Fundamental duties of citizens and officials

Published : 10:00 am  July 14, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (579) reads | 

The State shall safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka


1. The State is pledged to establish in Sri Lanka a Democratic Socialist Society, the objectives of which include–

  •  The full realisation of the Fundamental Rights and freedoms of all persons;
  • The realization by all citizens of an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, the continuous and sustainable improvement of living conditions and the full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities.
  • Equitable distribution of all natural and material resources, and the social product, so as best to serve the common good;
  • The complete eradication of illiteracy and the assurance to all persons of the right to universal and equal access to education at all levels.
  • The State shall safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.
  • It shall be the duty of the State to ensure peaceful coexistence and harmony among all ethnicities, religious and social groups while maintaining its plural character and preserving diversity; the State shall strengthen national unity by promoting co-operation and mutual confidence among all sections of the People of Sri Lanka, including the racial, religious, linguistic and other groups and shall take effective steps in the fields of teaching, education and information in order to eliminate discrimination and prejudice.
  •  No person or group shall be discriminated against the basis of race, ethnicity, caste, class, religion, language, belief, gender, sexual or gender orientation and identities, marital status, mental or physical disability, political opinion or affiliations, occupation, past conduct including insurrection against the State excluding conviction for grave offences. It should be the responsibility of the State to accord due protection to all vulnerable groups including persons with diverse sexual and gender orientations.
  •  Customary rights of various communities which are consistent with the recognized fundamental rights be protected and ensured
  •  The State shall recognize and ensure the protection of the basic rights of asylum seekers, refugees, Stateless persons and aliens.
  • State shall take all reasonable measures to ensure that all persons have a right to free legal representation before a court, tribunal, commission of inquiry, police station, prison and such other bodies.
  • Free education, free health and public transport should be maintained as public services without allowing them to be subjugated to private interests that dominate the market.
  • The State shall assist the development of the cultures and the languages of the people.
  • nThe State shall create the necessary economic and social environment to enable people of all religious faiths to make a reality of the religious principles.
  • The State shall recognise and protect the family as the basic unit of society.
  • Persons with disabilities shall be respected and accepted as a part of human diversity and humanity.
  • The State shall promote with special care the interests of children and youth, so as to ensure their full development, physical, mental, moral, religious and social, and to protect them from exploitation and discrimination.
  • The State shall promote the special care and protection of senior citizens
  • The State shall protect, preserve and improve the environment including the earth resources and assets, the fauna and flora, water resources, for the benefit of the community, in line with international standards and efforts, take measures to reduce green gas emissions, strive to ensure and maintain a minimum forest cover within acceptable international standards.
  • The State shall ensure that development work shall be carried out in an environmentally safe manner minimizing pollution and duly safeguarding the rights and interests of private citizens and communities who are affected in the process, including their right to a livelihood.
  • The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties.
  • No State owned organizations or shares of any State organization or any asset of the State shall be sold or privatized unless the prior approval of Parliament is obtained by way of a resolution presented to it.
  • The State shall see that no one is arbitrarily deprived of ownership of their land without due process of law adhering to relevant international conventions. In acquiring land for development processes due compensation should be paid to land owners prior to such acquisitions.
  • The State shall recognize Cooperative System as an alternative to Market and State and is duty bound to facilitate Cooperative Movement and assure the prevention of political interference in the management of cooperatives.
  • The State shall protect the rights of labour as incorporated in the ILO core conventions on fundamental rights at work.
  • The State shall provide adequate safeguards for the protection of the rights afforded to Sri Lankan migrant workers even if they are in foreign lands.
  • It is the duty of the State to ensure that its obligations under international covenants and conventions and treaties signed by the State are ratified within a period of one year.

Fundamental duties of state and its officials:

It is the fundamental duty of the State, to refrain from promoting in any manner ethno-nationalism in the country directly or indirectly. On the contrary, the State shall promote civic nationalism and liberal patriotism based on most enlightened religious and secular principles, fundamental human rights, and cosmopolitanism.

It is the primary duty of all State officials including the police officers and members of the Executive to serve the citizens, be polite to them, and maintain the best professional standards and refrain from favouritism, nepotism or any kind of misdeeds.


Fundamental duties of citizens

The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations and accordingly it is the duty of every person in Sri Lanka:

a. To uphold and defend the Constitution and the law;

b. To further national interest and to foster national unity;

c. To preserve and protect public property and to combat misuse and waste of public property;

d. To respect the rights and freedoms of others; and

e. To protect nature and conserve its riches.

It is the fundamental duty of all citizens to refrain from hate speech or expressions that could lead to incitement or social disharmony.

There were strong submissions from people requesting that the Directive Principles should be justiciable. 

While the Committee was sympathetic with this view, it agreed to recommend the provision in the Indian Constitution with regard to the Application of the Principles contained in this section.

The provisions contained in this Chapter shall not be enforceable in any Court or Tribunal.

To be continued