Kumaratunga's Devolution Proposal
August 3, 1995
Whereas it is the will of the people of Sri Lanka to establish an order.
Wherein the sovereignty of the people is assured and the exercise
of authority by their freely chosen representatives is in the nature
of a sacred trust; Wherein the principle of democracy, freedom, humanity,
tolerance and justice shall be fully observed; Wherein the dignity of
the individual shall be upheld through the guaranteeing of human rights
and fundamental freedoms without distinction and in full equality before
Wherein the territories constituting the nation shall form one indissoluble
union, the units whereof will be characterized by such boundaries and
limitations on their powers and authority as maybe prescribed;
Wherein the territorial integrity, independence and unity of the nation
including its sovereign rights over land, sea and air shall be safeguarded;
Wherein peace and fraternity between all communities shall be secured
and provision made enabling all communities to enjoy and nurture their
distinct culture, practise and profess their own religion and promote
their own language, thus preserving the rich cultural and ethnic diversity
typifying a plural society:
Now, therefore, we the people of Sri Lanka having solemnly resolved
to constitute Sri Lanka into a free, sovereign, united and independent
Cognizant of the sacrifice made by the people in the cause of sustaining
the unity and sovereignty of the Republic;
Mindful of our obligation to succeeding generations of Sri Lankans
and the World; Inspired by the vision of a nation where all communities
can co-exist in safety, security and contentment; Conscious of the desire
to achieve rapid, sustainable and equitable development so that the
people of Sri Lanka may prospers and attain their rightful place among
the community of nations: do, on this (DAY) acting through our freely
chosen representatives constituting the 10th Parliament of Sri Lanka
established by us hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves.
This constitution as the Supreme Law of the Republic of Sri Lanka.
The People, the State and Sovereignty
1. Sri Lanka is a united and sovereign Republic and shall be known
as the Republic of Sri Lanka. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall be an
indissoluble Union of Regions.
2. (1) The territory of the Republic shall consists of Regions, the
names, boundaries and area of which are set out in the First Schedule,
the Capital Territory and its territorial waters.
(2) No Regional Administration or Regional Administration shall attempt,
by direct or indirect means, to promote or otherwise advocate an initiative
(a) the separation or secession of such Region or Regions from the
Union of Regions constituting the Republic of Sri Lanka;
(b) alteration of the area of such Region or Regions;
(c) alteration of the boundaries of such Region or Regions;
(d) alteration of the name or names of such Region or Regions;
(e) formation of a new Region by separation of territory from any Region
or by uniting two or more Regions or parts of Regions or by uniting
any territory with a part of any Region. Provided that nothing in this
paragraph shall be read and construed as prohibiting a Regional Administration
from making representations to the Central Government regarding the
matters referred to in sub-paragraph (c) of this paragraph.
3. In the Republic of Sri Lanka, sovereignty is in the people and is
inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of Government, fundamental
rights, and the franchise and shall be exercised and enjoyed in the
(a) the legislative power of the People shall be exercised by Parliament,
Regional Councils and the People at a Referendum;
(b) the executive power of the People shall be exercised by the President
of the Republic acting on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet
of Ministers, and the Governors acting on the advice of the respective
Chief Ministers and Regional Boards of Ministers to the extent hereinafter
(c) the judicial power of the People shall be executed through courts,
tribunals and institutions created and established, or recognized, by
the Constitution, or created and established by law except in regard
to matters relating to the privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament
and of its Members, wherein the judicial power of the People may be
exercised directly by Parliament according to law;
(d) the fundamental rights which are by the Constitution declared and
recognized shall be respected, secured and advanced by all the organs
of Government, and shall not be abridged, restricted or denied, save
in the manner and to the extent hereinafter provided; and
(e) the franchise shall be exercisable at the election of Members of
Parliament, and of the Members of Regional Councils, and at every Referendum
by every citizen who attained the age of eighteen years, and who, being
qualified to be an elector as hereinafter provided, has his name entered
in the register of electors.
4. The National Flag of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be the Lion
Flag depicted in the Third Schedule.
5. The National Anthem of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be Sri Lanka
Matha, the words and music of which are set out in the Fourth Schedule.
6. The National Day of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be the fourth
day of February.
CHAPTER II BUDDHISM
7.* (1) The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost
place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and
foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the right
granted by Articles 15 (1) and 15(2)**
(2) The State shall consult the Supreme Council in all matter pertaining
to the protection and fostering of the Buddha Sasana.
(3) For the purpose of this Article Supreme Council means a Council
established by law in consultation with the Maha Sangha.
* Article 7 (foremerly Article 6 in the Working Drafts of the New Constitution),
shall be an entrenched provision requiring a 2/3 majority in Parliament
and the approval of the People at a referendum for amendment.
