Local Government of Sri Lanka

Ministry: Local Government and Provincial Councils

Association: Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities

There are three spheres of government in Sri Lanka: national, provincial and local, as provided for by the 13th amendment to the constitution.

Provincial government is provided for by the Provincial Councils Act 1987 and local government by the Urban Councils Ordinance 1939, the Municipal Councils Ordinance 1947 and the Pradeshiya Sabhas Act 1988, as well as the constitution. The Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils is responsible for devolved government nationally and the provincial ministers of local government for local government.

The principal organs of devolved government are the nine provincial councils. In the next tier are 330 local authorities, comprising 18 municipal councils, 42 urban councils and 270 pradeshiya sabhas (rural local authorities).

Provincial councils’ principal responsibilities include provincial economic plans; law and order; education; housing; and agricultural support services; local authorities are responsible for health; utilities; and roads; and the pradeshiya sabhas are also concerned with economic development. The local authorities collect taxes, rents, rates and fees, as well as receiving transfers from national and provincial governments.