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Sri Lanka 

Key facts

POPULATION (Census 2011): 20,277,597
AREA: 65,610 sq km
CAPITAL: Sri Jayawardenapura-Kotte
CURRENCY: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
HEAD OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT: President Mahinda Rajapaksa
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: democratic republic
LANGUAGES: Sinhala and Tamil (official)
NATIONAL ELECTIONS: parliamentary: last: 2010,
turnout: -; next: 2016
presidential: last: 2010, turnout: -; next: 2016
PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS: last: 2012, turnout: -; next: 2016
LOCAL ELECTIONS: last: 2011, turnout: -; next: March 2015


Sri Lanka is a unitary democratic republic with three levels of government: central, provincial and local. Local government is enshrined in the 13th amendment to the constitution. The second-tier provincial authorities are governed by the Provincial Councils Act 1987. The main Acts relating to third-tier local authorities are the Urban Councils Ordinance 1939, the Municipal Councils Ordinance 1947 and the Pradeshiya Sabhas Act (No.15) 1987. The Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils is responsible for policy and legislation at the national level, while the provincial ministers of local government are responsible for the implementation at local level. There are nine second-tier provinces and 335 third-tier local authorities: 23 municipal councils, 41 urban councils and 271 rural pradeshiya sabhas. Grants are provided from provinces and from central government, and local authorities are responsible for the collection of taxes and user fees as well as property rates, rents and grants. Provincial councils’ responsibilities include internal law and order, provincial economic plans, education, housing and agriculture; while local authorities have responsibility for public health, utility services and roads. Pradeshiya sabhas have some additional developmental responsibilities.

Download full profile of Sri Lanka (  124K PDF)

Additional information since publication:

17th March 2011 - Local Authorities Elections

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