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Sri Lanka Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
    conventional short form: Sri Lanka
    former: Ceylon

    Data code: CE

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Colombo

    Administrative divisions: 8 provinces; Central, North Central, North Eastern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western

    Independence: 4 February 1948 (from UK)

    National holiday: Independence and National Day, 4 February (1948)

    Constitution: adopted 16 August 1978

    Legal system: a highly complex mixture of English common law, Roman-Dutch, Muslim, Sinhalese, and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note—Sirimavo BANDARANAIKE is the prime minister; in Sri Lanka the president is considered to be both the chief of state and the head of the government, this is in contrast to the more common practice of dividing the roles between the president and the prime minister when both offices exist
    head of government: President Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (since 12 November 1994); note—Sirimavo BANDARANAIKE is the prime minister; in Sri Lanka the president is considered to be both the chief of state and the head of the government, this is in contrast to the more common practice of dividing the roles between the president and the prime minister when both offices exist
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 9 November 1994 (next to be held NA November 2000)
    election results: Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA elected president; percent of vote—Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA (People's Alliance) 62%, Srima DISSANAYAKE (United National Party) 37%, other 1%

    Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of a modified proportional representation system to serve six-year terms)
    elections: last held 16 August 1994 (next to be held by August 2000)
    election results: percent of vote by party—PA 49.0%, UNP 44.0%, SLMC 1.8%, TULF 1.7%, SLPF 1.1%, EPDP 0.3%, UPF 0.3%, PLOTE 0.1%, other 1.7%; seats by party—PA 105, UNP 94, EPDP 9, SLMC 7, TULF 5, PLOTE 3, SLPF 1, UPF 1

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission; Court of Appeals

    Political parties and leaders: All Ceylon Tamil Congress or ACTC [C. G. Kumar PONNAMBALAM]; Ceylon Workers Congress or CLDC [S. THONDAMAN]; Communist Party [K. P. SILVA]; Communist Party/Beijing or CP/B [N. SHANMUGATHASAN]; Democratic People's Liberation Front or DPLF [leader NA]; Democratic United National (Lalith) Front or DUNLF [Srimani ATHULATHMUDALI]; Eelam People's Democratic Party or EPDP [Douglas DEVANANDA]; Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front or EPRL [Suresh PREMACHANDRAN]; Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students or EROS [Shankar RAJI]; Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or JVP [Somawansa AMERASINGHE]; Lanka Socialist Party/Trotskyite or LSSP (Lanka Sama Samaja Party) [Batty WEERAKOON]; Liberal Party or LP [Rajira WIJESINGHE]; New Socialist Party or NSSP (Nava Sama Samaja Party) [Vasudeva NANAYAKKARA]; People's Alliance or PA [Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA]; People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam or PLOTE [Uma MAHESWARAN]; People's United Front or MEP (Mahajana Eksath Peramuna) [Dinesh GUNAWARDENE]; Sri Lanka Freedom Party or SLFP [Chandrika Bandaranaike KUMARATUNGA]; Sri Lanka Muslim Congress or SLMC [M. H. M. ASHRAFF]; Sri Lanka People's Party or SLMP (Sri Lanka Mahajana Party) [Y. P. DE SILVA]; Sri Lanka Progressive Front or SLPF [Ariya BULEGODA]; Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization or TELO [M. K. SIVAJILINGHAM]; Tamil United Liberation Front or TULF [M. SIVASITHAMBARAM]; United National Party or UNP [Ranil WICHREMESINGHE]; Upcountry People's Front or UPF [Periyasamy CHANDRASEKARAN]; Desha Vimukthi Janatha Party or DVJP [P.M. Podi APPUHAMY]; several ethnic Tamil and Muslim parties, represented in either parliament or provincial councils

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or LTTE; other radical chauvinist Sinhalese groups; Buddhist clergy; Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups; labor unions

    International organization participation: AsDB, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Warnasena RASAPUTRAM
    chancery: 2148 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 483-4025 through 4028
    FAX: [1] (202) 232-7181
    consulate(s): New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Shaun E. DONNELLY
    embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3
    mailing address: P. O. Box 106, Colombo
    telephone: [94] (1) 448007
    FAX: [94] (1) 437345, 446013

    Flag description: yellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other panel is a large dark red rectangle with a yellow lion holding a sword, and there is a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border that goes around the entire flag and extends between the two panels

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)