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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution: Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Broken Pacts & Evasive Proposals > Chandrika's 'Devolution' Proposals:1995/2001 > Sri Lanka Constitutional Bill, August 2000

Chandrika's 'Devolution Proposals'

Sri Lanka Constitution Bill
August 2000

AN ACT TO REPEAL AND REPLACE THE CONSTITUTION
OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA
.

[see also Speech by President Chandrika Kumaratunga
in Sri Lanka Parliament, 7 August 2000


Contents

Preamble and Chapter I to Chapter X:

bullet Preamble
bullet Chapter I: The People, the State and Sovereignty
bullet Chapter II: Buddhism
bullet Chapter III: Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
bullet Chapter IV: Language
bullet Chapter V: Citizenship
bullet Chapter VI: Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties
bullet Chapter VII: The Central Executive - The President of the Republic
bullet Chapter VIII: The Central Executive - The President and the Cabinet of Ministers
bullet Chapter IX: The Central Legislature - Parliament
bullet Chapter X: The Central Legislature - Parliament - Procedure and Powers

Chapters XI to XIV

bullet Chapter XI: The Central Legislature - Amendment of the Constitution
bullet Chapter XII: The Referendum
bullet Chapter XIII: The Franchise and Elections
bullet Chapter XIV: The Constitution Council

Chapters XV to XXI

bullet Chapter XV: Devolution of Power to the Regions
bullet Chapter XVI: State Land, Water and Minerals
bullet Chapter XVII: The Judiciary - Institutions for the Administration of Justice
bullet Chapter XVIII: The Judiciary - Independence of the Judiciary
bullet Chapter XIX: The Judiciary - The Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Regional High Courts
bullet Chapter XX: The Public Service

bullet Chapter XXI: Finance

Chapters XXII to XXVII

bullet Chapter XXII: Defence, National Security and Law and Order
bullet Chapter XXIII: Public Security
bullet Chapter XXIV: Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration
bullet Chapter XXV: Local Government
bullet Chapter XXVI: General
bullet
Chapter XXVII: Transitional Provisions

Chapters XXVIII to end

bullet Chapter XXVIII: Interim Council for the Northern and Eastern Regions
bullet Chapter XXXIX: Interpretation
bullet Chapter XXX: Repeal
bullet Chapter XXXI: Promulgamation of Constitution
bullet First Schedule - Regions
bullet
Second Schedule - List I Reserved List - List II Regional list
bullet Third Schedule - National Flag
bullet Fourth Schedule - National Anthem
bullet Fifth Schedule - Oaths

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PREAMBLE: THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

Svasti

WHEREAS it is the will of the People of Sri Lanka to establish a stable legal order based on a Supreme Law in the form of a Constitution which Ė

strengthens institutions of governance;
assures a wider sharing of power;
enshrines democratic values, social justice and human rights;
facilitates economic, social and cultural advancement; and
promotes peace, ethnic harmony and good governance;

NOW THEREFORE, WE THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA

In the exercise of our sovereign legislative power, do hereby give unto ourselves this CONSTITUTION;

NOW, THEREFORE, Be it enacted by the Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as follows:

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The Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka

CHAPTER I: THE PEOPLE, THE STATE AND SOVEREIGNTY

The State

1. (1) The Republic of Sri Lanka is one, free, sovereign and independent State consisting of the institutions of the Centre and of the Regions which shall exercise power as laid down in the Constitution.

(2) The State shall safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of the Republic and shall preserve and advance a Sri Lankan identity, recognizing the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious character of Sri Lankan society.

Sovereignty of the People

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

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

(a) the legislative power of the People shall be exercised, by the People at a Referendum, by Parliament and by Regional Councils to the respective extents and in the manner 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 by 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 recognized 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 recognized shall be exercised and enjoyed by the People individually and collectively, and shall be respected, secured and advanced by all institutions 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 Members of Regional Councils and local authorities 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 citizenís name entered in the register of electors.

Territory and Rights of the Republic

3. (1) The territory of the Republic shall consist of the Regions as set out in the First Schedule, its territorial waters and airspace and the Republic shall have all rights recognized by 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 or part thereof, from the Republic;

(b) the alteration of the area or boundaries of a Region;

(c) the alteration of the name of a Region;

(d) 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 (b), (c) or (d) of that paragraph.

National Flag

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

National Anthem

5. (1) The National Anthem of the Republic shall be "Sri Lanka Matha", the words and music of which are set out in Part I of the Fourth Schedule.

(2) The Tamil language translation of the National Anthem shall be as set out in Part II of the Fourth Schedule

National Day

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

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CHAPTER II: BUDDHISM

Buddhism.

7. (1) The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost placeand, accordingly, it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana while giving adequate protection to all reli-gions 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, recognized by the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of the subject of Buddha Sasana, on measures taken for the protection and fostering of the Buddha Sasana.

