LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

CHAPTER I

APPOINTMENT, POWERS AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS

3. Appointment and duties of Land Commissioner.

4. Powers of Land Commissioner.

5. Appointment of Assistant Land Commissioners and other officers.

6. Land officers.

7. All officers to be public servants.

CHAPTER II

MAPPING-OUT OF STATE LAND

8. Purposes for which State land may be mapped out.

9. Scheme and diagram to be prepared by Government Agent.

10. The duty of the Government Agent to transmit to the district agricultural committee, the scheme and the diagram prepared by him under section 9 for its observation.

11. Duty of the district agricultural committee to return within thirty days the scheme and diagram with its observations.

12. Scheme and diagram prepared by the Government Agent, modified necessary, to be transmitted to the Land Commissioner.

13. Power of Commissioner to confirm issue scheme or further instructions.

14. Notification of confirmation.

15. Right of public to inspect diagram.

16. No modification of scheme to be made except with the approval of the Minister in certain cases and of the Land Commissioner in others.

17. Mapping-out not essential before alienation.

18. Unmapped-out land deemed to be mapped out upon alienation.

CHAPTER III

ALIENATION OF STATE LAND

19. Manner of alienation of State Land.

20. Selection of persons to whom State land shall be alienated.

21. Notification of Land Kachcheri.

22. Applications for land; when and how received and considered.

22A. The persons to whom State land may be alienated.

23. Powers of Government Agent at Land Kachcheri.

23A. Power of Commissioner to very decision of a Government Agent, by way of revision.

23B. Power of Land Commissioner to set aside selections of persons.

24. Date of selection is material date for determination of qualification of alienee.

CHAPTER IV

PERMITS AND GRANTS

25. Form of permit.

26. Repealed.

27. Form of grant.

28. Repealed.

29. Registration of grants.

30. Grant to contain description of the land alienated.

31. Copy of plan to supplied on payment of prescribed fee.

32. Repealed.

33. Repealed.

34. Repealed.

35. Land Commissioner may authorise insertion of special conditions in grants.

36. Repealed.

37. Conditions in a grant to run with the land.

38. Repealed.

CHAPTER V

PROTECTION OF LAND HELD ON PERMITS OR GRANTS

39. Land alienated on grant and accepted as bail may be seized on court order.

40. Seizure and sale of land alienated on a permit or grant invalid.

41. Scope of protection.

41A. Seizure and sale by Banks and prescribed institutions.

CHAPTER VI

DISPOSITIONS

42. Power of owner to dispose of holding.

43. Leases and mortgages of holdings where permitted.

44. Repealed.

45. Repealed.

46. Disposition of land alienated on a permit.

47. Recovery of money due on mortgage of land alienated on a permit.

CHAPTER VII

SUCCESSION

48. Definition of Successor.

48A. Spouse of a deceased permit-holder entitled to succeed to land alienated to that permit-holder on the permit.

48B. Spouse of a deceased owner of a holding entitled to succeed to that holding.

