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State Council of Ceylon: Map

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The Old State Council Building the near the Galle Face Green, now the Presidential Secretariat
The State Council of Ceylon was the legislative body created in Sri Lankamarker by the Britishmarker colonial power in terms of the Donoughmore Constitution, which gave universal adult franchise to the people of the colony. There were just two State Councils, 1931-1936 and 1936-1947.

Due the Ceylonese request for constitutional reforms a royal commission under the Earl of Donoughmore arrived in 1927, hence known as the Donoughmore Commission. The reforms carried out by the Donoughmore Constitution, resulted in the dissolution of the Legislative Council of Ceylon and replaced it with the State Council of Ceylon in 1931.

The legislative branch of the government, the State Council functioned in both an executive and legislative capacity. Seven committees performed executive duties. Each committee consisted of designated members of the State Council and was chaired by an elected Ceylonese, who was addressed as minister. The board of ministers was formed with three Britishofficers of ministerial rank along with seven Ceylonese ministers. The British officers handled Defense, External affairs, Finance, and Judicial matters.

On calls for more reforms a committee leaded by Lord Soulbery arrived in Ceylon in 1944. Based on the report by the Soulbury Commission, a new constitution was created and an election was conducted according to the new legislation in 1947. Following decisions with the elected government dominion status was granted by Britain in 1948.

Soulbery legislation consisted of;

  • 1947 Lanka Independence Act
  • 1947 Lanka Independence Royal order
  • 1946 Lanka Governance Royal order


Therefore in 1947 the State Council and the Parliament was created in its place.

Speakers of the State Council



Ministers of the State Council



Notable State Councilors




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