** Article 15 (1) and 15 (2) refer to the rights declared in the Chapter
on Fundamental Rights in the revised working draft of the Constitution
which was published in the media on 21/05/95 (these rights were contained
in Articles 10 and 14 (1) (e) of the First Working Draft of the Constitution
presented to in question will be renumbered.
CHAPTER III THE DEVOLUTION OF POWER TO REGIONS
Establishment of Regional Councils
8. (1) A Regional Council shall be established for every Region specified
in the First Schedule with effect from such date or dates as the President
may appoint by Order published in the Gazette. Different dates may be
specified in respect of different Regions.
(2) The Capital Territory comprising the cities of Colombo and Sri
Jayawardenapura-Kotte will be excluded from the jurisdiction of the
Regional Council established for the Western Region under paragraph
(1) and will be administered by the Centre.
Election of Members
9. Every Regional Council established under Article 8
(1) shall be constituted upon the members of such Council being elected
in accordance with the law relating to Regional Council elections.
10. (1) There shall be a Governor for each Region for which a Regional
Council has been established in accordance with Article 8.
(2) The Governor shall be appointed by the President on the advice
of the Chief Minister of the region.
(3) The Governor may, by writing addressed to the President, resign
(4) (a) A Regional Council may, subject to paragraph (b), present an
address to the President advising the removal of the Governor on the
ground that the Governor
(i) has intentionally violated the provisions of the Constitution;
(ii) is guilty of misconduct or corruption involving the abuse of power
of his office; or
(iii) is guilty of bribery or an offence involving moral turpitude,
if a resolution for the presentation of such address is passed by not
less than two-thirds of the whole number of members of the Council (including
those not present).
(b) No resolution for the presentation of an address to the President
advising the removal of the Governor on the grounds referred to in sub-paragraph
(a) shall be entertained by the Speaker of the Regional Council or discussed
at the Council, unless notice of such resolution is signed by not less
than one half of the whole number of members present.
(5) Subject to the provisions of this Article, the Governor shall hold
office for a period of five years from the date he assumes office.
(6) Every person appointed as Governor shall assume office upon taking
or subscribing the oath or making or subscribing the affirmation, set
out in the Schedule, before the President.
(7) Upon such assumption of office, a Governor shall cease to hold
any other office created or recognized by the Constitution and if he
is a Member of Parliament or a Member of a Regional Council shall vacate
his seat in Parliament or in the Regional Council. The Governor shall
not hold any other office or place of profit.
(8) (a) The Governor may from time to time summon a Regional Council
to meet at such time and place as it thinks fit, but two months shall
not intervene between the last sitting in one session and the date appointed
for the first sitting of the next session.
(b) The Governor may, from time to time, prorogue the Regional Council.
(c) The Governor may dissolve the Regional Council.
(d) The Governor shall exercise his power under this paragraph in accordance
with the advice of the Chief Minister, as long as the Board of Ministers
commands, in the opinion of the Governor, the support of the majority
of the Regional Council.
(9) The Governor of a region shall have the power to grant pardon to
every person convicted of an offence against a statute made by the Regional
Council of that region or a law made by Parliament on a matter in respect
of which the Regional Council has power to make statutes, and to grant
a respite or remission of punishment imposed by Court on any such person.
(10) The Governor may address the Regional Council and may for that
purpose require the attendance of members.
(11) Parliament shall by law or resolution make provisions for the
salary, allowance, age of retirement and pension entitlement of holders
of the office of Governor.
Executive Powers of the Region
11. The executive power of the Region which shall extend to the matters
with respect to which a Regional Council has power to make statutes,
shall be vested in the Governor acting on the advice of the Chief Minister
and the Board of Ministers and shall be exercised by the Board of Ministers
either directly or through the Chief Minister and the Ministers of the
Board of Ministers or through subordinate officers, in accordance with
Membership of the Regional Council
12. A Regional Council shall consist of such number of members as may
be determined by or under law, having regard to the area and the population
of the Region for which that Regional Council is established.
Terms of Office
13. A Regional Council shall, unless sooner dissolved, continue for
a period of five years from the date appointed for its first meeting,
and the expiry of the said period of five years shall operate as the
dissolution of the Council.
Board of Ministers
14. (1) There shall be a Board of Minister with the Chief Minister
as the Head and not more than six other Ministers to aid and advise
the Governor of a Region in the exercise of his functions. The Governor
shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such
advice in so far as he is by or under the Constitution required to exercise
his functions or any of them in his discretion.
(2) The question of whether any and, if so, what advice was tendered
by a Minister to the Governor shall not be inquired into in any Court.
(3) The Governor shall appoint as Chief Minister the member of the
Regional Council established for that Region who, in his own judgement
and opinion, is best able to command the support of a majority of the
members of that Council. Provided that where more than one half of the
members elected to the Regional Council are member of one political
party, the Governor shall appoint the leader of that political party
in the Council as the Chief Minister. (A Transitional Provision will
provide for the appointment of the First Chief Minister by the President).
