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4The PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA having, by their Mandate freely expressed and granted on the Sixth day of the waxing moon in the month of Adhi Nikini in the year Two Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty one of the Buddhist Era (being Thursday the Twenty first day of the month of July in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy seven), entrusted to and empowered their Representatives elected on that day to draft, adopt and operate a new Republican Constitution in order to achieve the goals of a DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC, and having solemnly resolved by the grant of such Mandate and the confidence reposed in their said Representatives who were elected by an overwhelming majority, to constitute SRI LANKA into a DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC whilst ratifying the immutable republican principles of REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY and assuring to all peoples FREEDOM, EQUALITY, JUSTICE, FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS and the INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY as the intangible heritage that guarantees the dignity and well-being of succeeding generations of the People of SRI LANKA and of all the people of the World, who come to share with those generations the effort of working for the creation and preservation of a JUSTAND FREE SOCIETY:
5WE, THE FREELY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA, in pursuance of such Mandate, humbly acknowledging our obligations to our People and gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain and preserve their rights and privileges so that the Dignity and Freedom of the Individual may be assured, Just, Social, Economic and Cultural Order attained, the Unity of the Country restored, and Concord established with other Nations,
24c.the judicial power of the People shall be exercised by Parliament through courts, tribunals and institutions created and established, or recognized, by the Constitution, or created 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 be exercised directly by Parliament according to law;
25d.the fundamental rights which are by the Constitution declared and recognized shall be respected, secured and advanced by all the organs of government and shall not be abridged, restricted or denied, save in the manner and to the extent hereinafter provided; and
26e.the franchise shall be exercisable at the election of the President of the Republic and of the Members of Parliament 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 his name entered in the register of electors.
379. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).
46Provided that it shall be lawful to require a person to acquire within a reasonable time sufficient knowledge of any language as a qualification for any employment or office in the Public, Judicial or Local Government Service or in the service of any Public Corporation, where such knowledge is reasonably necessary for the discharge of the duties of such employment or office:
47Provided further that 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.
483. No person shall, on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex 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 his own religion.
522. Every person held in custody, detained or otherwise deprived of personal liberty shall be brought before the judge of the nearest competent court according to procedure established by law and shall not be further held in custody, detained or deprived of personal liberty except upon and in terms of the order of such judge made in accordance with procedure established by law.
544. No person shall be punished with death or imprisonment except by order of a competent court, made in accordance with procedure established by law. The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty of a person, pending investigation or trial, shall not constitute punishment.
576. No person shall be held guilty of an offence on account of any act or omission which did not, at the time of such act or omission, constitute such an offence and no penalty shall be imposed for any offence more severe than the penalty in force at the time such offence was committed.
58Nothing in this Article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations.
59It shall not be contravention of this Article to require the imposition of a minimum penalty for an offence provided that such penalty does not exceed the maximum penalty prescribed for such offence at the time such offence was committed.
607. The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty of a person, by reason of a removal order or a deportation order made under the provisions of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act or the Indo-Ceylon Agreement (Implementation) Act, No. 14 of 1967, or such other law as may be enacted in substitution therefor, shall not be a contravention of this Article.
722. A person who, not being a citizen of any other country, has been permanently and legally resident in Sri Lanka immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution and continues to be so resident shall be entitled, for a period of ten years from the commencement of the Constitution, to the rights declared and recognized by paragraph (1) of this Article.
741. The exercise and operation of the fundamental rights declared and recognized by Articles 13(5) and 13(6) shall be subject only to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national security. For the purposes of this paragraph “law” includes regulations made under the law for the time being relating to public security.
752. The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognized by Article 14(1)(a) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of racial and religious harmony or in relation to parliamentary privilege, contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
763. The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognized by Article 14(1)(b) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of racial and religious harmony.
774. The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognized by Article 14(1)(c) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of racial and religious harmony or national economy.
