sri Lanka Investment and Trade Forum which was attended by over 150 Iranian businessmen of high standing who showed a great interest in investment opportunities in Sri Lanka was held on 26.11.2007 in Tehran.

On 27.11.2007 the Sri Lanka Trade delegation was provided the opportunity to meet and discuss with individual Iranian businessmen separately.

In addition to the benefits referred to above, during the visit the following MOU’s were entered into

  1. The Marine Trade Vessels Agreement between Sri Lanka and Iran;
  2. The bi-lateral Agreement between Sri Lanka and Iran regarding rights use of customs regulations and prevention of wrong use of customs regulations, mutual administration relating to investigation and prevention of offences.
  3. MOU between the Ministry of Mass Media of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Broadcasting Centre for Islamic Republic of Iran as regards Media Co-operation.
  4. MOU between the Sri Lanka Board of Investment and the Mostiafan Foundation of the Islamic Revolutionary Republic of Iran regarding provision of financial assistance and technical co-operation and facilities;
  5. MOU between Sri Lanka Commercial Industrial Board and the Iranian Commercial, Industrial Mines Board
  6. MOU between Sri Lanka National Commercial Board and the Iranian Commercial, Industrial and Mines Board.
  7. MOU between Mostiafan Foundation of Iran and the Sri Lanka Board of Investment regarding facilitation of financial and technical co-operation.


Annexure VI

Japan

The significant gains from this trip

  1. Business and Investment forum was held to project Sri Lanka’s favourable environment as a point for direct foreign investment with the attendance of 260 potential Japanese investors.
  2. Associated with the President’s visit were 45 Sri Lankan businessmen for whom one-to-one business meetings were arranged with their Japanese counterparts. (Cost of their airfare and hotel accommodation were borne by the business delegation)
  3. A MOU between the Ministry of Power and Energy and the Japan Bank of International Corporation (JBIC) was signed for the establishment of a LNG facility. Following the signing of this MOU, JBIC has extended the loan facility for Japanese Yen 820 Million to carry out the feasibility. At present the Ministry of Power and Energy is in the process of identifying a suitable consultant to undertake this feasibility.
  4. The Government of Japan stated that they would consider providing assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka towards capacity building of Local Government Authorities and towards Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
  5. It was also announced that Japan plans to invite 500 youth over the next 5 years form each of the three ethnic groups in the Eastern Province.
  6. The two sides agreed to establish a Public-Private Joint Forum aimed at discussing periodically the improvement to further promote Japanese Investment in Sri Lanka.
  7. Japanese Government also expressed their commitment towards continuing the extension of overseas development assistance to improve economic infrastructure.
  8. The Government of Japan announced a Grant of 1.9 Billion Yen for the year 2008.


Annexure VII

China


The significant gains from the trip

Visit of His Excellency the President to China to attend the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA)

  1. His Excellency the President, accompanied by a high level delegation comprising Hon. Rohita Bogollagama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade, Secretary to the President and Senior Officials visited China to participate at the Boao Forum for Asia held from 10 – 12 April 2008 in the People’s Republic of China. The visit took place on an invitation extended to His Excellency the President by Chinese President Hu Jintao.
  2. The President had bi-lateral discussions with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the BFA. The two leaders then went on to review developments in Sri Lanka – China b-lateral relations, expressing satisfaction at the current status of such relations at all levels, including people-to-people contacts. They agreed to work together to push bi-lateral relations to even greater heights.
  3. The Chinese President agreed with his Sri Lankan counterpart that measures need to be taken to redress the balance of trade between the two countries which is heavily in China’s favour. President Rajapakse expressed Sri Lanka’s appreciation for Chinese assistance for project, in particular the Hambantota Harbour Project, the Norochalai Coal Power Plant Project, and the International Performing Arts Theatre, among others. He thanked China for the support consistently given for preserving Sri Lanka’s territorial unity and integrity. The two leaders emphasised their common opposition to the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism and the need for the International Community to deal united to overcome such evils.
  4. His Excellence the President addressed the Boao Forum in Asia. The other leaders who addressed the Conference were the Prime Minister of Australia, the King of Tongo, the President of Pakistan, the Prime Minister of Sweden, the President of Chile, the President of Kazakhstan and the President of Mongolia.
  5. The President also had a bi-lateral meeting with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan on the sidelines of the BFA.