(4) The Governor shall, on the advice of the Chief Minister appoint,
from among the members of the Regional Council constituted for that
Region, the other Ministers.
(5) The Board of Ministers shall be collectively responsible, and answerable,
to the Regional Council.
(6) A person appointed to the office of the Chief Minister or member
of the Board of Ministers shall not enter upon the duties of his office
until he takes and subscribes the oath or makes and subscribes the affirmation
set out in the Fifth Schedule.
(7) (a) Upon the death or resignation of the Chief Minister or where
the Chief Minister is deemed to have resigned, the Board of Ministers
shall stand dissolved, and the Governor shall appoint a Chief Minister,
and a Board of Ministers in accordance with this Article.
(b) If the Regional Council rejects the statement of policy of the
Region or the Appropriation Bill or passes a vote of no-confidence in
the Regional administration, the Chief Minister shall be deemed to have
15 (1) Parliament has exclusive power to make laws with respect to
any of the matters enumerated in list I of the Second Schedule (referred
to as the Reserved List) and with respect to the matters in list II
in the Second Schedule (referred to as the Regional List) in relation
to the Capital Territory referred to in Article 8 (2).
(2) The Regional Council of a Region has exclusive power to make statutes
for such Region or any part thereof with respect to any of the matters
enumerated in list II of the Second Schedule (referred to as the Regional
(3) When there is a law with respect to any matter in the Regional
List in force on the date on which this Chapter comes into force, and
a Regional Council established for a Region subsequently makes a statute
on the same matter and which is described in its long title as being
inconsistent with that law, then, the provisions of that law shall,
with effect from the date on which that Regional Council statute receives
assent, remain suspended and be inoperative within that Region, to the
extent of such inconsistency.
When a Draft Statute becomes Law
16. (1) Every Draft Statute passed by a Regional Council shall come
into force upon the certificate of the Speaker being endorsed thereon.
(2) The Speaker shall endorse on every Draft Statute passed by the
Regional Council a certificate in the following form: "This Draft Statutes
(state the short title of the Draft Statute) has been duly passed by
the Regional Council".
17. (1) There shall be a High Court for every Region with effect from
the date on which this Chapter comes into force. Each such High Court
shall be designated as the High Court of the relevant Region.
(2) Every such Regional High Court shall exercise, according to law:
(a) the original criminal jurisdiction of the High Court of Sri Lanka
on the day preceding the commencement of the Constitution, in respect
of offences committed within the Region;
(b) appellate and revisionary jurisdiction in respect of convictions,
sentences and orders imposed by Magistrate's Courts and Primary Courts
within the Region; and
(c) such other jurisdiction and powers as Parliament may, by law, provide.
(3) Every such High Court shall have jurisdiction to issue according
to law -
(a) orders in the nature of habeas corpus, in respect of persons illegally
detained within the Region; and
(b) orders in the nature of writs of certiorari, prohibition, procedendo,
mandamus and quo warranto against any person exercising, within the
Region, any power under -
(i) any law, or
(ii) any statute made by the Regional Council established for that
Region in respect of any matter set out in the Regional List.
(4) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and any law, any
person aggrieved by a final order, judgement or sentence of any such
Court, in the exercise of its jurisdiction under paragraphs 17. (2)
and 17. (3), may appeal there from to the Court of Appeal.
18. (1) There shall be a Regional Judicial Service Commission for every
Region which shall consists of three retired judges or sitting judges
of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal or the High Court, appointed
by the Constitutional Council in consultation with the Chief Minister
of the relevant region: Provided that where a sitting judge is appointed,
he shall relinquish his judicial office.
(2) The appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of
judicial officers within the Region is vested in the Regional Judicial
Service Commission of that Region: Provided that the National Judicial
Service Commission shall provide for and determine all matters relating
to judicial officers and the principles and procedure to be followed
by Regional Judicial Service Commissions for the exercise of the powers
of appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of judicial
officers including formulation of schemes of recruitment and principles
to be followed in making promotions and transfers.
(3) The Chairman of the Regional Judicial Service Commission or any
Judge of the Regional High Court authorized by the Chairman of the Commission
shall have full power and authority to inspect any court of first instances
in the Region or the records, registers or other documents maintained
in such court and hold such inquiry as may be necessary.
The Regional Attorney-General
19. (1) The Governor of each region shall appoint a person who is qualified
to be appointed as a judge of a Regional High Court, to be the Regional
(2) It shall be the duty of the Regional Attorney-General to give advice
to the Governor, the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers upon
such legal maters and perform such other duties of a legal character,
as may from time to time be referred or assigned to him by the Governor,
and to discharge the functions conferred on him by or under this Chapter
or such other law as may be enacted by Parliament.