49. Succession to land alienated on a permit or to a holding.

50. Repealed.

51. Restriction on nomination of Successors to holdings.

52. General principles applicable to nomination.

53. Cancellation of nominations.

54. Further nomination.

55. Act of nomination is not a disposition.

56. How nomination is effected.

57. No stamp duty for nominations or cancellation of nominations.

58. Documents of nomination or cancellation invalid unless registered.

59. Right of public to inspect registers.

60. Nomination or cancellation of nomination invalid unless registered before death of owner or permit-holder.

61. Nomination cancelled by death of nominee.

62. No document of nomination to be registered until after cancellation of previous nomination.

63. Nomination and cancellation may be made in last Will of owner or permit-holder.

64. Registration essential to validity of nomination or cancellation made in last Will.

65. Probate essential to validity of nomination or cancellation made in last Will.

66. Conditions applicable to cancellation of registered nomination by last Will.

67. General principles governing nominations and cancellations by last Will.

68. Failure of succession.

69. Repealed.

70. Repealed.

71. Repealed.

72. Succession under the Third Schedule.

73. Date of succession.

74. Accrual of rights in case of plurality of successors.

75. Nomination or cancellation of nomination is invalid if contrary to provisions of Ordinance.

76. Curators.

77. Repealed.

78. Repealed.

79. Repealed.

80. Repealed.

81. Repealed.

82. Repealed.

83. Repealed.

84. Succession on the death of a permit-holder who was paying rent under section 19A(2) for the land alienated.

85. Reversion of land to State under certain circumstances.

86. Vesting of surrendered land.

87. Name of successor nominated by the permit-holder may be endorsed on permit before issue.

88. Repealed.

89. Repealed.

90. Repealed.

91. Repealed.

92. Repealed.

93. Repealed.

94. Repealed.

95. Repealed.

96. Repealed.

97. Repealed.

98. Repealed.

99. Repealed.

100. Repealed.

101. Repealed.

102. Repealed.

103. Repealed.

CHAPTER VIII

CANCELLATION OF GRANTS AND PERMITS

104. Powers of the President in the case of failure of succession to a holding.

105. Power of the Government Agent in respect of a land alienated on a permit where there is a failure of succession or where such land has been vested in the State.

106. Notice to permit-holder where there has been a breach of the conditions of the permit.

107. Period allowed for showing cause.

108. Notice to be posted on land and served on interested parties.

109. Order cancelling permit if permit-holder fails to appear.

110. Procedure where permit-holder appears and shows cause.

111. Date of order of cancellation.

112. Order of Government Agent to be served on permit-holder and to be posted on land.

112A. Installments already paid to be funded on cancellation.

113. Appeal to Land Commissioner.

114. Time-limit for appeal.

115. Power of Land Commissioner.

116. Copy of Land Commissioner's decision to be served on permit-holder and to be final.

117. Government Agents Section under section 109 is final.

118. Right of party to be represented by agent.

118A. Effect of the Land Commissioner reversing a decision of the Government Agent selecting a person to receive a permit for the occupation of land.

CHAPTER IX

PROCEDURE IN EJECTMENT

119. Notice to issue on party in occupation to vacate holding.

120. Report to a Magistrate if person served with notice refuses to vacate holding.

121. Summons to issue.

122. Order of ejectment where no cause is shown.

123. Inquiry if cause is shown.

124. Repealed.

125. Order of ejectment.

126. Appeal to Court of Appeal.

127. Execution of order of ejectment.

128. Ejectment from land alienated on permit.

CHAPTER X

RECOVERY OF ANNUAL PAYMENTS AND Money DUE TO THE STATE

129. Payment of money due to the State.

130. Remission, reduction and waiver of annual payments.

131. Provided that such reduction or waiver shall not be made operative for a period exceeding one year.

132. Penalties for payments overdue or in arrears.

133. Money due to State a first charge on land.

134. Seizure and sequestration of crops and movable property of defaulting permit-holder.

135. In this Chapter a growing crop is movable property.

136. Property seized to be taken charge of.

137. Sale of property seized.

138. List of property seized.

139. Excess to be refunded to defaulter.

140. Seizure of land alienated on the permit.

141. Seizure how effected.

142. Registration of seizure.

143. Seizure of land under section 142 operates as cancellation of permit.

144. Repealed.

145. Repealed.

146. Repealed.

147. Repealed.

148. Repealed.

149. Repealed.

150. Repealed.

151. Repealed.

152. Recovery of money due to local authorities.

153. Delivery to local authority of money received by Government Agent.

154. All money due to State must be recovered by procedure under this Chapter.

CHAPTER XI

REGULATIONS

155. Minister authorised to make regulations.

156. Matters which may be provided for by regulations.

157. Regulations to be approved.

158. Regulations to have statutory force.

CHAPTER XII

MISCELLANEOUS

159. Ordinance deemed to be referred to in leases or permits executed prior to its introduction.

159A. A lience under this Ordinance.

159B. Special provisions to apply in respect of land acquired under the Land Redemption Ordinance and obtained by way of grant or permit issued under this Ordinance.

160. Government Agent to enter any land alienated on a permit or holding at any time.

161. No prescriptive title to be acquired to land alienated under Ordinance.

162. Notary prohibited from attesting instrument of disposition of a holding in contravention of the provisions of this Ordinance.

163. Notary attesting deed in breach of section 162 guilty of offence.

164. Mapped-out land may be settled.

165. Action revindication may be maintained against State in respect of alienated land.

165A. Power to acquire land the title of which has been vindicated under section 165.

