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Select Committee's Report on Constitutional Reforms
Presented to Parliament on 24.10.1997

Chapter I

The State, Sovereignty and the People


The State

1. (1) Sri Lanka is one, Sovereign and Independent Republic, being an indissoluble union of Regions, and shall be known as the Republic of Sri Lanka.

(2) It shall be the duty of the People and of the State to safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of the Republic.

Territory and Rights of the Republic

2. (1) The territory of the Republic shall consist of the Capital Territory and the Regions as set out in the First Schedule, its territorial waters and the airspace above its territory and the Republic shall have all rights recognised by law, international law, custom and usage, pertaining to such territory.

(2) Any Regional Council or Regional Administration shall not, by direct or indirect means, promote or otherwise advocate or attempt to promote or otherwise advocate an initiative towards -

(a) the separation or secession of any Region, part thereof, or Regions from the union of Regions constituting the Republic;

(b) the alteration of the area of such Region or Regions;

(c) the alteration of the boundaries of such Region or Regions;

(d) the alteration of the name or names of such Region or Regions;

(e) the 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.

(3) Anything in paragraph (2) of this Article shall not be read and construed as prohibiting a Regional Council or Regional Administration from making representations to the Central Government regarding the matters referred to in sub-paragraph (c) of that paragraph.

Sovereignty and its exercise

3. (1) In the Republic, Sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable.

(2) Sovereignty includes the powers of Government, fundamental rights and the franchise which shall be exercised in the following manner:

(a) the legislative power of the People shall be exercised by Parliament, Regional Councils and the People at a Referendum to the extent hereinafter provided;

(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 provided;

(c) the judicial power of the People shall be exercised through courts, tribunals and institutions created and established, or recognised by the Constitution, or created, ordained 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 also be exercised directly by Parliament to the extent provided by law;

(d) the fundamental rights which are by the Constitution declared and recognised shall be exercised and enjoyed by the People individually and collectively, and shall be respected, secured and advanced by all organs of the State 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 has attained the age of eighteen years, and who, being qualified to be an elector as hereinafter provided, has the citizen's name entered in the register or electors.

National Flag

4. The National Flag of the Republic shall be the Lion Flag depicted in the Third Schedule

National Anthem

5. The National Anthem of the Republic shall be `Sri Lanka Matha', the words and music of which are set out in the Fourth Schedule.

National Day

6. The National Day of the Republic shall be the fourth day of February


Chapter II

BUDDHISM

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 giving adequate protection to all religions and guaranteeing to every person the rights and freedoms granted by paragraphs (1) and (3) of Article 15.

(2) The State shall, where necessary, consult the Supreme Council, recognised by the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of the subject of Buddha Sasana, in measures taken for the protection and fostering of the Buddha Sasana.


Chapter III

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS INHERENT
RIGHT TO LIFE

8. (1) Every person has an inherent right to life and a person shall not be arbitrarily deprived of life.

(2) Any restriction shall not be placed on the rights declared and recognised by this Article.

Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

9. (1) A person shall not be subjected to torture or to cruel inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(2) Any restriction shall not be placed on the rights declared and recognised by this Article.

Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment and prohibition of retroactive penal legislation, &c.

10. (1) A person shall not be imprisoned or otherwise physically restrained except in accordance with procedure prescribed by law.

(2) Save as otherwise provided by law, a person shall not be arrested except under a warrant issued by a judicial officer causing such person to be apprehended and brought before a competent court in accordance with procedure prescribed by law.

(3) (a) Any person arrested shall at the time of arrest be informed, in a language which the person appears to understand, of the reason for the arrest and of the person's rights under paragraphs (4) and (5) of this Article.

(b) Any person arrested, if the person so requests, shall be informed in writing of the reasons for the arrest within a reasonable time.

(4) Any person arrested shall have the right to communicate with any relative or friend of the person's choice, and, if the person so requests, such person shall be afforded means of communicating with such relative or friend.

(5) Any person arrested shall have the right to consult and retain an Attorney-at-law of the person's choice and such Attorney-at-law shall be afforded all reasonable facilities by the State.

(6) Any person arrested shall not be detained in custody or confined for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable, and shall, in any case be brought before the judge of a competent court within twenty-four hours of the arrest, exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to such judge, and a person shall not be detained in custody beyond such period except upon and in terms of the order of such judge made in accordance with procedure established by law.

