Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

WFD in Sri Lanka supports parliament to scrutinise government activity especially through its new oversight committee system; system of allowing MPs to exercise the powers of the speaker when the speaker is unavailable; and operationalising newer rules and processes of Parliament such as the 2018 Standing Orders.  Integral to WFD support are gender responsive and inclusive approaches and public engagement.  Additionally, WFD is exploring the role and responsibilities of parliament in fostering racial and religious harmony and reconciliation.  Technical assistance to the National Audit Office of Sri Lanka to support anti-corruption initiatives is also provided.  Working at the national level with legislators, parliamentary officials, independent commissions and civil society organisations is helping to create accountable and inclusive policies and laws that benefit all Sri Lankans.

2015: year of first WFD programme
Context

After the end of the civil war, Sri Lanka has adopted Constitutional reforms and developed practices which aim to diffuse power and safeguard the independence of commissions. In this evolving political environment, parliament has a key role to play to secure these ambitions. Through our programmes, WFD has engaged with key parliamentary stakeholders as they seek to develop and embed parliamentary practices that will contribute to strengthened oversight and scrutiny of the executive and provide more avenues for inclusive political participation.

Improving parliamentary oversight

WFD supports the process of constitutional reform in the Parliament of Sri Lanka by working with sectoral oversight committees, introduced in 2015, to review laws relating to specific subject areas. WFD also supports committees with monitoring the budget and financial commitments related to legislation.

Supporting political parties

Using existing sister-party relationships between Sri Lankan political parties and their UK counterparts, WFD is contributing to increased participation of women in politics. The programme also engages the Speaker of Parliament on reconciliation and constitutional reform initiatives connected to the end of the civil war. Raising awareness about the Speakers role in parliament forms a central part of the programme.

Relevant programme information

Country Data

Population:

Population:

21.2
Million
GDP:

GDP:

$88.9
Billion (USD)
GNI per capita:

GNI per capita:

$4,060
(USD)
Media freedom:

Media freedom:

61/100
(not free)
Democracy index:

Democracy index:

56/100
(partly free)

Results

Oversight Committees provide stronger oversigh of the executive and operations
Parliament has strengthened the role of the presiding officers
The Parliament has strengthened accountabe and inclusive practices, procedures and rules
From 2016-2019, Chairs of all 16 Sectoral Oversight Committees, COPA and COPE – members of parliament from key parties and factions in government and opposition – participated in 3 day workshops at the House of Commons on committee operations, public engagement and media access.

Implementation

Building cross-party support for reconciliation in Sri Lanka
Underway
Strengthening oversight for accountable governance
Underway
Supporting the Parliament to strengthen oversight and legislative processes and rules
Completed
Supporting political parties to be consultative and representative
Completed