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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 recognized 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 recognized by this Article.

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

10. (1) A person shall not be arrested, 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) Any person arrested shall be informed, in a language which the person appears to understand, of the reason for the arrest and of the personís rights under paragraphs (4) and (5) of this Article.

(4) Any person arrested shall have the right to communicate with any relative or friend of the personís 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 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) 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.

(8) Any person suspected of committing an offence shall be charged or indicted or released without unreasonable delay, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case.

(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 personís 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 judgeís 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, persons who are not necessary for the purposes of those 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 himself or herself or to confess guilt.

(13) (a) A person shall not be held guilty of, or punished for, 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) (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 paragraph (15) 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 personís 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 personís 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 personís private and family life, home, correspondence and communications and shall not be subjected to unlawful attacks on such personís 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 or for the enforcement of a judgment 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 hold opinions and to have or to adopt a religion or belief of the personís 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 personís 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 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 recognised 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 citizenís own culture and to use such citizenís 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 be deprived of the personís property except as permitted by law.

(3) Any property shall not be compulsorily acquired or requisitioned save for a clearly described 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 Ė

(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 Ė

(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 realization 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; or

(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 realization of the rights guaranteed by paragraph (1).

Social rights

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

(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 realization of the rights guaranteed by paragraph (1).

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

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

26. 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), 10(9), 10(10)(a)(ii), 10(10)(a)(iii), 10(13), 10(15), 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 Chairperson, 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) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Article, every person shall be entitled to apply to the Supreme Court as provided by Article 171 or to the Court of Appeal as provided by Article 182, 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.

(2) Where the person aggrieved is unable or incapable of making an application under Article 171 or Article 182 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.

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

(4) For the purposes of this Article and Articles 171 and 182, "State action" does not include legislative or judicial 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.

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CHAPTER IV: LANGUAGE

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 B and C of the First Schedule, 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.

Rights relating to communication

36. (1) 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 recognizes the personís 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 in either Tamil or English and to receive the original certificate of such birth, death or marriage in such language ;

(e) to give information with regard to the commission of an offence to a police or peace officer in either Tamil or English.

(2) . 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),(d) and (e) of paragraph (1) of this Article 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 immediately prior to 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 the Courts

41. Sinhala and Tamil shall be the languages 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 B and C 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. (1) A person shall be entitled to be instructed in any course, department or faculty of any University in any national language of the personís choice if instruction in such language at such University is reasonably practicable.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3) 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 the media of instruction for or in such course, department or faculty for students who prior to their admission to such University, were educated through the medium of any such other national language.

(3) Compliance with the preceding paragraph of this Article shall not be obligatory if such other relevant national language is the medium 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

48. 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

49. 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

50. 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, Chairperson, 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 a 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 a statutory institution;

"record" includes pleadings, judgments, orders and other judicial and ministerial acts ; and

"University" includes any institution of higher education.

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CHAPTER V: CITIZENSHIP

Citizenship of  Sri Lanka

51. (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 Ė

(a) at the commencement of the Constitution, has been a permanent and lawful resident of the Republic from October 30, 1964 and who was not a citizen of any country on that date ; or

(b) being a permanent and lawful resident of the Republic at the commencement of the Constitution, is a descendant of any person who was a permanent and lawful 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, any 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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CHAPTER VI: PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY AND FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES

Principles of State Policy

52. The following principles shall guide the State in making laws and in the governance of Sri Lanka Ė

(1) The State shall recognize the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society and strengthen national unity by ensuring that the composition of the institutions of State reflects such character and shall promote co-operation and mutual trust, confidence and understanding among all sections of the People of Sri Lanka.

(2). The State shall assist the development of the cultures and languages of the People.

(3) The State shall safeguard and strengthen the democratic structure of government and the democratic rights of the People.

(4) The State shall establish a just, equitable and moral social order, the objectives of which include -

(a) the full realization of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons;

(b) securing and protecting effectively a social order in which social, economic and political justice shall inform all institutions of national life;

(c) the elimination of economic and social privilege, disparity and exploitation;

(d) the equitable distribution of the material resources of the community and the social product;

(e) the realization of an adequate standard of living for all citizens and their families including adequate food, clothing, housing and medical care;

(f) ensuring social security and welfare;

(g) raising the moral, cultural and educational standards of the People

and facilitating the full development of the human personality;

(h) the creation of the necessary environment to enable adherents of

all religions to make a living reality of their religious principles.

(5) The State shall develop the whole country by means of appropriate public and private economic activity.

(6) The State shall protect and preserve and improve the environment and safeguard the reefs, shores, forests, lakes, watercourses and wildlife of Sri Lanka.

(7) The State shall protect and preserve every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interest declared by or under any law to be of national importance.