(7) (a) Any person detained in custody or confined who is entitled, under the provisions of any law, to be released on bail or on the person executing a bond, shall be so released.

(b) The amount of bail and the amount of every such bond shall be fixed with due regard to the circumstances of the case and shall not be excessive.

(8) Any person suspected of committing an offence shall be charged or indicted or released, without unreasonable delay.

(9) Any person charged with or indicted for an offence shall be entitled to be heard in person or by an Attorney-at-law of the person's own choosing and shall be so informed by the judge.

(10) (a) Any person charged with or indicted for an offence shall be entitled to be tried -

(i) without undue delay;

(ii) at a fair trial;

(iii) by a competent court, and (iv) subject to sub-paragraph (b) of this paragraph, at a public hearing.

(b) A judge may, in the judge's discretion, whenever the judge considers it necessary, in proceedings relating to sexual matters, or where the interests of juveniles so require, or in the interests of national security or public order necessary in a democratic society or in the interests of order and security within the precincts of such court, exclude therefrom such persons as are not directly interested in the proceedings.

(11) (a) Every person shall be presumed innocent until the person is proved guilty.

(b) Anything contained in any law shall not be held to be inconsistent with sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph to the extent that such law imposes upon an accused the burden of proving particular facts.

(12) A person shall not be compelled to testify against the person or to confess guilt.

(13) (a) A person shall not be held guilty of an offence on account of any act or omission which did not, at the time of such act or omission, constitute an offence, except for any act or omission which, at the time it was committed, was criminal according to the principles of public international law.

(b) Any penalty more severe than the penalty in force at the time when an offence was committed shall not be imposed for such offence.

(14) Any person who has been convicted or acquitted of an offence in accordance with law by a competent court shall not be liable to be tried for the same offence save on the order of a court exercising appellate or revisionary jurisdiction.

(15) (a) A person shall not be punished with death or imprisonment except by order of a competent court made in accordance with procedure established by law.

(b) The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty of a person -

(i) pending investigation or trial shall, if not unreasonable having regard to the circumstances, not constitute punishment;

(ii) by reason of a removal order or a deportation order made under the provisions of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act or other such law as may be enacted in substitution therefor, shall not be a contravention of this paragraph.

(16) All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated humanely and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.

(17) (a) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the rights declared and recognized by paragraph (9), items (ii) and (iii) of sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph (10), paragraph (13) and paragraphs (15) and (16) of this Article.

(b) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the rights declared and recognized by paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), items (i) and (iv) of sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph (10) and paragraphs (11), (12) and (14) of this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

Right to equality.

11. (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.

(2) (a) Subject to sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of this paragraph, a citizen shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, language, caste, gender, sex, political or other opinion, national or social origin, place of birth, mode of acquisition of citizenship, marital status, maternity, parental status or any one of such grounds.

(b) It shall be lawful to require a person to acquire within a reasonable time sufficient knowledge of any national language as a qualification for employment or office in the service of the State or in the service of any public corporation, where such knowledge is reasonably necessary for the discharge of such employment or office.

(c) It shall be lawful to require a person to have a sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any such employment or office where no function of that employment or office can be discharged otherwise than with a knowledge of that language.

(3) A person shall not, on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, language, caste, gender, sex, political or other opinion, national or social origin, place of birth or any one of such grounds, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment and places of public worship of such person's own religion.

(4) Anything in this Article shall not prevent special measures being taken by law, subordinate legislation or executive action where necessary for the sole purpose of the protection or advancement of disadvantaged or underprivileged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged or underprivileged because of ethnicity, gender, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

(5) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the rights declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order or the protection of public health or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

Freedom of movement.

12. (1) Every person lawfully resident within the Republic is entitled to the freedom of movement within the Republic and of choosing such person's residence within the Republic.

(2) Every person shall be free to leave the Republic.

(3) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the rights declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public order or national economy or the protection of public health or morality or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others or for the extradition of persons from the Republic.

Freedom to return to Sri Lanka.

13. Every citizen shall be entitled to return to the Republic.

Right to private and family life.

14. (1) Every person has the right to respect for such person's private and family life, home, correspondence and communications and shall not be subjected to unlawful attacks on such person's honour and reputation.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the rights declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order or national economy or the protection of public health or morality or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others for the enforcement of a judgement or order of a competent court.

Freedom of thought conscience and religion.

15 (1) Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of the person's choice.