Annexure VIII

Italy

  1. His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa President of Sri Lanka undertook a visit to the Vatican from 19th  to 20th April 2007 for an audience with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and to meet the Prime Minister of the Vatican.
  2. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received His Excellency the President on 20th April  2007.
  3. President Rajapakse was the first President of Sri Lanka to meet with the incumbent Pope. This visit was significant in keeping the Vatican briefed on the situation in Sri Lanka and the efforts of the Government to resolve the ongoing conflict.
  4. His Excellency the President met His Eminence the Cardinal Tarcisio Bertom, Secretary of State (Prime Minister) at the Vatican on 20th April 2007.
  5. The President briefed the Vatican Prime Minister on the Government’s commitment for negotiated settlement. A briefing on the terrorist activities of the LTTE, including attempted assassination of the Army Commander was also provided.
  6. The visit was instrumental in further strengthening bi-lateral relations between the Vatican and Sri Lanka. It also helped to keep the Vatican briefed on concerns relating to religious tolerance and the peaceful co-existence of the various sections of Sri Lanka’s multicultural society.
  7. The Vatican was also briefed on the Government’s policy to consider the people who live in the north and east as Sri Lankan citizens who have right to equal opportunities, despite any differences, religious, ethnic or otherwise. These instructions helped to address various misconceptions that had reached the Vatican administration effectively and to keep them abreast of the factual situation in Sri Lanka.


(c)    If not, why?

Does not arise


2.    0018/’09
Hon. Ravi Karunanayake – To ask the Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Administration and Deputy Minister of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order – 

(a)    Will he inform this House –

(i)    the total amount of aid, grants and pledges given to Sri Lanka by Iran along with the interest rates applicable, from the year 2004 to date on yearly basis;

Answer:

i. A loan of 450,000,000 US Dollars has been received for Uma Oya Hydro Electric and Irrigation Project at LIBOR per annum on 28.04.2008.

ii. The Government of Iran has agreed to provide a loan of around US Dollars 1200 Million for the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery Expansion and Modernisation Project. Loan Agreement has not been signed as yet.

iii. The Government of Iran, following the visit of His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka to the I.T. of Iran in November 2007, agreed to grant a four month interest free credit facility for Sri Lanka’s purchase of Oil form Iran. In line with His Excellency the President’s visit, an Agreement was entered into between the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) of Iran for the four month interest free Credit Facility, with a ceiling of US Dollars 700 Million, becoming operational from December 2007 (In October 2008, the CPC obtained an additional three months Credit Facility on Commercial Terms though Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO) Limited.



(ii) whether there is any other specific assistance given for Sri Lanka;

Answer:

The relevant institutions have not informed of any special grants given to Sri Lanka.

(iii) if so, the date and amount?

Answer:

Does not arise

(b) Will he state what Sri Lanka has offered to Iran in return from the year 2004 to date on yearly basis?

Answer:

The relevant institutions have not informed of any annual grants given to the Republic of Iran by Sri Lanka.

(c) Will he state whether we have sold any item to Iran which are against the United Nations resolutions imposed on them?

Answer:

According to the export trade details, Sri Lanka does not export any items to Iran, violating the UN Resolution on Iran.

(d) Will he also state the balance of payments between Iran and Sri Lanka at the end of each year from the year 2001 to date?

Answer:

Year    Export    Import    Balance of Trade
2001      29.5       233.2    -    203.7
2002      35.1       183.8    -    148.7
2003      35.2       249.5    -    214.3
2004      57.9       460.8    -    402.9
2005      74.2       499.3    -    425.1
2006      84.1       726.4    -    642.3
2007    117.2       784.9    -    667.7
2008    154.8    1,201.2    - 1,046.6


(e)    If not, why?

Answer:

Does not arise.

Note on Background Information:
On 27th November 2007 during the State visit of the President of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Iran, two MOU’s were signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and Iran in terms of which Iran pledged to grant:

a.  A loan not exceeding 85% of the sum of US Dollars 450 Million, being the  estimated cost of constructing the Uma Oya Hydropower and Irrigation Project with a grace period of 5 years to  10 years repayment period thereafter.

b.  80% of the Project cost for upgrading the existing (Sapugaskanda) Oil Refinery of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and expanding the Oil Refinery capacity of the said refinery from 50,000 (ppd) to 100,000 (bpd) to be financed by the National Iranian Oil Refinery and Distribution Company (NIORDC) of the Government of Iran and the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDB) on the basis of a EPC Contract and Finance Agreement to be finalised.


3.    0021/’09
Hon Ravi Karunanayake – To ask the Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition –

(a)    Will he inform this House on yearly basis for the last 04 years to date, the total cost of each hired vehicles to the Ministry and for any company, owned by the Ministry and the total cost spent on hired or rented office space?

(b)    Will he state for the above period –

(i)    the cost of fuel of the above usage and the same as a percentage of the total recurrent cost of the Ministry; and

(ii)    the cost per square foot for the above rented office space?

(c)    Will he inform this House the period that the building has been taken for on lease along with the advance paid as a deposit?

(d)    If not, why?