(8) The State shall promote international peace, security and co-operation, and the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order, and shall respect, and foster respect for, international law and treaty obligations in dealings with and among nations.

(9) The State shall strengthen, respect and foster respect for, international instruments relating to human rights and humanitarian law to which Sri Lanka is a signatory.

(10) The State shall secure the operation of a legal system that promotes justice on the basis of equal and unrestrained access to all who seek redress of the law and provide, within its available resources , free legal aid to ensure that no person is deprived of such access due to lack of resources or disability.

Fundamental duties

53. It shall be the duty of every citizen to Ė

(1) uphold and protect the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka;

(2) uphold and defend the Constitution and its ideals and institutions;

(3) foster national unity and promote harmony amongst all the People of Sri Lanka;

(4) respect the rights and freedoms of others ;

(5) value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture ;

(6) protect and improve the environment, conserve its riches, and value all forms of life;

(7) safeguard and preserve artistic or historical objects and places of national importance ;

(8) safeguard and protect public property and combat its waste or misuse ;

(9) refrain from directly or indirectly participating in bribery or corruption ;

(10) uphold the rule of law and renounce all forms of violence ;

(11) work conscientiously in that citizenís chosen occupation.

Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties not justifiable

54. (1) The provisions of this Chapter do not confer or impose legal rights or obligations, and are not enforceable in any court or tribunal.

(2) Any question of inconsistency with such provisions shall not be raised in any court or tribunal.

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CHAPTER VII: THE CENTRAL EXECUTIVE

The President of the Republic

Powers of  President.

55. (1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, who is the Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and who shall act on the advice of the Prime Minister as hereinafter provided.

(2) The President shall be responsible to Parliament for the due execution and performance of the powers and functions of the office of President under the Constitution and under any other law, including the law for the time being relating to public security.

Election of President

56. (1) Any citizen who is qualified to be an elector under the Constitution shall be qualified for election by Parliament as the President.

(2) A citizen qualified under paragraph (1) of this Article shall be elected by Parliament as the President if not less than one-half of the whole number of Members of Parliament (including those not present) vote in favour of the citizen, in accordance with such procedure as may be provided for by law or Standing Orders, and, in the absence of such law or Standing Orders, in accordance with such procedure as may be determined by the Speaker.

(3) The person elected as President shall assume office, as the President upon making and subscribing the following affirmation or taking and subscribing the following oath before the Chief Justice or, in the absence of the Chief Justice, any other Judge of the Supreme Court:-"

I, .............................. do solemnly declare and affirm/swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Sri Lanka, that I will uphold the Constitution of Sri Lanka and that I shall faithfully perform the duties and functions of the office of President of the Republic of Sri Lanka in accordance with the Constitution and with the law."

(4) Upon the assumption of office, the President shall cease to hold any  other office created or recognized by the Constitution and if the President is a Member of Parliament or a Regional Council, shall vacate the seat in Parliament or Regional Council, as the case may be, and shall not hold any other office or place of profit whatsoever.

Vice-Presidents of the Republic

57. (1) There shall be two Vice-Presidents of the Republic of Sri Lanka.

(2) Every Vice-President shall be responsible to Parliament for the due execution and performance of the powers and functions of the office of Vice-President under the Constitution or other written law.

(3) The two Vice-Presidents shall be from different communities, each such community being different to the community of which the President is a member.

(4) Any citizen who is qualified to be an elector under the Constitution shall be qualified to be elected by Parliament as Vice-President.

(5) A citizen qualified under paragraph (4) of this Article shall be elected by Parliament as Vice-President if Ė

(a) a majority of the Members of Parliament sitting and voting; and

(b) a majority of the Members of Parliament of the community of which such citizen is a member, sitting and voting, vote in favour of the citizen, in accordance with such procedure as may be provided for by law or Standing Orders, or in the absence of such law or Standing Orders, in accordance with such procedure as may be determined by the Speaker.

(6) The provisions of Articles 56 (3) , 56(4), 60, 62(1), 62(3) and 62(4) relating to the President shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to every Vice-President.

58. In addition to the powers and functions expressly conferred on or assigned to the President by the Constitution or by any written law, the President shall have the power-

(a) to make the Statement of Government Policy in Parliament at the commencement of each session of Parliament;

(b) to preside at ceremonial sittings of Parliament;

(c) to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament;

(d) to appoint the Prime Minister, the other Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Governors of Regions ;

(e) to receive and recognize, appoint and accredit, Ambassadors, High Commissioners. Plenipotentiaries and other diplomatic agents;

(f) to keep the Public Seal of the Republic, and to make and execute under the Public Seal, the acts of appointment of the Prime Minister and other Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Deputy Ministers, the Governors of Regions, the Chief Justice and the President of the Court of Appeal, the other Judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal and the Judges of the Regional High Courts, such grants and dispositions of lands and immovable property vested in the Republic as the President is by law required or empowered to do, and to use the Public Seal for sealing all things whatsoever that shall pass that Seal;

(g) to declare war and peace ;

(h) to appoint as Presidentís Counsel, attorneys-at-law who have achieved eminence in the profession and have maintained high standards of conduct and professional rectitude;

(i) to declare a state of emergency within a Region and to dissolve a Regional Council, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution ; and

(j) to do all such acts and things, not being inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or written law as by international law, custom or usage a Head of State is required or authorized to do.