(3) The Regional Attorney-General shall hold office during the pleasure
of the Governor and shall receive such remuneration as the Governor
(4) (a) It shall be the duty of Regional Attorney-General to examine
every Draft Statute proposed to be passed by the Regional Council for
any contravention of the Constitution, and the Regional Attorney-General
or any officer assisting the Regional Attorney-General in the performance
of his duties under this Article shall be afforded all facilities necessary
for the performance of such duties.
b) If the Regional Attorney-General is of the opinion that a Draft
Statute contravenes the Constitution, he shall communicate such opinion
to the Governor, the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers: Provided
that, in the case of an amendment proposed to a Draft Statute in the
Regional Council, the Regional Attorney-General shall communicate his
opinion to the Speaker at the state when the Draft Statute is ready
to be put to the Regional Council for its acceptance.
c) Where a Draft Statute is passed, despite the opinion of the Regional
Attorney-General that it contravenes the Constitution, it shall be the
duty of Regional Attorney-General to invoke the jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of such statute or
any part thereof.
20. (1) There shall be a Finance Commission consisting of three members
representing the three major communities each of whom shall be a person
who has distinguish himself or held high office, in the field of finance,
law, administration, business or learning who shall be appointed by
the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council.
(2) Every member of the Commission, unless he earlier dies, resigns
or is removed from office, shall hold office for a period of three years.
(3) The Government shall, on the recommendation of and in consultation
with the Commission, allocate from the annual budget such funds as are
adequate for the purpose of meeting the needs of the Regions.
(4) It shall be the duty of the Commission to make recommendations
to the President s to a) the principles on which such funds as are granted
annually by the government for the use of Regions, should be apportioned
between the various Regions; b) the principle on which the sharing and/or
assignment of revenue between the Centre and the Regions should take
place with a view to ensuring the assured measure of finance necessary
for effectively devolution: and c) any other matter referred to the
Commission by the President relating to Regional finance.
(5) The Commission shall formulate such principle with the objective
of achieving balanced regional development in the country, and shall
accordingly take into account a) the population of each Region; b) the
per capita income of each Region; c) the need, progressively, to reduce
social and economic disparities; and d) the need, progressively, to
reduce the difference between the per capita income of each Region and
the highest per capita income among the Region.
(6) The Commission shall determine its own procedure and shall have
such powers in the performance of its duties as Parliament may, by law,
confer on it.
(7) The President shall cause every recommendation made by the Finance
Commission under this Article to be laid before Parliament, and shall
notify Parliament as to the action taken thereon.
(8) No court or tribunal shall inquire into, or pronounce on, or in
any manner entertain, determine or rule upon, any question relating
to the adequacy of such funds, or any recommendation made, or principle
formulated by the Commission.
Regional Public Service Commission
21. (1) There shall be a Regional Public Service Commission which shall
consist of not less than five persons appointed by the Constitutional
Council in consultation with the Governor. The Constitutional Council
shall nominate one of the members of the Commission to be the Chairman.
(2) No person shall be so appointed or continue as a member of the
Regional Public Service Commission if he is a member of Parliament,
a Member of Regional Council, a public officer, a judicial officer or
an officer of a Regional Public Service.
(3) Every member of Regional Public Service Commission shall hold office
for a period of five years from the date of his appointment unless he
earlier resigns his office by writing under his hand addressed to the
Governor of the Region or is removed from office by the Constitutional
Council, in consultation with the Governor for cause assigned, but shal
be eligible for reappointment.
(4) A member of a Regional Public Service Commission shall be paid
such salary as may be determined by the Regional Council for that Region.
The salary payable to any such member shall be charged on the regional
consolidated fund and shall not be diminished during his term of office.
(5) A Regional Public Service Commission shall have the power to act
notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and no act or proceedings
of such Commission shall be deemed to be invalid by reason only if any
such vacancy or any defect in the appointment of a member.
Regional Public Service
22. (1) The appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control
of officers of the Regional Public Service in each Region is hereby
vested in the Regional Public Service Commission.
(2) The Regional Public Service Commission shall provide for and determine
all matters relating to officers of the Regional Public Service, including
the formulation of schemes of recruitment and codes of conduct for such
officers, the principles to be followed in making promotions and transfers
and the procedure for the exercise and the delegation of the powers
of appointment, transfer, dismissal and disciplinary control of such
(3) Every person who otherwise than in the course of duty directly
or indirectly, by himself or by any other person, in any manner whatsoever,
influences or attempts to influence any decisions of a Regional Public
Service Commission or any member thereof shall be guilty of an offence
and shall on conviction by a High Court after trial without a jury be
liable to a fine not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment:
Provided that nothing in this Article shall prohibit any person from
giving a testimonial or certificate to any applicant for any office
in the Regional Public Service Commission.
Property, Contracts, Rights, Liabilities, Obligation and Suits
23. (1) (a) All lands, mineral and other things of value underlying
the ocean within the territorial waters, or the continental shelf or
the exclusive economic zone of Sri Lanka, shall continue to vest in
the Centre and be held for the purposes of the Republic.