166. Protection of public servants.

167. Provisions of particular enactments not to apply.

168. Offences in regard to State land.

168A. Encroachment on land alienated on a permit.

169. Trusts affecting land not to be recognised.

170. Succession to be regulated entirely by this Ordinance.

171. Repealed.

172. Loans to permit-holders who are paying annual sums by virtue of provisions of section 19A(3).

SCHEDULES

19 of 1935,

3 of 1946,

43 of 1973,

49 of 1953,

22 of 1955,

16 of 1969,

21 of 1971,

27 of 1981,

10 of 1983,

22 of 1993,

9 of 1995,

20 of 1996.

AN ORDINANCE to provide for the systematic development and alienation of state land in Sri Lanka.

[Date of Commencement: 15th October, 1935]

1. Short title.

This Ordinance may be cited as the Land Development Ordinance.

2. Interpretation.

In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires—

.

["Agricultural and Industrial Credit Corporation of Ceylon” omitted by s 2(a) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Alienation” with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions means the alienation of State land under this Ordinance;

.

["Bank of Ceylon” omitted by s 2(1) of Act 20 of 1996.]

.

["Ceylonese” omitted by s 2(c) of Act 16 of 1969.]

.

["Ceylon State Mortgage Bank” omitted by s 2(c) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Citizen of Sri Lanka” means an individual who is a citizen of Sri Lanka under any law for the time being in force relating to citizenship;

[Ins by s 2 of Act 16 of 1969.]

.

["Condition of ownership” omitted by s 2(c) of Act 16 of 1969.]

"Court” means any Court of Justice constituted by or under the Constitution of the Republic;

"Development Finance Corporation of Ceylon” means the Corporation established under the Development Finance Corporation of Ceylon Act;

[Ins by s 2(d) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Disposition” with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions means any transaction of whatever nature affecting land or the title thereto and includes any conveyance, devise, donation, exchange, lease, mortgage or transfer of land;

"District agricultural committee” shall have the same meaning as in the Irrigation Ordinance;

[Ins by s 2(d) of Act 16 of 1969.]

"Government Agent” includes an Additional Government Agent, Assistant Government Agent, Additional Assistant Government Agent, Assistant Land Commissioner, District Land Officer and any officer authorised by the Government Agent in writing in respect of any particular matter or provision of this Ordinance;

[Subs by s 2(e) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Grant” means a grant of land from the State under this Ordinance;

"High land” means land which is not irrigated land;

[Ins by s 2(f) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Holding” means land alienated by grant under this Ordinance, and includes any part thereof or interest therein; office of a "Housing Development Finance Corporation of Sri Lanka Limited” means the Corporation established under the National Housing Act;

[Ins by s 2 of Act 22 of 1993.]

"Irrigated land” means any land benefited by any irrigation work as defined in the Irrigation Ordinance;

[Ins by s 2(g) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Kachcheri” means the Government Agent;

"Land” includes—

(a) the bed of any waterway or of any collection of water, whether natural or artificial,

(b) things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth, and

(c) any title to land or any interest in the crops growing or to be grown thereon;

"Land Commissioner” means the officer appointed under section 3 of this Ordinance and includes an Additional Land Commissioner, Deputy Land Commissioner and any other officer of his department authorised by the Land Commissioner in writing in respect of any particular matter or provision of this Ordinance;

[Subs by s 2(h) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Land Kachcheri” means a meeting held in the prescribed manner for the purpose of alienating State land;

"Land officer” means an officer appointed under section 6 for the purposes of this Ordinance and the expression the land officer means the officer dealing with the particular land which is referred to in the context in which such expression is used;”licensed commercial bank” means a licensed commercial bank within the meaning of the Banking Act, No. 30 of 1988;

[Ins by s 2(2) of Act 20 of 1996.]

"Local authority” means any Municipal Council. Urban Council, Town Council or Village Council and includes any authority created and established by or under any law to exercise, perform and discharge powers, duties and functions corresponding to or similar to the powers duties and functions exercised, performed and discharged by any such Council;

[Subs by s 2(i) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Mapping-out” with its grammatical variations and cognate expressions means the reservation of State land for one or more of the purposes specified in section 8 or for any purpose prescribed under that section;

.