(2) Any restriction shall not be placed on the rights declared and recognized by paragraph (1) of this Article.

(3) Every person is entitled to the freedom, either alone or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest the person's religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

(4) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the rights declared and recognized by paragraph (3) of this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

Freedom of speech and expression including publication and freedom of information.

16. (1) Every person is entitled to the freedom of speech and expression including publication and this right shall include the freedom to hold and express opinions and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas either orally, in writing, in print, in the form of art, or through any other medium.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the right declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, the protection of public health or morality, racial and religious harmony or in relation to parliamentary privilege, contempt of Court, defamation or incitement of an offence or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

Freedom of peaceful Assembly.

17. (1) Every person is entitled to the freedom of peaceful assembly.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the right declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by any law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, racial or religious harmony, the protection of public health or for the purpose of securing the due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

Freedom of Association.

18. (1) Every person is entitled to the freedom of association.

(2) Every citizen is entitled to the freedom to form and join a trade union.

(3) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the rights declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, racial or religious harmony, national economy or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

Right to enjoy and promote culture and use of language.

19. (1) Every citizen is entitled alone or in association with others to enjoy and promote such citizen's own culture and to use such citizen's own language.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the right declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public order, racial or religious harmony or the protection of public health or morality or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

Freedom to engage in any lawful trade, occupation, profession, business or enterprise.

20. (1) Every citizen is entitled to the freedom to engage alone or in association with others in any lawful occupation, profession, trade, business or enterprise.

(2) Any restrictions shall not be placed on the exercise of the rights declared and recognized by this Article other than such restrictions prescribed by law as are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of the national economy, national security, public order, protection of public health or morality, the environment or for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others or in relation to:

(a) the professional, technical, academic, financial and other qualifications necessary for practising any profession or carrying on any occupation, trade, business or enterprise, and the licensing and disciplinary control of the person entitled to such fundamental right; and

(b) the carrying on by the State, a State agency or a public corporation of any trade, business, industry, service or enterprise, whether to the exclusion, complete or partial, of citizens or otherwise.

Right to ownership of property.

21. (1) Every citizen is entitled to own property alone or in association with others subject to the preservation and protection of the environment and the rights of the community.

(2) Any person shall not deprived of the person's property except as permitted by law.

(3) Any property shall not be compulsorily acquired or requisitioned save for a public purpose or for reasons of public utility or public order and save by authority of law which provides for the payment of fair compensation. Special rights of children

22. (1) Every child has the right -

(a) to a name from birth;

(b) to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation; and

(c) to have an Attorney-at-Law assigned to the child by the State, and at State expense, in criminal proceedings affecting the child, if substantial injustice would otherwise result.

(2) Every child has the right -

(a) to family care or parental care or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment; and

(b) to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services.

(3) The State shall take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources with a view to achieving the progressive realisation of the rights guaranteed by paragraph (2).

(4) In all matters concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts, administrative authorities or legislative bodies the best interest of the child shall be of paramount importance.

(5) Every child shall have the right to grow up in an environment protected from the negative consequences of the consumption of addictive substances harmful to the health of the child and, to the extent possible, from the promotion of such substances.

(6) Every child between the ages of five and fourteen years shall have access to free education provided by the State.

(7) A child shall not be employed in any hazardous activity.

(8) The rights recognized by this Article shall be in addition to any other right to which a child is entitled as a citizen or person under this Chapter.

(9) For the purposes of this Article "child'' means a person under the age of eighteen years.

Freedom from forced labour.

23. (1) A person shall not be required to perform forced labour.

(2) For the purposes of this Article, forced labour does not include -

(a) any labour required as a result of a lawful sentence or order of a competent court;

(b) any services of a military character, or in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of the armed forces, any labour which that person is required by law to perform in place of such service;

(c) any service that may be reasonably required in the event of an emergency or calamity that threatens the life and well-being of the community; and

(d) any labour reasonably required as a part of normal civil obligations.

Right to safe conditions of work

24. (1) Every person has the right to safe conditions of work.

(2) The State shall take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources with a view to achieving the progressive realisation of the rights guaranteed by paragraph (1).

Social Rights

25. (1) Every citizen has the right to have access to -

(a) health-care services including emergency medical treatment;

(b) sufficient food and water; and

(c) appropriate social assistance.

(2) The State shall take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources with a view to achieving the progressive realisation of the rights guaranteed by paragraph (1).