Grant of Pardon

59. (1) The President may, in the case of any offender convicted of any offence in any court within the Republic-

(a) grant a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions ;

(b) grant any respite either indefinite or for such period as the President may think fit, of the execution of any sentence passed on such offender;

(c) substitute, a less severe form of punishment, for any punishment imposed on any such offender ;

(d) remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed, or of any penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the Republic, on account of such offence.

(2) The President shall exercise power under paragraph (1) of this Article in consultation with a committee consisting of the Chief Justice or a Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice, the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers in charge of the subject of Justice or an official nominated by the Minister and the Attorney-General or an officer of the Attorney-Generalís Department nominated by the Attorney-General.

(3) Where any offender shall have been condemned to suffer death by the sentence of any court, the President shall, before the exercise of the power conferred under paragraph (1) of this Article, cause a report to be made to the President by the Judge who tried the case.

(4) The President may in the case of any person who is or has become subject to any disqualification specified in any law relating to the election of Members of Parliament and Members of Regional Councilsó

(a) grant a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions; or

(b) reduce the period of such disqualification.

Immunity of President from suit

60. Any proceedings of whatever nature, shall not be instituted on any grounds whatsoever or continued against the President in any court, tribunal or institution in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by the President in the official capacity of the President.

Salary, Allowances and Pension of the President

61. (1) (a) Parliament shall by resolution determine the salary, allowances and pension entitlements, respectively, of the holders of the offices of President and Vice-President.

(b) The pension entitlement determined under sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph shall be in addition to any other pension to which such person is entitled by virtue of any prior service.

(2) The salary, allowances and pension of the President and the two Vice-Presidents shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka.

(3) Parliament may by resolution increase, but shall not reduce, the salary, allowances or pension entitlement respectively, of the holders of the offices of President and Vice-President.

Term of office and vacation of office by President

62. (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article, the President shall hold office for a period of five years commencing with the date on which the President assumes office, but notwithstanding the expiration of this period, the President shall remain in office until the next President assumes office.

(2) Any person who has been twice elected to the office of President in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter shall not be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by Parliament.

(3) The office of President of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall become vacant Ė

(a) upon the death of the President ; or

(b) on the President resigning from the office of President by writing addressed to the Speaker; or

(c) on a unanimous decision by a committee consisting of the Speaker, Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition that the President is permanently incapable of discharging the functions of the office of President by reason of mental or physical infirmity ; or

(d) on Parliament passing, by at least two-thirds of the whole number of members of Parliament (including those not present) voting in its favour, a resolution of no-confidence against the President, introduced by any Member by a written notice addressed to the Speaker and signed by such Member and by at least half the total number of Members of Parliament.

(4) If the office of President becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the term of office of the President, Parliament shall elect a successor to the President vacating office, within one month of the occurrence of the vacancy, and the person so succeeding to the office of President shall hold office only for the unexpired period of the term of office of the President vacating office.

President to act on advice

63. (1) The President shall always, except in the case of the appointment of the Prime Minister or as otherwise required by the Constitution, act on the advice of the Prime Minister, or of such other Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers to whom the Prime Minister may have given authority to advise the President on any particular function assigned to that Minister.

(2) Any court, tribunal or institution shall not have the power or jurisdiction to inquire into, pronounce upon or in any manner call in question any act or omission on the part of the President on the ground that the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article have not been complied with.

Temporary vacation of office of President

64. (1) (a) Whenever the President is prevented by illness or any other cause from performing the duties of the office of President, or is absent from the Republic, or during any period in which the office of President is otherwise vacant, the two Vice-Presidents shall act in the office of President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, in rotation , the Vice-President belonging to the community which is numerically the greater acting in such office on the first occasion and so on.

(b) Such person shall, before assuming office, make and subscribe the affirmation or take and subscribe the oath in the form and manner prescribed in Article 56.

(2) Any person acting in the office of the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall not continue to act after the President or some other person having prior right to act in such office has notified that the President or other person, as the case may be, has resumed or assumed or is about to resume or assume such office.

(3) The provisions of the Constitution relating to the President shall apply, in so far as they can be applied, to an acting President.

