chapter  20
15 Pages

Government Structure

WithRobert C. Oberst, Yogendra K. Malik, Charles H. Kennedy, Ashok Kapur, Mahendra Lawoti, Syedur Rahman, Ahrar Ahmad

Sri Lanka has struggled to create a viable political system that is sensitive to the culture of the country and maintains democratic institutions. Since Sri Lanka is a unitary state, its local government has been very weak. In its efforts to find a suitable constitutional arrangement, Sri Lanka has gone from a political system modeled on the British Westminster form of government, to a similar unicameral government, to a French system of government. The government agent (GA) is supposed to act as the chief coordinator of government activities in the district in addition to overseeing development projects. GAs were very important figures in the colonial administration of Great Britain. Despite criticisms about the performance of the public service, few efforts have been made to change the system of administration since Sri Lanka became independent. The public service is hierarchical, with an elite corps at the top of the administrative structure.