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In Sri Lanka, districts (Sinhala: දිස්ත්‍රි‌ක්‌ක, romanized: Distrikka, Tamil: மாவட்டம்) are the second-level administrative divisions, and are included in a province. There are 25 districts organized into 9 provinces.[1] Each district is administered under a District Secretary,[2] who is appointed by the central government.[3] The main tasks of the District Secretariat involve coordinating communications and activities of the central government and Divisional Secretariats. The District Secretariat is also responsible for implementing and monitoring development projects at the district level and assisting lower-level subdivisions in their activities,[4] as well as revenue collection and coordination of elections in the district.[5] A district is divided into a number of Divisional Secretary's Divisions (commonly known as DS divisions), which are in turn subdivided into 14,022 Grama Niladhari Divisions.[6] There are 331 DS divisions in the country.[7]

District
දිස්ත්‍රි‌ක්‌ක
மாவட்டம்
Districts of Sri Lanka.png
CategorySecond level administrative division
LocationSri Lanka
Number25 (as of February 1984)
Populations92,238–2,324,349
Areas699–7,179 km²
GovernmentDistrict secretariat
SubdivisionsDS Division

HistoryEdit

The country was first divided into several administrative units during the Anuradhapura Kingdom. The kingdom was divided into three provinces; Rajarata, Ruhuna and Malaya Rata. These were further subdivided into smaller units called rata.[8] Over time, the number of provinces increased, but the second-level administrative division continued to be the rata. However, with the country eventually being divided into more than one kingdom and with foreign colonial missions landing and taking parts of the country under their control, this structure began to change. The territory of the Kotte Kingdom was organized into four disavas, which were further subdivided into forty korales. The korales had their own civil and military officials with a small militia. The Jaffna kingdom appears to have had a similar administrative structure to this with four provinces.[9]

When the Portuguese took over parts of the country after their arrival in 1505,[10] they maintained more or less the same administrative structure followed by Sri Lankan rulers.[11] During the Dutch rule in the country, the terrain under their control was divided into three administrative divisions. These were subdivided into disavas as in earlier systems.[12] The British initially continued this system,[13] but following reforms in 1796 to 1802, the country was divided according to ethnic composition.[14][15] This was abolished by the Colebrook–Cameron reforms in 1833 and a legislative council was created,[16] making the island a politically and administratively single unit. Five provinces were created, later expanded into nine, and these were subdivided into twenty-one districts. These districts were administered by officials known as Government Agents or Assistant Government Agents.[14]

In 1955, the district replaced the province as the country's main administrative unit.[17] Ampara District was created in April 1961,[18][19] followed by the creation of Mullaitivu and Gampaha districts in September 1978[20] through a new constitution, which also reintroduced the province as the main administrative unit.[21] The last district to be created was Kilinochchi in February 1984,[22] and the current constitution (that of 1978) states that the territory of Sri Lanka consists of 25 administrative districts. These districts may be subdivided or amalgamated by a resolution of the Parliament of Sri Lanka.[23]

DistrictsEdit

All population data are from the most recent census of Sri Lanka, in 2012.