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CHAPTER VIII: THE CENTRAL EXECUTIVE

The President and the Cabinet of Ministers

The Cabinet of  Ministers

65. (1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers charged with the direction and control of the matters for which they are responsible, including the exercise of ó

(a) the executive power of the Republic ;

(b) the executive power vested in the Central Government by the Constitution ;

(c) the executive power in relation to the subjects and functions enumerated in List 1 of the Second Schedule, and who shall be collectively responsible to Parliament therefor.

(2) (a) Of the Ministers, one who shall be the Head of the Government and of the Cabinet of Ministers, shall be the Prime Minister.

(b) The President shall appoint as Prime Minister, the Member of Parliament who is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.

(c) The Prime Minister shall assume office upon making and subscribing the following affirmation or taking and subscribing the following oath :Ė

"I, .................... , do solemnly declare and affirm/swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Sri Lanka, that I will uphold the Constitution of Sri Lanka and that I shall faithfully perform the duties and functions of the office of Prime Minister in accordance with the Constitution and with the law."

Appointment of a Prime Minister on the death or resignation of a Prime Minister

66. Upon the death or the resignation of the Prime Minister or where the Prime Minister is deemed to have resigned, the President shall appoint a Prime Minister in terms of Article 65, and the provisions of that Article shall apply to such appointment.

Ministers and their subjects and functions

67. (1) The Prime Minister shall determine the number of Ministers and Ministries and the assignment of subjects and functions to Ministers.

(2) The President shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint from among the Members of Parliament, Ministers to be in charge of the Ministries so determined, and the Prime Minister shall, in tendering such advice, have regard to the need to ensure the representation of all the major communities in the Cabinet of Ministers.

(3) The Prime Minister may, at any time, change the assignment of subjects and functions and recommend to the President changes in the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers and such changes shall not affect the continuity of the Cabinet of Ministers, including the continuity of its responsibility to Parliament.

Deputy Ministers

68. (1) The President shall, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoint from among the Members of Parliament, Deputy Ministers to assist the Ministers in the performance of their duties pertaining to Parliament and to their departments and to exercise and perform such powers and duties of the Ministers under written law as may be delegated to such Deputy Ministers under paragraph (2) of this Article.

(2) A Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers may, by Notification published in the Gazette, delegate to a Deputy Minister of the Minister, any of the powers or duties conferred or imposed on the Minister by any written law, and it shall be lawful for the Deputy Minister to exercise or perform any power or duty so delegated, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the written law by which that power or duty is conferred or imposed on the Minister.

Tenure of office of the Ministers and Deputy Ministers

69. A Minister or a Deputy Minister shall continue to hold office throughout the period during which the Cabinet of Ministers continues to function under the provisions of the Constitution unless the Minister or Deputy Minister ó

(a) is removed by a writing under the hand of the President ; or

(b) resigns from office by a writing addressed to the President ; or

(c) save as in the circumstances set out in Article 70, ceases to be a Member of Parliament.

Cabinet of Ministers after dissolution of Parliament

70. The Cabinet of Ministers functioning immediately prior to the dissolution of Parliament shall, notwithstanding such dissolution, continue to function during the period intervening between such dissolution and the conclusion of the General Election.

Dissolution of the Cabinet of Ministers

71. (1) On the death or resignation of the Prime Minister or when the Prime Minister is deemed to have resigned, the Cabinet of Ministers shall stand dissolved and the other Ministers shall cease to hold office.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article shall not operate, if the death or resignation of the Prime Minister occurs in the period referred to in Article 70 and in that event, the Cabinet of Ministers shall continue to function with the other Ministers as its members until the expiration of that period and the President shall appoint one from among such Ministers to be the Prime Minister.

(3) If on the death or resignation of the Prime Minister in the period referred to in Article 70 there is no other Minister, the President shall exercise and perform the powers and functions of the Cabinet of Ministers functioning under Article 70 until the conclusion of the General Election.

Resignation of the Prime Minister

72. (1) The Prime Minister may resign from the office of Prime Minister by a writing addressed to the President.

(2) The Prime Minister shall be deemed to have resigned ó

(a) at the conclusion of a General Election ; or

(b) if Parliament rejects the Appropriation Bill or the Statement of Government Policy or Parliament passes a vote of no-confidence in the Government.

Acting Ministers and Acting Deputy Ministers

73. Whenever a Minister or a Deputy Minister is unable to perform the functions of the office of Minister or Deputy Minister, the President may appoint any Member of Parliament to act in place of such Minister or Deputy Minister.

Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers

74. (1) There shall be a Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers who shall be appointed by the President.

(2) The Secretary shall, subject to the directions of the Prime Minister, have charge of the office of the Cabinet of Ministers, and shall discharge and perform such other duties and functions as may be assigned to the Secretary by the Prime Minister or the Cabinet of Ministers.

Secretaries to Ministries

75. (1) There shall be for each Ministry, a Secretary who shall be appointed by the President.

(2) The Secretary to a Ministry shall, subject to the direction and control of the Minister, exercise supervision over the Departments of Government or other institutions in the charge of the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers.

