In Sri Lanka, WFD supports parliament in scrutinising government activity, especially through its new oversight committee system – which enables 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.
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.
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.
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.