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Sri Lanka: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
conventional short form: Sri Lanka
local long form: Shri Lanka Prajatantrika Samajavadi Janarajaya/Ilankai Jananayaka Choshalichak Kutiyarachu
local short form: Shri Lanka/Ilankai
former: Serendib, Ceylon
CapitalColombo; note - Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital Colombo, note - Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte is the legislative capital
geographic coordinates: 6 55 N, 79 50 E
time difference: UTC+5.5 (10.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 provinces; Central, Eastern, North Central, Northern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva, Western
Constitutionseveral previous; latest adopted 16 August 1978, certified 31 August 1978; amended many times, last in 2010 (2010)
Executive branchchief of state: President Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; Dissanayake Mudiyanselage JAYARATNE holds the largely ceremonial title of prime minister (since 21 April 2010)
head of government: President Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA (since 19 November 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president in consultation with the prime minister
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)
election results: Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA re-elected president; percent of vote - Mahinda Percy RAJAPAKSA 57.88%, Sarath FONSEKA 40.15%, other 1.97%
Flag descriptionyellow with two panels; the smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange; the other larger panel depicts a yellow lion holding a sword on a dark red rectangular field that also displays a yellow bo leaf in each corner; the yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels; the lion represents Sinhalese ethnicity, the strength of the nation, and bravery; the sword demonstrates the sovereignty of the nation; the four bo leaves - symbolizing Buddhism and its influence on the country - stand for the four virtues of kindness, friendliness, happiness, and equanimity; orange signifies Sri Lankan Tamils, green the Sri Lankan Moors; dark red represents the European Burghers, but also refers to the rich colonial background of the country; yellow denotes other ethnic groups; also referred to as the Lion Flag
Independence4 February 1948 (from the UK)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of the Republic (consists of the chief justice and 10 justices); note - the court has exclusive jurisdiction to review legislation
judge selection and term of office: the chief justice appointed by the president; the other justices appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice; all justices hold office until age 65
subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; High Courts; Magistrate's Courts; municipal and primary courts
Legal systemmixed legal system of Roman-Dutch civil law, English common law, and Jaffna Tamil customary law
Legislative branchunicameral Parliament (225 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of an open-list, proportional representation system by electoral district to serve six-year terms)
elections: last held on 8 April 2010 with a repoll in two electorates held on 20 April 2010 (next to be held by April 2016)
election results: percent of vote by alliance or party - United People's Freedom Alliance 60.93%, United National Party 29.34%, Democratic National Alliance 5.49%, Tamil National Alliance 2.9%, other 1.34%; seats by alliance or party - United People's Freedom Alliance 144, United National Party 60, Tamil National Alliance 14, Democratic National Alliance 7
International organization participationABEDA, ADB, ARF, BIMSTEC, C, CD, CP, FAO, G-11, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, SAARC, SACEP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayIndependence Day, 4 February (1948)
Political pressure groups and leadersBuddhist clergy
labor unions
hard-line nationalist Sinhalese groups such as the National Movement Against Terrorism
Sinhalese Buddhist lay groups
Political parties and leadersCoalitions 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)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Designate Prasad KARIYAWASAM (since 2014)
chancery: 2148 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 483-4025 through 4028
FAX: (1) (202) 232-7181
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
consulate(s): New York
National anthemname: "Sri Lanka Matha" (Mother Sri Lanka)
lyrics/music: Ananda SAMARKONE
note: adopted 1951
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)lion
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Michele J. SISON (since 29 September 2012); note - also accredited to Maldives
embassy: 210 Galle Road, Colombo 3
mailing address: P. O. Box 106, Colombo
telephone: (94) (11) 249-8500
FAX: (94) (11) 243-7345