(3) A person shall not be evicted from the person's home or have the home demolished, except as permitted by law.

Operation of certain fundamental rights in their application to armed forces to be subject to restrictions prescribed by law.

6. The exercise and operation of the fundamental rights declared and recognized by Articles 10, 11(1), 12, 14, 15(3), 16, 17 and 18 shall in their application to the armed forces, the police force and other forces charged with the maintenance of public order be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by or under any law in the interests of the proper discharge of their duties and the maintenance of discipline among them.

Derogation in times of public emergency.

27. (1) Where a Proclamation has been duly made pursuant to the provisions of Chapter XXIII, and subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, measures may be prescribed by law derogating from the exercise and operation of the fundamental rights declared and recognized in this Chapter to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation and necessary in a democratic society, provided that such measures do not involve discrimination solely on the grounds of ethnicity, class, religion, gender, sex, language, caste, national or social origin and for the purpose of this Article "law'' includes regulations made under the law for the time being in force relating to public security.

(2) In prescribing measures under paragraph (1) of this Article, there shall be no derogation -

(a) from any of the rights declared and recognized by Articles 8, 9, 10(1), 10(2), 19(9), 10(10) (a) (ii), 10(10) (a) (iii), 10(13), 10(15), 10(16), 13 and 15;

(b) from the right declared and recognized by Article 10(6) unless at the same time legal provision is made requiring -

(i) the Magistrate of the area in which such arrest was made to be notified of the arrest, and

(ii) the person arrested to be produced before any Magistrate, within such time as is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.

Existing written law and unwritten law.

28. (1) All existing written law and unwritten law shall, be valid and operative notwithstanding any inconsistency with the provisions of this Chapter.

(2) (a) Within three months of the commencement of the Constitution, the President shall establish a Commission consisting of not more than five persons appointed under the hand of the President who have distinguished themselves in the fields of law or human rights, of whom one shall be appointed Chairman, to examine all existing written or unwritten law and report to the President as to whether any such law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter.

(b) In appointing the members of such Commission, the President shall have due regard to the necessity of ensuring the representation of the three major communities on the Commission.

(c) The Commission shall submit its report to the President within a period of three years from the date of its establishment and the President shall, as soon as practicable, cause such report to be placed before Parliament.

(3) The subjection of any person on the order of a court to any form of punishment recognized by any existing written law shall not be a contravention of the provisions of this Chapter.

Interpretation of law

29. In this Chapter "law'' includes a Statute of a Regional Council. Remedy for the infringement of fundamental rights by State action.

30. (1) (a) Subject to sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) of this paragraph, every person shall be entitled to apply to the Supreme Court as provided by Article 171 in respect of the infringement or imminent infringement, by State action, including executive or administrative action, of a fundamental right to which such person is entitled under the provisions of this Chapter, or by judicial action by courts exercising original criminal jurisdiction, of a fundamental right to which such person is entitled under Article 10.

(b) Where the person aggrieved is unable or incapable of making an application under Article 171 by reason of physical, social or economic disability or other reasonable cause, an application may be made on behalf of such a person, by any relative or friend of such person, if the person aggrieved raises no objection to such application.

(c) An application under this Article may be made in respect of any person or persons affected, in the public interest, by any person or by any incorporated or unincorporated body of persons acting bona fide.

(2) For the purposes of this Article and of Article 171 "State action'' includes judicial action to the extent provided in this Article but does not include legislative action.

Rights of non-citizens permanently and legally resident

31. A person who, not being a citizen of any country, has been permanently and legally resident in the Republic at the commencement of the Constitution and continues to be so resident, shall be entitled to all the rights declared and recognized by this Chapter, to which a citizen of Sri Lanka is entitled.


Chapter IV

LANGUAGES

Official languages

(32) The official languages of the Republic shall be Sinhala and Tamil.

National languages

(33) The national languages of the Republic shall be Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Use of languages in Parliament &c.

(34) A Member of Parliament or a Member of a Regional Council or a member of a local authority shall be entitled to perform the duties and discharge the functions of such Member in Parliament or in such Regional Council or local authority in any of the national languages.

Languages of administration

(35) (1) Sinhala and Tamil shall be the languages of administration throughout the Republic.

(2) Sinhala shall be the language used for the maintenance of public records by national and regional public institutions and local authorities in the Capital Territory and all the Regions other than the Regions specified in Parts C and D of the First Schedule for which Regional Councils are established, wherein Tamil shall be used.