785. The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognized by Article 14(1)(g) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national economy or in relation to –
79a.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
80b.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.
816. The exercise and operation of the fundamental right declared and recognized by Article 14(1)(h) shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national economy.
827. The exercise and operation of all the fundamental rights declared and recognized by Articles 12, 13(1), 13(2) and 14 shall be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of national security, public order and 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 of meeting the just requirements of the general welfare of a democratic society. For the purposes of this paragraph “law” includes regulations made under the law for the time being relating to public security.
838. The exercise and operation of the fundamental rights declared and recognized by Articles 12(1), 13 and 14 shall, in their application to the members of the Armed Forces, Police Force and other Forces charged with the maintenance of public order, be subject to such restrictions as may be prescribed by law in the interests of the proper discharge of their duties and the maintenance of discipline among them.
88Every person shall be entitled to apply to the Supreme Court, as provided by Article 126, in respect of the infringement or imminent infringement, by executive or administrative action, of a fundamental right to which such person is entitled under the provisions of this Chapter.
98A Member of Parliament or a member of a Provincial Council or a Local Authority shall be entitled to perform his duties and discharge his functions in Parliament or in such Provincial Council or Local Authority in either of the National Languages.
1022. 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 Language shall also be made a medium 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 such other National Language:
103Provided that compliance with the preceding provisions of this paragraph shall not be obligatory if such other 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.
1061. Sinhala and Tamil shall be the languages of administration throughout Sri Lanka and Sinhala shall be the language of administration and be used for the maintenance of public records and the transaction of all business by public institutions of all the Provinces of Sri Lanka other than the Northern and Eastern Provinces where Tamil shall be so used:
107Provided that the President may, having regard to the proportion which the Sinhala or Tamil linguistic minority population in any unit comprising a division of an Assistant Government Agent, bears to the total population of that area, direct that both Sinhala and Tamil or a language other than the language used as the language of administration in the province in which such area may be situated, be used as the language of administration for such area.
110b.If the law recognizes his 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;
1123. In any area where Tamil is used as the language of administration, a person other than an official acting in his official capacity, shall be entitled to exercise the rights and to obtain the services, referred to in sub paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of paragraph (2) of this Article, in Sinhala or English.
1134. A Provincial Council or a Local Authority which conducts its business in Sinhala shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business with, any official in his official capacity, in Sinhala and a Provincial Council or a Local Authority which conducts its business in Tamil shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business with, any official in his official capacity, in Tamil:
114Provided, however, that a Provincial Council, Local Authority, Public Institution or any official receiving communications from transacting business with any other or Provincial Council, Local Authority, Public Institution or an official functioning in an area in which a different language is used as the Language of administration shall be entitled to receive communications from and to communicate and transact business in English.
1155. A person shall be entitled to be examined through the medium of either Sinhala or Tamil or a language of his choice at any examination for the admission of persons to the Public Service, Judicial Service, Provincial Public Service, Local Government Service or any public institution, subject to the condition that he 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 his duties:
116Provided that a person may be required to have a sufficient knowledge of Sinhala or Tamil, as a condition for admission to any such service or public institution where no function of the office or employment for which he is recruited can be discharged otherwise than with a sufficient knowledge of such language.
118“Official” means the President, any Minister, Deputy Minister, Governor, Chief Minister or Minister of the Board of Ministers of a Province, or any officer of a public institution; local authority or Provincial Council; and
123Provided further that in respect of all other written laws and the text in which such written laws was enacted or adopted or made, shall prevail in the event of any inconsistency between such texts.
1242. All Orders, Proclamations, Rules, By-laws, Regulations and Notifications made or issued under any written law other than those made or issued by a Provincial Council or a Local Authority and the Gazette shall be published in Sinhala and Tamil together with a translation thereof in English.
1253. All Orders, Proclamations, Rules, By-laws, Regulations and Notifications made or issued under any written law by any Provincial Council or Local Authority and all documents, including circulars and forms issued by such body or any public institution shall be published in the Language used in the administration in the respective areas in which they function, together with a translation thereof in English.