(b) All other resources of the exclusive economic zone of Sri Lanka
shall also continue to vest in the Centre and be held for the purposes
of the Republic.
(c) The limits of territorial waters, the continental shelf, the exclusive
economic zone and other maritime zones of Sri Lanka shall be such as
specified, from time to time, by any laws made by Parliament.
(2) (a) All contracts made in the exercise of the executive powers
of a Region shall be expressly made by the Governor of the Region, and
all such contracts and all assurances of property made in the exercise
of that power shall be executed on behalf of the Governor by such persons
in such manner as he may direct or authorize.
(b) The Governor shall not be personally liable in respect of any contract
or assurance made of executed for the purposes of this Article. Nor
shall any person making any such contract or assurance on behalf of
the Governor be personally liable in respect thereof.
24. (1) State land within a region shall vest in the Region and shall,
subject to this Article, be at the disposal of the Regional Council
for the purposes set out in the Regional List.
(2) The Regional administration shall be entitled to exercise rights
in or over such land, including land tenure, transfer or alienation
of land use, land settlement and land improvement in accordance with
applicable laws: Provided that priority in future land settlement schemes
shall be accorded first to persons of the district and then to persons
of the Region.
(3) If the Centre is satisfied that State Land in a Region is needed
for the purpose of a reserved subject, the Centre may, after consultation
with the relevant Regional administration, require the Regional administration
to make available to the Centre, or to such public authority as the
Centre may specify, such land as may be required for such purpose, and
the Regional administration shall comply with such requirement.
(4) Inter-regional irrigation projects are schemes where the command
area falls within two or more Regions. These shall be the responsibility
of the Centre.
Law and Order
25 (1) Law and order shall be a subject devolved on the regions and
shall include public order and the exercise of police powers.
(2) National defence and national security shall be reserved subjects.
(3) (a) There shall be a Regional Police Service headed by the Regional
Police Commissioner who shall be appointed by the Chief Minister of
the Region in consultation with the Governor of the Region.
(b) There shall be a Regional Police Commission consisting of the Regional
Police Commissioner, and two others appointed by the Constitutional
(c) The Regional Police Commission shall be responsible for the recruitment,
transfer, promotion and disciplinary control of officers in the Regional
Police Service. The Regional Police Commission in exercising its powers
under this Article may, if it deems it appropriate, adopt any criteria
specified by the National Police Commission in respect of these matters.
(4) The following offences shall not be investigated by the Regional
Offences against the Republic,
Offences relating to the army, navy and air force,
Offences relating to elections except local authority elections,
Any offence committed against the President,
Any offence committed against the Prime Minister, the Speaker, a Minister,
a Deputy Minister or a Member of Parliament,
Any offence committed against a Member of the National Judicial Service
Commission, a Member of the National Public Service Commission, the
Secretary General of Parliament, a member of the President' Staff or
a Member of the Staff of Parliament,
Any offence prejudicial to national security or the maintenance of essential
Offences relating to coins, currency and Government stamps,
Any offences relating to property belonging to the Republic or a State
Corporation, Company or Establishment, the whole or part of the capital
whereof has been provided by the Republic,
Any offence under any law relating to any matter in the Reserved List,
Any offence in respect of which courts in more than one Region have
jurisdiction, and International crimes.
(5) The Regional Police Service shall consists of the Regional Police
Commissioner, Regional Deputy Police Commissioners, Regional Senior
Superintendent of Police, Superintendents of Police, Assistant Superintendents
of Police, Chief Inspectors, Inspectors of Police, Sergeants and Constables
and other ranks recruited to the Region and/or seconded to the Region.
(6) All police officers serving in the Region shall function under
the Regional Police Commissioner of that Region.
(7) The Regional Police Commissioner shall be responsible to, and be
under the control of, the Chief Minister in respect of the maintenance
of public order in the Region.
(8) The Regional Police Service shall be responsible for the prevention,
detection and investigation of all offences (except the offences specified
in paragraph (4) and the institution of prosecutions in the relevant
courts in respect of such offences. In the discharge of these functions,
the Regional Police Service shall be under the direction, control and
the superintendence of the Regional Police Commission.
(9) There shall be a National Police Service headed by the National
Police Commissioner, and including the National DPCs, SSPs, ASPs, and
other ranks recruited at the national level.
(10) There shall be a National Police Commission consisting of the
National Police Commissioner and two others appointed by the Constitutional
(11)The National Police Commission shall be responsible for recruitment,
transfer, promotion and disciplinary control over officers in the National
Police Service and the transfer of officers of the Regional Police Service
from one Region to another.