(3) Sinhala and Tamil shall be used as the languages for the maintenance of public records by national and regional public institutions or local authorities in any area comprising a division of a Divisional Secretary where the Sinhala or Tamil linguistic minority, as the case may be, in such area exceeds one eighth of the total population of that area.

(4) In any area where Sinhala is used as a language for the maintenance of public records, a person shall be entitled (a) to receive communication from and to communicate and transact business with, any official in his or her official capacity, in either Tamil or English and to receive a response to such communication from such official in the language in which the person communicated;

(b) if the law recognises the person's right to inspect or to obtain copies of or extracts from any official register, record, publication or other document, to obtain a copy of, or an extract from such register, record, publication or other document, or a translation thereof, as the case may be, in either Tamil or English;

(c) where a document is executed by an official for the purpose of being issued to the person, to obtain such document or a translation thereof, in either Tamil or English;

(d) to give information as regards any birth, death or marriage or with regard to the commission of an offence to a Police or peace officer in either Tamil or English.

Rights in Tamil - speaking areas

(36) In any area where Tamil is used as a language for the maintenance of public records, a person shall be entitled to exercise the rights and to obtain the services referred to in sub-paragraphs (a), (b) (c) and (d) of paragraph (4) of Article 35 in Sinhala or English.

Rights of Regional Administrations &c.

(37) (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, a Regional Administration or local authority which maintains its public records in Sinhala shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business with any official, in his or her official capacity, in Sinhala, and a Regional Administration or a local authority which maintains its public records in Tamil shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business with, any official in his or her official capacity, in Tamil.

(2) A Regional Administration, local authority or public institution or any official functioning in an area in which one of the national languages is used for the maintenance of public records shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business in English with any other Regional Administration, local authority or public institution or any official functioning in an area in which a different national language is used for the maintenance of public records.

Language of examinations for admission to Services of the State &c.

(38) (1) A person shall be entitled to be examined through the medium of either Sinhala or Tamil or English at any examination for the admission of persons to any national or regional service or any public institution, subject to the condition that the person may be required to acquire a sufficient knowledge of Tamil or Sinhala, as the case may be, within a reasonable time after admission to such service or public institution where such knowledge is reasonably necessary for the discharge of duties of the person.

(2) A person may be required to have a sufficient knowledge of Sinhala or Tamil or English as a condition for admission to any service or public institution where no function of the office or employment referred to in paragraph (1) of this Article for which the person is recruited can be discharged otherwise than with a sufficient knowledge of such language.

Language of legislation

(39) (1) All Acts of Parliament Statutes of Regional Councils and subordinate legislation shall be enacted or made in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

(2) In the event of any inconsistency between any two such texts of any Act, Statute or provision of subordinate legislation, each such text shall be regarded as equally authoritative unless the authority enacting or making such written law shall otherwise provide.

Publication of written laws in force in Sinhala and Tamil

(40) All written law in force at the commencement of the Constitution save those enacted or made in Sinhala and Tamil, shall be published in the Gazette in Sinhala and Tamil as expeditiously as possible.

Language of Courts

(41) Sinhala and Tamil shall be the language of the courts throughout the Republic.

Language of record and proceedings in Courts

(42) (1) Subject to paragraph (3) of this Article, Sinhala shall be used as the language of the record and proceedings in the courts situated in all the areas of the Republic except in the Regions specified in Parts C and D of the First Schedule for which Regional Councils are established, wherein Tamil shall be used.

(2) In the event of any appeal from any court, the record shall also be prepared in the language of the court hearing the appeal, if the language of such court is other than the language used by the court from which the appeal is preferred.

(3) The Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of the subject of Justice may, with the concurrence of the Cabinet of Ministers, direct that the record of any court shall also be maintained and the proceedings conducted in a national language other than the language of the court.

Initiating proceedings in Courts

(43) Any party or applicant or any person legally entitled to represent such party or applicant may initiate proceedings and submit to court pleadings and other documents, and participate in the proceedings in court, in Sinhala, Tamil or English.

Providing interpretations and translations in proceedings

(44) Any judge, juror, party or applicant or any person legally entitled to represent such party or applicant, who is not conversant with the language of the court shall be entitled to be provided by the State with interpretation and to translation into Sinhala, Tamil or English, to enable the judge, juror, party or applicant or other person to understand and participate in the proceedings before such court, and in the case of a party, applicant or person, shall also be entitled to obtain in such language any such part of the record or a translation thereof, as the case may be, as the party, applicant or other person, may be entitled to obtain according to law.

