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Goverment & Politics

The sixth Executive President of Sri Lanka, His. Excellency Maithripala Sirisena the Executive Presidency the Head of State of the Republic of Sri Lanka is the President. The President is also the Head of the Executive, the Head of the Government, and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The President is elected by the people and holds office for a period of six years. The President has the right to attend, address and send messages to Parliament at any time. The President is also entitled to all the privileges, immunities and powers of a Member of Parliament other than the right to vote, and shall not be liable for any breach of the privileges of Parliament, or of its Members. The President is the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers, presides at meeting of the Cabinet and appoints the Prime Minister from among the members elected to Parliament. The powers of the President include that of summoning, proroguing and dissolving Parliament and calling for a Referendum, in keeping with the relevant provisions of law. The Constitution also confers upon an elected President the power to:

  • Make the Statement of Government Policy in Parliament at the commencement of each parliamentary session
  • Preside at ceremonial sittings of Parliament
  • Receive and recognize, and to appoint and accredit Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Plenipotentiaries and other diplomatic agents
  • 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 Chief Justice and other Judges of the Supreme Court, 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
  • Declare War and Peace
  • Perform all such acts and things, not being inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or written law, as by international law, custom or usage The President is required or authorized to do, and Grant pardon, grant any respite, substitute a less severe form of punishment for any punishment and remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed. Under the immunities granted to the President, no legal proceedings may be initiated or continued with regard to official or private matters against the President while in office.

If the President is unable to perform his duties due to illness or absence from the country, the Prime Minister will be appointed to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the President. A Minister of the Cabinet will then be appointed to act for the Prime Minister.

The Commissioner General of Elections conducts the Presidential Elections where the entire country is considered to be a single constituency. The winner is required to receive more than 50% of votes and takes his oaths as President before the Chief Justice.

The Constitution of Sri Lanka establishes a democratic, socialist republic in Sri Lanka, which is also a unitary state. The government is a mixture of the presidential system and the parliamentary system. The President of Sri Lanka is the head of state, the commander in chief of the armed forces, as well as head of government, and is popularly elected for a six-year term. In the exercise of duties, the President is responsible to the Parliament of Sri Lanka, which is a unicameral 225-member legislature. The President appoints and heads a cabinet of ministers composed of elected members of parliament. The President's deputy is the Prime Minister, who leads the ruling party in parliament and shares many executive responsibilities, mainly in domestic affairs.[22]  Members of parliament are elected by universal (adult) suffrage based on a modified proportional representation system by district to a six-year term. The primary modification is that, the party that receives the largest number of valid votes in each constituency gains a unique "bonus seat." The president may summon, suspend, or end a legislative session and dissolve Parliament any time after it has served for one year. The parliament reserves the power to make all laws. On July 1, 1960 the people of Sri Lanka elected the first-ever female head of government in Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Her daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga served multiple terms as prime minister and as president from 1999 to 2005. The current president and prime minister, both of whom took office on 9 January 2015, are Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe respectively.  Sri Lanka has enjoyed democracy with universal suffrage since 1931. Politics in Sri Lanka are controlled by rival coalitions led by the left-wing Sri Lanka Freedom Party, headed by President Sirisena, the comparatively right-wing United National Party led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Marxist-Nationalist JVP. There are also many smaller Buddhist, socialist and Tamil nationalist political parties. Since 1948, Sri Lanka has been a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations. It is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Colombo Plan, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. Through the Cold War-era, Sri Lanka followed a foreign policy of non-alignment but has remained closer to the United States and Western Europe. The military of Sri Lanka comprises the Sri Lankan Army, the Sri Lankan Navy and the Sri Lankan Air Force. These are administered by the Ministry of Defence. 

Provinces and districts

 Provinces of Sri LankaSri Lanka is divided into 9 provinces[24] and 25 districts.[25] Each province is administered by a directly-elected provincial council:

Provinces and districts

Provinces of Sri LankaSri Lanka is divided into 9 provinces[24] and 25 districts.[25] Each province is administered by a directly-elected provincial council:
Province Capital Districts
1 Central Kandy Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya
2 North Central Anuradhapura Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa
3 Northern Jaffna Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullativu
4 Eastern Trincomalee Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee
5 North Western Kurunegala Kurunagala, Puttalam
6 Southern Galle Galle, Hambanthota, Matara
7 Uva Badulla Badulla, Monaragala
8 Sabaragamuwa Ratnapura Kegalle, Rathnapura
9 Western Colombo Colombo, Gampaha, Kaluthara

The districts are further subdivided into divisional secretariats, and these in turn to Grama Sevaka divisions.

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