(3) The Secretary to a Ministry shall cease to hold office upon the dissolution of the Cabinet of Ministers under the provisions of the Constitution or upon a determination by the Prime Minister under Article 67 which results in such Ministry ceasing to exist.

(4) Where the Secretary to a Ministry ceases to hold office under paragraph (3) of this Article, the Cabinet of Ministers may, subject to paragraphs (5), (6) and (7) of this Article, appoint such Secretary to any other post in the Public Service.

(5) A person who immediately prior to appointment as Secretary to a Ministry was in the service of the State or in the service of any public corporation shall be deemed to have been temporarily released from such service and shall be entitled to revert to such service without loss of seniority upon the person ceasing to hold office under paragraph (3) of this Article.

(6) Paragraph (5) of this Article shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to a Secretary to a Ministry upon ó

(a) the President terminating the services of the Secretary, otherwise than by dismissal or on disciplinary grounds ; or

(b) the resignation of the Secretary from office, unless disciplinary proceedings are pending or contemplated against the Secretary on the date of the resignation.

(7) For the purposes of paragraphs (4), (5) and (6) of this Article any person who has continuously held the office of Secretary to the President, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary to a Ministry or any other office in the Presidentís or Prime Ministerís staff or any one or more of such offices shall be deemed to have continuously held the office which such person last held prior to such appointment.

(8) For the purpose of this Article, the Office of the Secretary-General of Parliament, the Office of the Elections Commission, the Department of the Auditor-General, the Office of the Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers, the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) and the Office of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption shall be deemed not to be departments of Government.

Official Oath

76. Any person appointed to any office referred to in this Chapter shall not enter upon the duties of that office unless the person makes and subscribes the affirmation or takes and subscribes the oath set out in the Fifth Schedule.

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CHAPTER IX: THE CENTRAL LEGISLATURE

Parliament

77. (1) There shall be a Parliament, which shall consist of two hundred and twenty-five members elected in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

(2) Unless Parliament is sooner dissolved, every Parliament shall continue for six years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer, and the expiry of the said period of six years shall operate as a dissolution of Parliament.

Official oath

78. Except for the purpose of electing the Speaker, a Member shall not sit or vote in Parliament until the Member has made and subscribed the following affirmation or taken and subscribed the following oath before Parliament: -

I, ..........................., do solemnly declare and affirm/swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka."

Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees

79. (1) Parliament shall, at its first meeting after a General Election, elect three Members to be respectively the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees (hereinafter referred to as the "Deputy Speaker") and the Deputy Chairman of Committees thereof.

(2) A Member holding office as the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker or the Deputy Chairman of Committees shall vacate such office ó

(a) if the Member ceases, save upon a dissolution of Parliament, to be a Member of Parliament; or

(b) if the Member resigns from such office by a writing addressed to the President.

(3) Whenever the office of Speaker, Deputy Speaker or Deputy Chairman of Committees becomes vacant, Parliament shall at its first meeting after the occurrence of the vacancy, elect another Member to be the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker or the Deputy Chairman of Committees, as the case may be.

(4) The Members holding office respectively as Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees immediately prior to the dissolution of Parliament shall, unless they vacate office earlier and notwithstanding such dissolution, continue to hold such office until the conclusion of the General Election.

(5) The Speaker, or in the Speakerís absence the Deputy Speaker, or in their absence the Deputy Chairman of Committees, shall preside at sittings of Parliament and if none of them is present, a Member elected by Parliament for the sitting shall preside at that sitting of Parliament.

Deputy Speaker to act for Speaker

80. Where the Speaker is unable to discharge the functions of the Speakerís office, the powers, duties and functions conferred on or assigned to the Speaker by any provision of the Constitution may be exercised, performed or discharged by the Deputy Speaker.

Secretary-General of Parliament

81. (1) There shall be a Secretary-General of Parliament who shall be appointed by the President and who shall hold office during good behaviour.

(2) The salary of the Secretary-General shall be determined by Parliament by resolution, shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka and shall not be reduced during the term of office of the Secretary-General.

(3) The members of the staff of the Secretary-General shall be appointed by the Secretary-General with the approval of the Speaker on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Secretary-General.

(4) The salaries of the members of the staff of the Secretary-General shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of Sri Lanka.

(5) The office of the Secretary-General shall become vacant ó

(a) upon death;

(b) on resignation in writing addressed to the President;

(c) on attaining the age of sixty years, unless Parliament otherwise provides by law;

(d) on removal by the President on account of ill health or physical or mental infirmity; or

(e) on removal by the President upon an address of Parliament.

(6) Whenever the Secretary-General is unable to discharge the functions of the office of Secretary-General, the President may appoint a person to act in the place of the Secretary-General.