State of Emergency within a Region
26. (1) Where the President is of the opinion that the security or
public order in a Regions threatened by armed insurrection, or grave
internal disturbances, or by any action or omission of the Regional
administration which presents a clear and present danger to the unity
and sovereignty of the Republic, he may make a proclamation bringing
the provisions of the law relating to Public Security into force in
(2) Upon such proclamation, the President may by order deploy in aid
of the civil power, the armed forces or any unit of the national police
service for the purpose of restoring public order:
Provided that every such proclamation shall be revoked, as soon as the
President is satisfied that public order has been restored.
(3) Where the Chief Minister seeks the assistance of the National Police
Service to preserve public order within a region, the National Police
Commissioner shall deploy such personnel as are necessary for the purpose.
(4) (a) If the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen in
which the Regional administration is promoting armed rebellion or insurrection
or engaging in an intentional violation of the Constitution which constitutes
a clear and present danger to the unity and sovereignty of the Republic,
the President may by Proclamation assume to himself all or any of the
functions of the administration of the region and all or any of the
powers vested in, or exercisable by, the Governor, the Chief Minister,
the Board of Ministers or any body or authority in the region. The President
shall also have the power to dissolve the Regional Council in these
(b) Any such Proclamation may be revoked or varied by a subsequent
(c) Every Proclamation under this Article shall be laid before Parliament
and shall, except where it is a Proclamation revoking a previous Proclamation,
cease to operate at the expiration of 14 days unless, before the expiration
of that period, it has been approved by a resolution of Parliament:
Provided that if any such Proclamation (not being a Proclamation revoking
a previous Proclamation) is issued at a time when Parliament is dissolved
or the dissolution of Parliament takes place during a period of fourteen
days referred to in this subparagraph but no resolution with respect
to such Proclamation has been passed by Parliament before the expiration
of that period, the Proclamation shall cease to operate at the expiration
of fourteen days from the date on which Parliament first sits after
its reconstitution, unless before the expiration of such period of fourteen
days a resolution approving the Proclamation has been passed by Parliament.
(d) Notwithstanding anything in this Article, the President may within
fourteen days of his making a Proclamation under sub-paragraph (a) and
for the purposes of satisfying himself with regard to any other matter
referred to in that paragraph, direct a tribunal constituted in the
manner provided for in subparagraph (e) of this paragraph, to inquire
into and report upon such matters within a period of sixty days. Upon
receipt of the report of such tribunal, the President may revoke the
Proclamation made under sub-paragraph (a).
(e) The tribunal referred to in sub-paragraph (d) of this paragraph
shall be constituted by the Centre and the relevant Regional Council
acting in consultation with the Chief Minister's Conference. The tribunal
shall consists of a member appointed by the Centre, a member appointed
by the Chief Minister's Conference on the recommendation of the relevant
Regional Council and a Chairman nominated by the members so appointed.
Where there is no agreement on the nomination of a Chairman, the Chairman
shall be nominated by the Constitutional Council.
(f) A Proclamation under this Article shall be conclusive for all purposes
and shall not be questioned in any Court, and no Court shall inquire
into, or pronounce on, or in any manner call in question, such Proclamation
or the grounds for making thereof.
27. (1) No tax shall be levied or collected except by or under law.
(2) (a) Subject to the provisions of this chapter with respect to the
assignment of the whole or part of the net proceeds of certain taxes
and duties to the Region, all funds of the Republic shall form one consolidated
fund to be called the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka into which shall
be paid the produce of all taxes, imposts, rates and duties and all
other revenues of the Republic. All revenues received by a Regional
Council and all loans raised by that Regional Council by the issue of
Treasury bills, loans and ways and means advances, and all money received
by that Council in repayment of loans shall form one consolidated fund
to be called the "Consolidated Fund of the Region."
(b) All other public money received by or on behalf of the Government
of Sri Lanka or a Regional Council shall be credited to the public account
of Sri Lanka or the public account of the Region as the case may be.
(c) No money out of the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka or the Consolidated
Fund of the Region shall be appropriated except in accordance with law
statute and for the purposes and in the manner provided in this Constitution.
(3) (a) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this chapter, Parliament
may by law create a contingency fund for the purpose of providing for
urgent and unforeseen expenditure.
(b) The Minister in charge of the subject of Finance, if satisfied,
(i) that there is need for any such expenditure, and (ii) that no provision
for such expenditure exists, may with the consent of the President authorize
provision to be made therefore by an advance from the contingency fund.
(c) After each such advance, a supplementary estimate shall, within
a period of three months, be presented to Parliament for the purpose
of replacing the amounts so advanced.
(d) The Regional Council may by statute establish a contingency fund
in the nature of an imprest to be entitled the Contingency Fund of the
Region into which shall be paid from time to time such sums as may be
determined by such statute and the said fund shall be placed at the
disposal of the Regional Minister in charge of the subject of Finance
to enable advances to be made by him out of such fund with the consent
of the Chief Minister for the purpose of meeting unforeseen expenditure
pending authorization of such expenditure by the Regional Council.
