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Sri Lanka

Government

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Government of Sri LankaSri Lanka has adopted the model of executive presidency where the President is both the head of state and government. Government has the executive powers, legislative power lies with both the government and parliament while independent judicial powers are vested in the judiciary. Sri Lanka pluriform multi-party system and elections are held at regular intervals of six years.

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Costitution
After gaining independence, Sri Lanka adopted Westminister-style parlimentary government. However President Jayewardene decided to rewrite the constitution. In 1978 Sri Lanka adopted the new constitution. Now, presidential system of governance modelled after France was adopted. President became the chief executive.

Political Institutions
Executive
The President is head of state, government and commander-in-chief of armed forces. Directly elected by public for six-year term, the President is answerable to the Parliament for the exercise of his duties. For removing the President the no-confidence motion has to be passed by the Parliament with acknowledgement of the Supreme Court.

The President appoints a prime minister and other ministers who are responsible to Parliament. The President's deputy is prime minister, who leads the ruling party in Parliament. If a parliamentary no-confidence vote is passed the cabinet is dissolved and the president appoints new cabinet.

Legislature
Legislature or Parliament exercises the Sovereignty of the people of Sri Lanka. Parliament consists of 225 representatives from whom the President appoints as Prime Minister the person who in his opinion commands the confidence of legislature. It is a unicameral legislature. The members are directly elected for six years by the system of modified proportional representation.

Judiciary
Constitution of Sri Lanka ensures an independent judiciary. The highest court of the land is the Supreme Court, headed by a chief justice and between six and ten associate justice members. The President appoints the Supreme and High Court justices. Judges of the Supreme Court can be removed from office on grounds of incompetence or misdemeanor by a majority of Parliament. Justices of High Court can be removed only by a judicial service commission. The Supreme Court has the power of judicial review. It is also the final court of appeal for all criminal and civil cases.

Administrative divisions
Government at province level is divided into two parallel structures: Civil Service and Provincial Councils., which dates to colonial times, and the provincial councils, which were established in 1987.

Sri Lanka GovernmentCivil Service
Sri Lanka is divided into 25 administrative units called districts each of which has a district secretary, also known as Government Agent. Each district has 5-16 divisions, administered by DS, or divisional secretary. At grassroot or village level Grama Niladari (Village officers), Samurdhi Niladari (Development officers) and agriculture extension officers work under the supervision of Development officers.

Provincial Council
Provincial councils in Sri Lanka are directly elected by general public for five year terms. Leader of the party who gets majority seats in the Council takes up the office of the Chief Minister with a group of minister. A provincial governor is appointed by the Central Government as its representative.

Local Government
Municipal Councils and Urban Councils, elected at the local level, are responsible for municialities and cities respectively. At rural level Village Councils are elected. Currently 42 urban councils and 270 village councils are working in Sri Lanka.

Main Political Organisations
  • Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)
  • United National Party (UNP)
  • Sri Lankan Muslim Congress (SLMC)
  • Tamil National Alliance (TNA)
  • Janata Vimukti Peramuna (JVP)
Armed Group
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, Tamil Tigers)

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