Introducing the Elective Principle

The second constitutional reform in Sri Lanka was the Crewe-McCallum Reforms in 1910. This allowed an educated Sri Lankan to be appointed to the Legislative Council for the first time. 

Ponnambalam Ramanathan was the first educated representative to be appointed in this way. By the end of the nineteenth century, the interest shown by westernised educated Sri Lankans towards political organisation provided the background for these reforms.In 1908, James Peiris submitted a memorandum to the Governor, commenting on the fact that even small islands, not even as big as the Colombo Municipality, had been given the chance to elect representatives to constitutional assemblies, and India had been given the Morley-Minto Reforms, while Sri Lanka had not been given such a status.The new constitution was promulgated by royal decree in November 1910. The Legislative Council consisted of 11 official members and 10 non-official members. Six of the non-official members were nominated, and four were appointed on an ethnic basis.

Hanzard, Debate on ordinance to regulate election of members to Legislative Council. 28 Sept. 1910

Department of National Archives Sri Lanka

Department of
National Archives
Sri Lanka

Last Modified: 2024-05-29 09:58:09~ Server Time: 2024-07-15 02:12:38