(4) (a) Such excise duties as may be prescribed by the Finance Commission
shall be levied by the Government of Sri Lanka but shall be collected
(i) in the case where such duties are leviable within the Capital Territory,
within which such duties are respectively leviable.
(b) The proceeds of any financial year of any such duty leviable within
any region shall not form part of the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka
and shall be assigned to that region.
(5) (a) Taxes on wholesale and retail sales (other than sales by manufacturers)
shall be levied and collected by the Government of Sri Lanka but shall
be assigned to the Regions in the manner provided in sub-paragraph (b).
(b) The net proceeds in any financial year of any such tax except in
so far as those proceeds represent proceeds attributed to the Capital
Territory shall not form part of the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka
in that year in accordance with such principles of apportionment as
may be formulated by the Finance Commission.
(c) The Finance Commission shall also formulate principles for determining
when a sale or purchase or consignment of goods takes place in the course
of inter-regional trade or commerce.
(6) (a) Such other taxes on sales or income shall be levied and collected
by the Government of Sri Lanka and be distributed between the Republic
and the Region in the manner provided in subparagraph (b).
(b) Such percentage as may be prescribed by the Finance Commission
of the net proceeds in any financial year of any such tax not attributable
to the Capital Territory shall not form part of the consolidated fund
off Sri Lanka but shall be assigned to the Region within which tax is
leviable in that year and shall be distributed amongst those Regions
in such manner, and from such time, as may be prescribed by the Finance
(7) Such sums as Parliament may by law provide shall be charged to
the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka in each year as grants in aid of
the revenue of such Region as Parliament may determine to be in need
of assistance, and different sums may be fixed for different Regions.
28. (1) The property of the Government of Sri Lanka shall, save as
so far as Parliament may by law provide, by exempt from all taxes imposed
by a Region.
(2) The property and income of a Region shall be exempt from taxation
by the Centre.
(3) The executive power of the Region extends to domestic and international
borrowing upon the security of the Consolidated Fund of the Region.
International borrowing shall be subject to such criteria and limitations
specified by, and would require the concurrence of, the Centre.
(4) The limits as regards domestic borrowing and the limitations and
criteria as regards international borrowing by each Regional administration
for each financial year will be laid down by the Minister in charge
of the subject of Finance of the Republic of Sri Lanka before the thirteenth
day of September of the preceding financial year. In laying down these
limits and criteria, the Minister incharge of the subject of Finance
shall take into consideration the requirements of prudent fiscal policy
and the demands of monetary stability as well as the repayment capacity
of each Regional administration.
(5) Any agreements negotiated and entered into by Regional administrations
regarding international grants and foreign development assistance shall
be in accordance with the national policies on international aid as
laid down, from time to time, by the Cabinet of Ministers and approved
by the Parliament of the Republic.
Chief Minister's Conference
29. (1) There shall be established a Chief Ministers' Conference which
will consists of the Chief Ministers of all the regions.
(2) The Chairman of the Chief Ministers' Conference shall be elected
by the Chief Ministers in rotation, so however, that each Chief Minister
shall hold office as Chairman for a period of 3 months. The Chairman
so elected will represent the Chief Ministers' Conference on the Constitutional
(3) The Conference shall have the power: (a) to take all such actions
and measures as are necessary to ensure full compliance with the provisions
of this Chapter in accordance with the spirit and intention of the Constitution;
(b) to inquire into and to settle any dispute which may have arisen
between regions; (c) to investigate and discuss subjects in which some
or all of the Regions have a common interest, and to make recommendations
for the better co-ordination of policy and action in respect of that
(4) The Conference shall endeavour to settle any dispute referred to
it, in terms of sub-paragraph 3 (b) of this Article, by mediation and
(5) Where such efforts at mediation and conciliation fail, such dispute
shall be referred for adjudication to a tribunal established, in accordance
with this Article, by the relevant Regional Councils.
(6) The tribunal shall consist of member each appointed by the disputant
Regional Councils and a Chairman nominated by the members so appointed.
Where there is no agreement on the nomination of a Chairman, the Chairman
shall be nominated by the Constitutional Council.
(7) The practice and procedures of the tribunal shall be regulated
by rules framed by the Conference. Any award or determination made by
such tribunal shall be binding on the parties to the dispute.
(8) The Conference shall regulated its own procedures and shall meet
once every month, unless otherwise determined by the Conference.