1264. All laws and subordinate legislation in force immediately prior to the commencement of the Constitution, shall be published in the Gazette in the Sinhala and Tamil Language as expeditiously as possible.
1281. Sinhala and Tamil shall be the languages of the Courts throughout Sri Lanka and Sinhala shall be used as the language of the courts situated in all the areas of Sri Lanka except those in any area where Tamil is the language of administration. The record and proceedings shall be in the language of the Court. In the event of an appeal from any court records 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:
129Provided that the Minister 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 language other than the language of the court;
1302. 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 courts, in either Sinhala or Tamil.
1313. Any judge, juror, party or applicant or any person legally entitled to represent such party or applicant, who is not conversant with the language used in a court, shall be entitled to interpretation and to translation into Sinhala or Tamil provided by the State, to enable him to understand and participate in the proceedings before such court and 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 he may be entitled to obtain according to law.
1324. The Minister 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. Every judge shall be bound to implement such directions.
134“Court” means any court or tribunal created 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 and established for the conciliation and settlement of disputes;
1442. 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.
1453. 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.
147Provided that the provisions of sections 23 and 24 of that Act shall also be applicable to a person who became entitled to the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka by virtue of registration under the provisions of section 11, 12 or 13 of that Act.
1485. Every person who immediately prior to 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, 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.
1496. The provisions of all existing written laws 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.
1521. The Directive Principles of State Policy herein contained shall guide Parliament, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers in the enactment of laws and the governance of Sri Lanka for the establishment of a just and free society.
155b.the promotion of the welfare of the People by securing and protecting as effectively as it may, a social order in which justice (social, economic and political) shall guide all the institutions of the national life;
156c.the realization by all citizens of an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, the continuous improvement of living conditions and the full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities;
157d.the rapid development of the whole country by means of public and private economic activity and by laws prescribing such planning and controls as may be expedient for directing and co-ordinating such public and private economic activity towards social objectives and the public weal;
159f.the establishment of a just social order in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are not concentrated and centralised in the State, State agencies or in the hands of a privileged few, but are dispersed among and owned by, all the People of Sri Lanka;
1634. The State shall strengthen and broaden the democratic structure of government and the democratic rights of the People by decentralising the administration and by affording all possible opportunities to the People to participate at every level in national life and in government.
1645. The State shall strengthen national unity by promoting co-operation and mutual confidence among all sections of the People of Sri Lanka, including the racial, religious, linguistic and other groups and shall take effective steps in the fields of teaching, education and information in order to eliminate discrimination and prejudice.
1656. The State shall ensure equality of opportunity to citizens, so that no citizen shall suffer any disability on the ground of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion or occupation.
17213. The State shall promote with special care the interests of children and youth, so as to ensure their full development, physical, mental, moral, religious and social, and to protect them from exploitation and discrimination.
17415. The State shall promote international peace, security and cooperation, and the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order and shall endeavour to foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in dealings among nations.
184The provisions of this Chapter do not confer or impose legal rights or obligations and are not enforceable in any court or tribunal. No question of inconsistency with such provisions shall be raised in any court or tribunal.
197i.Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the preceding provisions of this Chapter, the President may, at any time after the expiration of four years from the commencement of his current term of office, by Proclamation, declare his intention of appealing to the People for a mandate to hold office, by election, for a further term:
198Provided that, where the President is elected in terms of this Article for a further term of office, the provisions of this Article shall mutatis mutandis apply in respect of any subsequent term of office to which he may be so elected.
200b.If, at any time after the date of Proclamation referred to in paragraph (a), and before the close of the poll at the election held in pursuance of such Proclamation, the President in office dies, such Proclamation shall be deemed to have been revoked with effect from the date of such death and the election to be held in pursuance of such Proclamation shall be deemed to be cancelled. The vacancy in the office of President caused by such death shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of Article 40.