District Area map Province District
capital
Land
area
in km2 (mi2)[24]
Inland
water
area
in km2 (mi2)[24]
Total
area
in km2 (mi2)[24]
Population
(2012)[25]
Population
density
per km2
(per mi2)[a]
Ampara   Eastern Ampara 4,222 (1,630) 193 (75) 4,415 (1,705) 649,402 154 (400)
Anuradhapura   North Central Anuradhapura 6,664 (2,573) 515 (199) 7,179 (2,772) 860,575 129 (330)
Badulla   Uva Badulla 2,827 (1,092) 34 (13) 2,861 (1,105) 815,405 288 (750)
Batticaloa   Eastern Batticaloa 2,610 (1,010) 244 (94) 2,854 (1,102) 526,567 202 (520)
Colombo   Western Colombo 676 (261) 23 (8.9) 699 (270) 2,324,349 3,438 (8,900)
Galle   Southern Galle 1,617 (624) 35 (14) 1,652 (638) 1,063,334 658 (1,700)
Gampaha   Western Gampaha 1,341 (518) 46 (18) 1,387 (536) 2,304,833 1,719 (4,450)
Hambantota   Southern Hambantota 2,496 (964) 113 (44) 2,609 (1,007) 599,903 240 (620)
Jaffna   Northern Jaffna 929 (359) 96 (37) 1,025 (396) 583,882 629 (1,630)
Kalutara   Western Kalutara 1,576 (608) 22 (8.5) 1,598 (617) 1,221,948 775 (2,010)
Kandy   Central Kandy 1,917 (740) 23 (8.9) 1,940 (750) 1,375,382 716 (1,850)
Kegalle   Sabaragamuwa Kegalle 1,685 (651) 8 (3.1) 1,693 (654) 840,648 499 (1,290)
Kilinochchi   Northern Kilinochchi 1,205 (465) 74 (29) 1,279 (494) 113,510 94 (240)
Kurunegala   North Western Kurunegala 4,624 (1,785) 192 (74) 4,816 (1,859) 1,618,465 350 (910)
Mannar   Northern Mannar 1,880 (730) 116 (45) 1,996 (771) 99,570 53 (140)
Matale   Central Matale 1,952 (754) 41 (16) 1,993 (770) 484,531 248 (640)
Matara   Southern Matara 1,270 (490) 13 (5.0) 1,283 (495) 814,048 641 (1,660)
Monaragala   Uva Monaragala 5,508 (2,127) 131 (51) 5,639 (2,177) 451,058 82 (210)
Mullaitivu   Northern Mullaitivu 2,415 (932) 202 (78) 2,617 (1,010) 92,238 38 (98)
Nuwara Eliya   Central Nuwara Eliya 1,706 (659) 35 (14) 1,741 (672) 711,644 417 (1,080)
Polonnaruwa   North Central Polonnaruwa 3,077 (1,188) 216 (83) 3,293 (1,271) 406,088 132 (340)
Puttalam   North Western Puttalam 2,882 (1,113) 190 (73) 3,072 (1,186) 762,396 265 (690)
Ratnapura   Sabaragamuwa Ratnapura 3,236 (1,249) 39 (15) 3,275 (1,264) 1,088,007 336 (870)
Trincomalee   Eastern Trincomalee 2,529 (976) 198 (76) 2,727 (1,053) 379,541 150 (390)
Vavuniya   Northern Vavuniya 1,861 (719) 106 (41) 1,967 (759) 172,115 92 (240)
Total 62,705 (24,211) 2,905 (1,122) 65,610 (25,330) 20,359,439 325 (840)

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Population density has been calculated using the land area rather than the total area.

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ "At a Glance". Sri Lanka in Brief. Government of Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 7 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Vision & Mission". District Secretariats Portal. Ministry of Public Administration & Home Affairs, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  3. ^ "Kilinochchi a brief look". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 27 April 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
  4. ^ "About Us". Vavuniya District Secretariat. Archived from the original on 12 November 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  5. ^ "Performs Report and Accounts—2008" (PDF). District and Divisional Secretariats Portal—Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
  6. ^ "Identification of DS Divisions of Sri Lanka Vulnerable for food insecurity" (PDF). World Food Programme. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Grama Niladhari Administration Division". Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  8. ^ Siriweera 2004, p. 91.
  9. ^ Yogasundaram 2006, p. 170.
  10. ^ Hewavissenti, Panchamee (3 February 2008). "Episodes of colonised history". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). Archived from the original on 7 February 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  11. ^ Yogasundaram 2006, p. 168.
  12. ^ Yogasundaram 2006, p. 195.
  13. ^ Yogasundaram 2006, p. 214.
  14. ^ a b Yogasundaram 2006, p. 258.
  15. ^ Peebles 2006, p. 48.
  16. ^ Peebles 2006, p. 52.
  17. ^ Peebles 2006, p. 110.
  18. ^ "Overview". Ampara District Secretariat. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  19. ^ Mohideen, M. I. M. (27 December 2007). "Sinhalisation of East: A reply to Minister Champika Ranawaka". The Island (Sri Lanka).
  20. ^ "Population by sex and district, census years" (PDF). Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-13.
  21. ^ Schmiegelow, Michèle (1997). Democracy in Asia. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 425. ISBN 0-312-16495-5.
  22. ^ Karalliyadda, S. B. (9 June 2013). "Awakening Jaffna Uthuru Wasanthaya". The Nation (Sri Lanka). Archived from the original on 2013-12-24.
  23. ^ "Chapter 1: The People, The State and Sovereignty". The Constitution of Sri Lanka. Government of Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  24. ^ a b c "Table 1.1: Area of Sri Lanka by province and district" (PDF). Statistical Abstract 2014. Department of Census and Statistics, Sri Lanka.
  25. ^ "Census of Population and Housing of Sri Lanka, 2012 - Table A1: Population by district, sex and sector" (PDF). Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit