Sri Lanka

The Parliament of Sri Lanka

The Parliament of Sri Lanka

Key Facts

Head of State: President Maithripala Sirisena

Joined the Commonwealth: 1948 

Capital City (location of Parliament): Colombo

Unicameral/Bicameral: Unicameral; Parliament (225) 

Further Information:

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CPA UK & Sri Lanka

CPA UK and the Parliament of Sri Lanka have had substantial engagement in recent years and have successfully facilitated a number of capacity building programmes on the subject of parliamentary oversight.

Following the general election of August 2015, the leadership of the Parliament of Sri Lanka prioritised a number of reforms including the establishment of a Departmental Sectoral Oversight Committee System aimed at enhancing the capabilities of Parliament to hold Government to account.

CPA UK secured FCO funding to run a Workshop on Sectoral Oversight Committees from 15-17 February 2016 in partnership with the Parliament of Sri Lanka and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). This activity provided a platform for the exchange of knowledge and good practice between UK and Sri Lankan Members and Clerks ahead of the implementation of the new committee system.

Since then, there have been several programmes delivered in Westminster by CPA UK in conjunction with WFD including a study visit to Westminster by the Sectoral Oversight Committee Chairs and senior parliamentary officials in October 2016 and January 2017; and programmes on financial oversight for Members of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) in January 2018 and Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) in October 2018.

CPA UK conducts some of its bilateral work with Sri Lanka with the support of the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy.

Delegates from Sri Lanka are also regular participants in our Multilateral Projects Team programmes, most recently delegates attended The Commonwealth Parliamentarians' Forum (26 February - 1 March 2018).

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Our Recent Programmes

Visit of Committee of Public AccountsWestminster, 16-18 October 2018

CPA UK hosted the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) from the Sri Lanka Parliament in October 2018. The programme explored a range of issues relating to public financial oversight and provided an opportunity for UK and Sri Lankan members to share experiences.

The programme explored how the Chair manages the Public Accounts Committee, how members and clerks work together, the relationship with the National Audit Office, and effective questioning techniques.

The visit from COPA continued CPA UK's long-term programme, in partnership with WFD, supporting oversight committees in the Parliament of Sri Lanka. The programme for COPA was organised with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and funded through the Commonwealth Partnership for Democracy (CP4D).

Visit of Committee on Public Enterprises from the Parliament of Sri Lanka, Westminster, 20-22 February 2018

The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) is one of two financial committees in the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the other being the Committee on Public Accounts. COPE’s remit is to examine the accounts of public corporations and of any business undertaking vested in the Government. 

The delegates to Westminster from COPE were keen to get an overview of financial oversight and scrutiny in the UK parliament.  Their programme included meetings with Members of Parliament, the National Audit Office, Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Scrutiny Unit. To get a wider understanding of the way committees effectively work in the UK the programme also included an overview of the select committee system in the UK as well as committee engagement with the media.

Capacity Building Workshop for Sectoral Oversight Committee Chairs and Officials from the Parliament of Sri Lanka, Westminster, 23-27 January 2017

This programme provided a wide-ranging introduction to the functioning of UK select committees for the Chairs of the newly established Sectoral Oversight Committees in Sri Lanka. The delegation of committee Chairs found the programme particularly useful as an example of how committee Members in the UK work together to effectively manage and conduct committee work. The delegation was able to observe the private meeting of the Health Select Committee before meeting a large number of select committee Chairs, Members and Clerks who provided insightful discussion on how the UK Parliament approaches committee oversight.

Workshop on Sectoral Oversight Committees
Parliament of Sri Lanka, Colombo 15-17 February 2016

This programmme focused on providing an insight into the role of a Committee Chair, cross party working and engagement with the media and public. It gave visiting delegates a thorough overview of the workings of a Westminster committee system. A practical mock committee evidence session on the final day of the programme then gave delegates the opportunity to put their learning into practice