Permitting the use of English

(45) (1) The Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of the subject of Justice may, with the concurrence of the Cabinet of Ministers, issue directions permitting the use of English in or in relation to the records and proceedings in any court for all purposes or for such purposes as may be specified therein and every judge shall be bound to implement such directions.

(2) A judge may at the request of the parties to any proceedings use English in relation to the records and proceedings where the use of such language would facilitate, in the opinion of the judge, the expeditious conclusion of such proceedings.

Medium of instruction

(46) A person shall be entitled to be educated through the medium of either Sinhala or Tamil and if facilities are available, through the medium of English.

Language of instruction in Universities

(47) A person shall be entitled to be instructed in any course, department or faculty of any University in any national language of the persons choice if instruction in such language at such University is reasonably practicable.

Use of one national language where medium of instruction is another national language

(48) (1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this Article, where one national language is a medium of instruction for or in any course, department or faculty of any University directly or indirectly financed by the State, the other national languages shall also be made media of instruction for on in such course, department or faculty for students who prior to their admission to such University, were educated through the medium of such other national langauge.

(2) Compliance with the preceding paragraph of this Article shall not be obligatory if such other relevant national languages are the media of instruction for or in any like course, department or faculty either at any other campus or branch of such University or of any other like University.

Facilities for the use of languages

(49) The State shall provide adequate facilities for the use of the languages provided for in this Chapter.

This Chapter to prevail in the event of inconsistency

(50) In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of any law and the provisions of this Chapter, the provisions of this Chapter shall prevail.

Interpretation

(51) In this Chapter, ``court'' means any court or tribunal created, ordained and established for the administration of justice including the adjudication and settlement of industrial and other disputes or any other tribunal or institution exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions or any tribunal or institution created, ordained and established for the conciliation and settlement of disputes;

``judge'' includes the President, Chairman, presiding officer and a member, of any court;

``official'' means the President, any Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, Deputy Minister, Governor, Chief Minister or Minister of the Board of Ministers of a Region, or any officer of a public institution, local authority or Regional Administration;

``public institution'' means a department or institution of the State, a public corporation or statutory institution;

``record'' includes pleadings, judgements, orders and other judicial and ministerial acts; and

``University'' includes any institution of higher education.


Chapter V

CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship of Sri Lanka

(52) (1) There shall be one status of citizenship known as ``the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka''.

(2) A citizen of Sri Lanka shall for all purposes be described only as a ``citizen of Sri Lanka'', whether such person became entitled to citizenship by descent or by virtue of registration in accordance with the law relating to citizenship or by the operation of any law or by the operation of paragraph (6) of this Article.

(3) No distinction shall be drawn between citizens of Sri Lanka for any purpose by reference to the mode of acquisition of such status, as to whether acquired by descent or by virtue of registration or by the operation of any law or by the operation of paragraph (6) of this Article.

(4) No citizen of Sri Lanka shall be deprived of or cease to hold the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka, except under and by virtue of the provisions of sections 19,20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 of the Citizenship Act.

(5) Every person who at the commencement of the Constitution was a citizen of Sri Lanka, whether by descent or by virtue of registration in accordance with any law relating to citizenship or by the operation of any law or by the operation of paragraph (6) of this Article, shall be entitled to the status and to the rights of a citizen of Sri Lanka as provided in the preceding provisions of this Article.

(6) Every person who (a) at the commencement of the Constitution, has been a permanent resident of the Republic from October 30, 1964 and who is not a citizen of any country; or

(b) being a permanent resident of the Republic and not being a citizen of any country at the commencement of the Constitution is a descendant of any person who was a permanent resident of the Republic on October 30, 1964 and who was not a citizen of any country on that date,

shall have the status of citizen of Sri Lanka with effect from the date of the commencement of the Constitution and the provisions of Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 of and Schedules A and B to the Grant of Citizenship to Stateless Persons (Special Provisions) Act No. 39 of 1988 shall mutatis mutandis, apply to and in relation to such persons.

(7) The provisions of all existing written law relating to citizenship and all other existing written laws wherein reference is made to citizenship shall be read subject to the preceding provisions of this Article.

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