Vacation of seats

82. The seat of a Member shall become vacant ó

(a) upon the death of the Member;

(b) if, by a writing addressed to the Secretary-General of Parliament, the Member resigns such Memberís seat ;

(c) upon the Member assuming the office of President or Vice-President

consequent to the Memberís election to such office by Parliament ;

(d) if the member becomes subject to any disqualification specified in Articles 107 and 108 ;

(e) if the Member becomes a member of any service of the State or an employee of a public corporation or, being a member of any service of the State or an employee of a public corporation, does not cease to be a member of such service or an employee of such corporation, before the Member sits in Parliament;

(f) if, without the leave of Parliament first obtained, the Member is absent from the sittings of Parliament during a continuous period of three months ;

(g) if the Memberís election as a Member is declared void under the law in force for the time being; or

(h) upon the dissolution of Parliament.

Privileges and Powers of Parliament and its Members

83. The privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament and of its members may be determined and regulated by Parliament by law, and until so determined and regulated, the provisions of the Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act, shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.

Remuneration and allowances of Members

84. (1) The Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament, including the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees, shall be paid such remuneration or allowance as may be provided by Parliament, by law or by resolution, and the receipt thereof shall not disqualify the recipient from sitting or voting in Parliament.

(2) Until Parliament so provides, the remuneration or allowance payable to Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament, including the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees, shall be the same as the remuneration or allowance paid to Ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament including the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees of Parliament immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution.

Power to act notwithstanding vacancies

85. Parliament shall have power to act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and its proceedings shall be valid notwithstanding that it is discovered subsequently that a person who was not entitled so to do sat or voted or otherwise took part in the proceedings.

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CHAPTER X: THE CENTRAL LEGISLATURE

Parliament - Procedure and Powers

Sessions of Parliament

86. (1) The President may, from time to time, by Proclamation summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament.

(2) (a) A Proclamation proroguing Parliament shall fix a date for the next session, not being more than two months after the date of the Proclamation.

(b) At any time while Parliament stands prorogued, the President may by Proclamation-

(i) summon Parliament for a date earlier than the date fixed under sub-paragraph

(a) of this paragraph, not being less than three days from the date of the Proclamation under sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph; or

(ii) subject to the provisions of this Article, dissolve Parliament.

(3) All matters which, having been duly brought before Parliament, and have not been disposed of at the time of the prorogation of Parliament, may be proceeded with during the next session.

(4) (a) A Proclamation dissolving Parliament shall fix a date or dates for the election of Members of Parliament, and shall summon the new Parliament to meet on a date not later than three months after the date of such Proclamation.

(b) Upon the dissolution of Parliament by virtue of the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 77 the President shall forthwith by Proclamation fix a date or dates for the election of Members of Parliament, and shall summon the new Parliament to meet on a date not later than three months after the date of such Proclamation.

(c) The date fixed for the first meeting of Parliament by a Proclamation under sub-paragraph (a) or sub-paragraph (b) of this paragraph may be varied by a subsequent Proclamation, provided that the date so fixed by the subsequent Proclamation shall be a date not later than three months after the date of the original Proclamation.

(5) If at any time after the dissolution of Parliament, the President is satisfied that an emergency has arisen of such a nature that an earlier meeting of Parliament is necessary, the President may by Proclamation summon the Parliament which has been dissolved to meet on a date not less than three days from the date of such Proclamation and such Parliament shall stand dissolved upon the termination of the emergency or the conclusion of the General Election, whichever is earlier.

Adjournment

87. Parliament may adjourn from time to time as it may determine by resolution or Standing Order, until it is prorogued or dissolved.

Voting

88. (1) Save as otherwise provided in the Constitution, any question proposed for decision by Parliament shall be decided by the majority of votes of the Members present and voting.

(2) The person presiding shall not vote in the first instance but shall have and exercise a casting vote in the event of an equality of votes.

Quorum

89. Where at any time during a meeting of Parliament the attention of the person presiding is drawn to the fact that there are fewer than twenty Members present, the person presiding shall, subject to any Standing Order, adjourn the sitting without question put.

Standing Orders

90. (1) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, Parliament may by resolution or Standing Order provide for ó

(a) the election of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees; and

(b) the regulation of its business, the preservation of order at its sittings and any other matter for which provision is required or authorized to be so made by the Constitution.

(2) Until Parliament otherwise provides by law or by resolution, the Standing Orders of Parliament, in force immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution, shall, mutatis mutandis, be the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Legislative power

91. (1) Parliament has exclusive power to make laws, for the whole or any part of the territory of the Republic, including laws having retrospective effect, with respect to any of the matters enumerated in List I of the Second Schedule (referred to as the "Reserved List".)

(2) The power to make laws vested in Parliament by paragraph (1) of this Article and Article 99, shall be exercised by Bills passed by Parliament and certified by the Speaker or the President as hereinafter provided.

