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Consultative Committee on Defence approves General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University Bill

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The Committee was held under the Chairmanship of the National Security and Disaster Management State Minister and the Home Affairs State Minister Chamal Rajapaksa and the participation of Secretary to the Defence Ministry Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne. Former President Maithripala Sirisena, Parliamentarians Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Tiran Alles, President’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe, Vice Chancellor of the General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University were present.

Addressing the meeting, the Defence Ministry Secretary said that the University, which was initially intended to provide University education to members of the Security Forces, was expanded to provide education to civilian children as instructed byPresident Gotabaya Rajapaksa during his tenure as the Defense Secretary.

The Defence Ministry Secretary said that the University, which is producing a disciplined generation of students suitable for the job market, is highly regarded and in high demand in society including parents and students with the completion of courses within a specified period being one main reasons in this regard.

Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said that all these courses are organised with the highest quality and that the University will continue to work towards the realisation of the President’s policy of providing university education to all students who pass their Advanced Level.

“The Act on this University was initiated in 2009. This Bill has a history of 12 years. It was to be presented to Parliament in 2018 post having it prepared under the involvement of many scholars having it referred to the Legal Draftsman and to the Attorney General after conducting number of studies on it. Although the then Defense Minister Maithripala Sirisena tried to do so, due to various reasons it was not possible at that time,” Major General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne said.

Vice Chancellor of the General Sir John Kotelawala National Defence University Major General Milinda Peiris said that the Universities Act, which was established by an Act of Parliament in 1981 has been amended on several occasions but the university has not been given the required structure.

The Vice Chancellor said that the university, which has 11 faculties, was once ranked 4th among military universities. Therefore, he said that this Act is important to further develop the activities of this University and to elevate it to a higher level.

The Parliamentarians at the meeting said that the country is losing a lot of money as many talented children who do not have access to university education are tempted to study at universities in other countries. Therefore, it is very important to have the opportunity to study more quality courses at a lower cost through this university, the MPs said.

Source DailyNews
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