Lists Second Schedule
List I (Reserved List)
1. Defence, national security, national police, and the security forces
2. Immigration, Emigration and Citizenship
3. Foreign affairs
4. National Census and Statistics
5. National Planning
6. Currency and Foreign Exchange, international economic relations,
7. Public Debt of the Government of Sri Lanka
8. Foreign loans of the Government of Sri Lanka
9. Regulation of banking and other financial institutions
11. Stock Exchange and futures markets
12. Audit of the Government of Sri Lanka
13. Taxes on income, capital and wealth of individuals, companies and
14. Custom duties, including import and export duties, and excise duties
(excluding such excise duties as may be devolved on the regions)
15. Turnover taxes and stamp duties, goods and services taxes
16. Any other taxes, duties or levies not mentioned in the Regional
17. Pensions payable by the Government of Sri Lanka or out of the consolidated
18. Atomic Energy
19. Maintenance and management of the National Grid
20. Minerals and mines (regulation and development of oil fields and
mineral resources, petroleum and petroleum products)
21. National rivers
22. Airports, harbours, ports with international transportation
23. Inter-regional transport and railways
24. Civil Aviation
25. Inter-regional highways linking district capitals
26. Shipping and navigation; Maritime Zones including historical waters
and territorial waters, Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf
27. Elections (excluding elections to Local Authorities elections to
be administered by Local Authority Election Commissions in each region)
28. Posts and telecommunications
29. National Public Service, National Public Service Commission
30. National Health Administration (inclusive of existing special purpose
hospitals and teaching hospitals affiliated to national Universities;
Training, coordination of education and research relating to Health;
Development of National Health Standards; Administration of all special
31. Drugs, poisons and narcotics
32. Administration of Justice
33. National universities
34. National standards with regard to professions, occupations and training
35. National standards relating to research, development and training
in the area of agriculture
36. Inter-regional irrigation schemes
37. Fishing beyond the territorial waters and rights relating to traditional
38. Management of central policy and research institutions in the field
of education e.g. National Institute of Education, Management and supervision
of national schools, conduct of national public certification examinations,
educational training, imposition of minimum standards for such examinations,
curriculum and teacher qualifications
39. Adoption of children
40. National Scientific and Industrial Research and Training
41. Regulation of activities for the enhancement of quality standards
42. Foreign trade, inter-regional trade and commerce
43. Patents, inventions, designs, copyright, trademark and merchandise
44. Monopolies and mergers
45. Inter-regional food distribution
46. National media including Central Government Broadcasting and Television
47. National Archives and Museums, ancient and historical monuments,
archaeological sites and records declared by law to be of national importance
48. National Environment and National Policy on Tourism
49. Specialized National Housing Programmes
50. Coordination of Specialized National Poverty Alleviation Programmes
51. Youth and Women's Affairs
53. Development of National sports administration and infrastructure
54. Intervention in instances of National (natural and environmental)
disasters and epidemics
55. Labour regulation and standards
56. Surveys for the purpose of any matters enumerated in the Reserved
57. Offences against Laws with respect to any of the matters in the
58. Fees in respect of any of the matters in the List, but not including
fees taken in any Court
59. Public utility infrastructure development
60. National Libraries and the National Library Services Board
61. Educational publications
62. Industrial Development
63. National Lotteries
List II The Regional List
1. Health and indigenous medicine
2. Higher Education, Education and Educational Services, excluding national
schools and national universities and the setting of minimum standards
for examination, curriculum and teacher qualifications and teacher training
3. Agriculture and agrarian services
5. Animal husbandry
6. Fisheries and Aquatic Resources excluding rights relating to traditional
7. Forestry and Protection of the Environment within a Region
8. Industries and Regional Industrial Development
11. Minor Ports and Harbours
12. Roads and Waterways
13. Housing and construction
14. Urban Planning and Public Utilities
15. Rural Development
16. Local Government
18. Supply and distribution of food
19. Promotion of tourism
20. Regional libraries and museums, archaeological sites, ancient and
historical monuments and records (excluding sites declared by law to
be of national importance) and the regulation of cultural activity,
including public performances
21. Broadcasting and media, including television
22. Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction
23. Social Security
24. State land and its alienation or disposal (State land within a region
required for the purposes of the Centre in respect of a reserved subject
may be utilized by the Centre in consultation with the relevant Regional
Council and in accordance with such procedures as may be established
25. Regional Police and law and order
26. Administration of Borstal and reformatory institutions
27. Regional Public Service
29. Regulation of unincorporated associations and societies within the
30. Public debt of a Region
31. Domestic and international borrowing (internal borrowing shall be
subject to such criteria and limitations specified by, and would require
the concurrence of, the Centre)
32. The regulation and promotion of foreign direct investment, international
grants and development assistance to the region
33. Regional financial and credit institutions
34. Excise duties to be specified
35. Betting taxes, and taxes on prize competitions and such other lotteries
to be specified
36. Motor vehicle licence fees
37. Stamp duties on transfer of immovable properties and motor vehicles
38. Fines imposed by courts
39. Court fees, including stamp fees on documents produced in courts
40. Land revenue, including the assessment and collection of revenues,
and maintenance of land records for revenue purposes
41. Taxes on mineral rights
42. Offences against laws with respect to any of the matters specified
in the List
43. Fines in respect of the matters in the Regional List
44. Planning and Plan implementation at the regional level
45. Law and order to the extent provided in Chapter III
46. Administration of Justice within a region.