["Middle class Ceylonese” omitted by s 2(e) of Act 16 of 1969.]

"Minimum fraction” means the smallest fraction of a holding which can lawfully be held in undivided ownership;

"National Development Bank of Sri Lanka” means the Bank established under the National Development Bank of Sri Lanka Act, No. 2 of 1979;

[Ins by s 2(j) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Owner” means the owner of a holding whose title thereto is derived from or under a grant issued under this Ordinance and includes a permit-holder who has paid all sums which he is required to pay under subsection (2) of section 19 and has complied with all the other conditions specified in the permit;

[Subs by s 2(k) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Peace officer” includes police officers and Grama Seva Niladharis appointed by a Government Agent in writing to perform police duties;

[Subs by s 2(l) of Act 27 of 1981.]

.

["People's Bank” omitted by s 2(3) of Act 20 of 1996.]

"Permit” means a permit for the occupation of State land issued under Chapter IV;

"Permit-holder” means any person to whom a permit has been issued and includes a person who is in occupation of any land alienated to him on a permit although no permit has actually been issued to him;

[Am by s 2(g) of Act 16 of 1969.]

"Prescribed” means prescribed by this Ordinance or by the regulations made thereunder;

.

"Protected holding” omitted by s 2(h) of Act 16 of 1969.]

"Registered society” shall have the same meaning as in the Co-operative Societies Law;

[Ins by s 2(i) of Act 16 of 1969.]

"Regulation” means a regulation made under this Ordinance by the Minister;

"State land” means all land to which the State is lawfully entitled together with all rights interests and privileges attached or appertaining thereto;

"State Mortgage and Investment Bank” means the Bank established under the State Mortgage and Investment Bank Law. No. 13 of 1975;

[Ins by s 2(m) of Act 27 of 1981.]

"Surveyed” means surveyed by the Surveyor-General or under his authority;

"Surveyor-General” means the Surveyor-General of Sri Lanka or any other officer deputed to act on his behalf for the purposes of this Ordinance to the extent to which such officer is deputed;

"Title” means right, title, or interest;

"Unit of subdivision” means the minimum extent of land below which a holding cannot lawfully be subdivided.

.

["Unprotected holding” omitted by s 2(h) of Act 16 of 1969.]

CHAPTER I

APPOINTMENT, POWERS AND DUTIES OF OFFICERS

3. Appointment and duties of Land Commissioner.

(1) There may be appointed a Land Commissioner who shall be responsible—

(a) for the due performance of the duties and functions assigned to him as Land Commissioner under this Ordinance;

(b) for the general supervision and control of all Government Agents and land officers in the administration of State land and in the exercise and discharge of the powers and duties conferred and imposed upon them by this Ordinance.

(2) In the exercise of his powers and in the discharge of his duties under this Ordinance, the Land Commissioner shall be subject to the general direction and control of the Minister.

4. Powers of Land Commissioner.

(1) The Land Commissioner may from time to time give general or special directions to a Government Agent or to a land officer as to the performance of his duties relating to land administration and may direct or authorise any question of doubt or difficulty in connection with such duties to be referred to the Land Commissioner for decision.

(2) Any direction or decision of the Land Commissioner shall be observed and given effect to by the Government Agent or by the land officer as the case may be.

5. Appointment of Assistant Land Commissioners and other officers.

There may be appointed one or more Assistant Land Commissioners and such other officers as may from time to time be required for the purposes of this Ordinance.

6. Land officers.

(1) There may be appointed one or more land officers for the whole of Sri Lanka or for any province or district.

(2) Every such land officer may, for the purposes of this Ordinance, perform, execute and exercise in any province or district or in the particular province or district for which he shall have been appointed, all or any of the functions, duties and powers assigned to or imposed upon or vested in a Government Agent under this Ordinance or any regulation made thereunder.

[S 6(2) am by s 3 of Act 21 of 1971.]

(3) Every person appointed as a Settlement Officer or as an Assistant Settlement Officer under the Land Settlement Ordinance, shall be deemed to be appointed a land officer for the whole of Sri Lanka for the purposes of this Ordinance.

7. All officers to be public servants.

All officers appointed for the purposes of this Ordinance shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Penal Code.