Delegation of legislative power

92. (1) Parliament shall not abdicate or in any manner alienate its legislative power and shall not set up any authority with any such legislative power.

(2) It shall not be a contravention of the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article for Parliament to make, in any law relating to public security, provision empowering the President to make emergency regulations in accordance with such law.

(3) It shall not be a contravention of the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article for Parliament to make any law containing any provision empowering any person or body to make subordinate legislation for prescribed purposes, including the power-

(a) to appoint a date on which any law or any part thereof shall come into effect or cease to have effect ;

(b) to make by order any law or any part thereof applicable to any locality or, to any class of persons ; and

(c) to create a legal person, by an order or an act, and for the purposes of sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of this paragraph, "law" includes existing law.

(4) Subject to the provisions of the Constitution, any existing law containing any such provision as aforesaid shall be valid and operative.

Duties of Attorney-General in regard to published Bills

93. (1) It shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to examine every Bill for any contravention of the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 100 and for any provision which cannot be validly passed except by the special majority prescribed by the Constitution , and the Attorney-General or any officer assisting the Attorney-General in the performance of the duties under this Article, shall be afforded all facilities necessary for the performance of such duties.

(2) Where the Attorney-General is of the opinion that a Bill contravenes any of the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 100 or that any provision in a Bill cannot be validly passed except by the special majority prescribed by the Constitution, the Attorney-General shall communicate such opinion to the President.

(3) Where an amendment is proposed to a Bill in Parliament, the Attorney-General shall communicate the opinion of the Attorney-General on the matter specified in paragraph (2) of this Article to the Speaker at the stage when the Bill is ready to be put to Parliament for its acceptance.

Publication and passing of Bills

94. (1) Subject to Article 166, every Bill shall be published in the Gazette at least fourteen days before it is placed on the Order Paper of Parliament.

(2) The passing of a Bill or a resolution by Parliament shall be in accordance with the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.

(3) Parliament may suspend any one or more of the Standing Orders in the circumstances and in the manner prescribed by the Standing Orders.

Certificate of Speaker

95. (1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this Article, the Speaker shall endorse on every Bill passed by Parliament a certificate in the following form :

" This Bill (here state the short title of the Bill) has been duly passed by Parliament."

and such certificate may also state the majority by which such Bill was passed.

(2) Where by virtue of the provisions of Article 100 or Article 101 or Article 102 or Article 167(2) a special majority is required for the passing of a Bill, the Speaker shall certify such Bill only if such Bill has been passed with such special majority.

(3) Where by virtue of Article 101, the Bill or any provision thereof requires the approval of the People at a Referendum, the certificate of the Speaker shall further state that the Bill or such provision shall not become law until approved by the People at a Referendum.

(4) The certificate of the Speaker under this Article shall be final and conclusive, and shall not be called in question in any court.

When Bill becomes law

96. (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article, a Bill passed by Parliament shall become law when the certificate of the Speaker is endorsed thereon.

(2) Where the Cabinet of Ministers has certified that any Bill or any provision thereof is intended to be submitted for approval by the People at a Referendum or where the Supreme Court has determined that a Bill or any provision thereof requires the approval of the People at a Referendum such Bill or such provision shall become law upon being approved by the People at a Referendum in accordance with paragraph (2) of Article 103 only when the President certifies in the manner specified in paragraph (3) of this Article that the Bill or provision thereof has been so approved.

(3) The President shall, subject to paragraph (4) of this Article, endorse on every Bill approved at a Referendum a certificate in the following form : Ė

"This Bill/provision has been duly approved by the People at a Referendum."

and every such certificate shall be final and conclusive, and shall not be called in question in any court.

(4) A certificate as provided in paragraph (3) shall not be endorsed by the President on a Bill Ė

(a) in any case where a petition is not filed challenging the validity of the Referendum at which such Bill was approved by the People, until after the expiration of the period within which a petition may be filed, under the law applicable in that behalf, challenging the validity of such Referendum;

(b) in any case where a petition is filed challenging the validity of the

Referendum at which such Bill was approved by the People, until after the Supreme Court has determined that such Referendum was valid.

Validity of Acts not to be questioned

97. Where Bill becomes law upon the certificate of the President or the Speaker, as the case may be, being endorsed thereon, any court or tribunal shall not inquire into, pronounce upon or in any manner call in question, the validity of such Act or of any provision contained therein on any grounds whatsoever.

Reservation of the power of the Supreme Court to review certain Acts

98. The provisions of Article 97 shall not affect the power of the Supreme Court under Article 168 to determine, whether or not any Act of Parliament passed after the commencement of the Constitution or any provision thereof is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution, and where it so determines, to declare such Act or provision void to the extent of such inconsistency, where the jurisdiction of the Court has been invoked within the period specified in that Article.

 

 

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