×
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Government Stats

Profile:

Mahinda Rajapaksa won a landslide victory in January 2010 in early elections which he called after he declared victory in a 25-year war with the Tamil Tiger separatists.

Former army chief General Sarath Fonseka, who led the final campaign that crushed the Tamil Tigers, stood against Mr Rajapaksa in the 2010 election and challenged the result.

Soon after, Gen Fonseka was arrested and charged with a variety of offences ranging from harbouring deserters to treason. He was found guilty on several of the charges but was released from prison in May 2012. The terms of his release prevent him from running for public office for seven years.

President Rajapaksa further consolidated his grip on power when his ruling coalition won an overwhelming majority in parliamentary elections in April 2010. Later in the year, MPs passed a constitutional amendment allowing him to stand for unlimited terms in office.

Dictatorial tendencies?

The opposition accuses the president of moving the country towards dictatorship, but Mr Rajapaksa says he is guaranteeing Sri Lanka much-needed stability.

Mr Rajapaksa first won the presidency in 2005 when Sri Lanka was in the middle of a tenuous ceasefire agreement with the Tamil Tigers. Peace talks yielded nothing and in 2006 he determined to defeat the Tigers once and for all.

Defeat of the rebels came in mid-2009. Mr Rajapaksa, seeking to capitalise on his success at ending the war, called early elections to get a fresh mandate to revive the economy and implement a political solution for ethnic minorities.

A lawyer from the Sinhalese ethnic majority, Mr Rajapaksa draws the core of his support from rural Sinhalese voters whose rights he championed as labour minister in the 1990s.

Mr Rajapaksa became prime minister in 2004, and was praised for his handling of the aftermath of the tsunami of the year.

But he has faced criticism for events at the end of the Tamil Tiger war, during which thousands of civilians were killed as troops battled to corner and crush the rebels.

He also promised to protect journalists and freedom of speech, but at least one prominent journalist was murdered and dozens have been beaten, arrested or forced to flee the country during his time in office.

In 2011, Mr Rajapaksa's government scrapped emergency laws in place for much of the past four decades. However, it sparked international outcry by introducing new laws restoring many of the controversial powers granted the authorities under the state of emergency.

Growing tension between the government and the judiciary culminated in the impeachment and dismissal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in January 2013, in what critics described as a politically motivated move intended to curtail the independence of the judiciary.

Definitions

  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Elections: Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election
  • Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
STAT AMOUNT DATE RANK HISTORY
Administrative divisions 9 provinces; Central, Eastern, North Central, Northern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western 2013
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 6 56 N, 79 51 E 2008
Constitution adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978; amended 20 December 2001 2012
Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address P. O. Box 106, Colombo 2013
Executive branch > Cabinet Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister 2013
Executive branch > Elections president elected by popular vote for a six-year term, eligible for a second term; election last held on 26 January 2010 (next to be held in 2016) 2013
Executive branch > Head of government President Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005) 2013
Government type republic 2013
Independence 4 February 1948 (from the UK) 2013
Judicial branch Supreme Court; Court of Appeals; judges for both courts are appointed by the president 2012
Legal system mixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and Jaffna Tamil customary law 2013
Legislative branch unicameral Parliament 2011
Political parties and leaders Coalitions and leaders: Democratic National Alliance, led by General (Retired) Sarath FONSEKA
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or JVP [Somawansa AMARASINGHE]
Tamil National Alliance led by Illandai Tamil Arasu Kachchi [R. SAMPANTHAN]
United National Front led by United National Party [Ranil WICKREMESINGHE]
United People's Freedom Alliance led by Sri Lanka Freedom Party [Mahinda RAJAPAKSA]
2013
Political pressure groups and leaders Buddhist clergy
labor unions
hard-line nationalist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against Terrorism
Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups
2013
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal 2013

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011

Citation

"Sri Lanka Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Sri-Lanka/Government