CHAPTER II

MAPPING-OUT OF STATE LAND

[Chapter II subs by s 3 of Act 27 of 1981.]

8. Purposes for which State land may be mapped out.

Subject to the general or special directions of the Land Commissioner, State land may be mapped out by the Government Agent for any one or more of the following purposes—

(a) village expansion;

(b) village forest;

(c) village pasture;

(d) village purposes not herein specified;

(e) human re-settlements;

(f) protection of the sources or courses of streams;

(g) prevention of the erosion of the soil;

(h) forest reserves;

(i) Government purposes, including Government buildings, roads or works;

(j) reservations for climatic and other ecological purposes and environmental protection;

(k) preservation of objects of archaeological or historical interest;

(l) the requirements of local authorities;

(m) the development of towns;

(n) alienation to certain classes of persons;

(o) any other purpose that may be prescribed, having regard to the protection, conservation and development needs of the area.

9. Scheme and diagram to be prepared by Government Agent.

When State land has been mapped out in accordance with the provisions of section 8 the Government Agent shall cause to be prepared—

(a) a scheme specifying the mapped-out areas and the purposes for which the lands in such areas have been respectively reserved;

(b) a diagram depicting the mapped-out areas specified in the scheme. Duty of Government Agent to transmit to the district agricultural committee the scheme and diagram prepared by him under section 9 for its observations.

10. The duty of the Government Agent to transmit to the district agricultural committee the scheme and the diagram prepared by him under section 9 for its observation.

The Government Agent shall transmit to the district agricultural committee constituted in his administrative district the scheme and diagram prepared by him under section 9 for consideration by that committee.

11. Duty of the district agricultural committee to return within thirty days the scheme and diagram with its observations.

The district agricultural committee shall, within thirty days after the date of the receipt of the scheme and diagram from the Government Agent, return the scheme and diagram to the Government Agent with the observations of the committee on that scheme and diagram.

12. Scheme and diagram prepared by the Government Agent, modified necessary, to be transmitted to the Land Commissioner.

After considering the observations made by the district agricultural committee on the scheme and diagram prepared by the Government Agent under section 9, the Government Agent may, if he considers it necessary so to do, modify such scheme and diagram; and the scheme and diagram, or the modified scheme and diagram, as the case may be, shall thereupon be transmitted by the Government Agent to the Land Commissioner together with the observations of the district agricultural committee on the scheme and diagram as prepared and transmitted to that committee by the Government Agent.

13. Power of Commissioner to confirm issue scheme or further instructions.

(1) Upon receipt of a scheme and diagram forwarded to him under section 12, the Land Commissioner may confirm such scheme and diagram or may issue to the Government Agent such further directions for instructions in regard to the mapping out or to the scheme or to the diagram as he may consider requisite; and the Government Agent shall observe and give effect to such directions or instructions.

(2) Where the Land Commissioner is satisfied that the directions or instructions issued by him under subsection (1) have been given effect to, he may confirm the scheme and diagram or the modified scheme and diagram, as the case may be.

14. Notification of confirmation.

Notice of the fact that the Land Commissioner has confirmed any scheme forwarded to him under section 12 shall be published in such mariner as may be prescribed.

15. Right of public to inspect diagram.

Upon publication of a notice under section 14, every member of the public shall be entitled to inspect free of charge at the district kachcheri or at the office of the Surveyor-General the diagram depicting the scheme of mapping-out referred to in such notice.

16. No modification of scheme to be made except with the approval of the Minister in certain cases and of the Land Commissioner in others.

No scheme which, has been confirmed by the Land Commissioner shall, except with the approval and consent of the Minister, be varied or modified so as to enable land which has been mapped-out for any purpose mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e) of section 8 to be mapped-out or to be utilised for the purpose mentioned in paragraph (n) of that section:

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OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


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OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


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SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


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SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


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NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


OFFICE ON MISSING PERSONS (ESTABLISHMENT, ADMINISTRATION AND DISCHARGE OF FUNCTIONS) (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 9 OF 2017


FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES(AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 11 OF 2017


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT)ACT, No. 13 OF 2017


SUGATHADASA NATIONAL SPORTS COMPLEX AUTHORITY (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 14 OF 2017


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