Districts and local authorities

Sri Lanka is also divided into 25 districts. Each district is administered under a District Secretariat. The districts are further subdivided into 256 divisional secretariats, and these in turn, to approximately 14,008 Grama Niladhari divisions. The Districts are known in Sinhala as Disa and in Tamil as Māwaddam. Originally a Disa (usually rendered into English as Dissavony) was a duchy, notably Matale and Uva. The Government Agent, who is known as District Secretary, administers a district.

There are 3 other types of local authorities: Municipal Councils, Urban councils and Pradeshiya Sabha (aka Pradesha Sabhai). Local authorities were originally based on the feudal counties named korale and rata, and were formerly known as ‘D.R.O. divisions’ after the ‘Divisional Revenue Officer’. Later the D.R.O.s became ‘Assistant Government Agents’ and the divisions were known as ‘A.G.A. divisions’. These Divisional Secretariats are currently administered by a ‘Divisional Secretary’.

Name Area map Province District
capital
Land area Inland water
area
Total area Population Population
density
Ampara Area map of Ampara District, located along the east by south and south east coast and projecting into the interior of the country at the northern border, in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka Eastern Ampara 4,222 km2(1,630 sq mi) 193 km2(75 sq mi) 4,415 km2(1,705 sq mi) 592,997 140 /km2(363 /sq mi)
Anuradhapura Area map of Anuradhapura District, located somewhat to the north of the centre of the country, in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka North Central Anuradhapura 6,664 km2(2,573 sq mi) 515 km2(199 sq mi) 7,179 km2(2,772 sq mi) 745,693 112 /km2(290 /sq mi)
Badulla Area map of Badulla District which has its northern border near the centre of the country and extends to the south, located in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka Uva Badulla 2,827 km2(1,092 sq mi) 34 km2 (13 sq mi) 2,861 km2(1,105 sq mi) 779,983 276 /km2(715 /sq mi)
Batticaloa Area map of Batticaloa District, located along the east by north coast, in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka Eastern Batticaloa 2,610 km2(1,010 sq mi) 244 km2(94 sq mi) 2,854 km2(1,102 sq mi) 486,447 * 186 /km2(482 /sq mi)
Colombo Area map of Colombo District, roughly rectangular in shape and extending inwards from the west south west coast in the Western Province of Sri Lanka Western Colombo 676 km2(261 sq mi) 23 km2(8.9 sq mi) 699 km2(270 sq mi) 2,251,274 3,330 /km2(8,625 /sq mi)
Galle Area map of Galle District, converging inwards from the south west coast, in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka Southern Galle 1,617 km2(624 sq mi) 35 km2 (14 sq mi) 1,652 km2(638 sq mi) 990,487 613 /km2(1,588 /sq mi)
Gampaha Area map of Gampaha District, extending inwards from the west by south west coast in a rough square shape, in the Western Province of Sri Lanka Western Gampaha 1,341 km2(518 sq mi) 46 km2 (18 sq mi) 1,387 km2(536 sq mi) 2,063,684 1,539 /km2(3,986 /sq mi)
Hambantota Area map of Hambantota District, lying along the coast from south to south east, in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka Southern Hambantota 2,496 km2(964 sq mi) 113 km2(44 sq mi) 2,609 km2(1,007 sq mi) 526,414 211 /km2(546 /sq mi)
Jaffna Area map of Jaffna District, in the peninsula to the north, in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka Northern Jaffna 929 km2(359 sq mi) 96 km2 (37 sq mi) 1,025 km2(396 sq mi) 490,621 * 528 /km2(1,368 /sq mi)
Kalutara Area map of Kalutara District, extending inwards from the south west by west coast, in the Western Province of Sri Lanka Western Kalutara 1,576 km2(608 sq mi) 22 km2(8.5 sq mi) 1,598 km2(617 sq mi) 1,066,239 677 /km2(1,753 /sq mi)
Kandy Area map of Kandy District, at the centre of the country with its south western boundary extending to the south, in the Central Province of Sri Lanka Central Kandy 1,917 km2(740 sq mi) 23 km2(8.9 sq mi) 1,940 km2(750 sq mi) 1,279,028 667 /km2(1,728 /sq mi)
Kegalle Area map of Kegalle District, roughly oval in shape is located to the south east of the centre of the country, in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka Sabaragamuwa Kegalle 1,685 km2(651 sq mi) 8 km2 (3.1 sq mi) 1,693 km2(654 sq mi) 785,524 466 /km2(1,207 /sq mi)
Kilinochchi Area map of Kilinochchi District, along the northern coast of the mainland and south of the Jaffna peninsula, in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka Northern Kilinochchi 1,205 km2(465 sq mi) 74 km2 (29 sq mi) 1,279 km2(494 sq mi) 127,263 * 106 /km2(275 /sq mi)
Kurunegala Area map of Kurunegala District, to the west of the centre of the country with its northern border extending towards the north west, in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka North Western Kurunegala 4,624 km2(1,785 sq mi) 192 km2(74 sq mi) 4,816 km2(1,859 sq mi) 1,460,215 316 /km2(818 /sq mi)
Mannar Area map of Mannar District, along the north western coast with eastern border extending towards the interior, also including a large island roughly oval in shape, in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka Northern Mannar 1,880 km2(730 sq mi) 116 km2(45 sq mi) 1,996 km2(771 sq mi) 151,577 * 81/km2
(208/sq mi)
Matale Area map of Matale District, located immediately north of the middle of the country, roughly the shape of a letter "C" and located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka Central Matale 1,952 km2(754 sq mi) 41 km2 (16 sq mi) 1,993 km2(770 sq mi) 441,328 226 /km2(585 /sq mi)
Matara Area map of Matara District, roughly rectangular in shape and extending inwards from the southern coast, in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka Southern Matara 1,270 km2(490 sq mi) 13 km2(5.0 sq mi) 1,283 km2(495 sq mi) 761,370 600 /km2(1,554 /sq mi)
Moneragala Area map of Moneragala District, located east of the centre of the country, has its south eat border extending towards the west, in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka Uva Moneragala 5,508 km2(2,127 sq mi) 131 km2(51 sq mi) 5,639 km2(2,177 sq mi) 397,375 72 /km2(186 /sq mi)
Mullaitivu Area map of Mullaitivu District, extending to the west from the north by east coast in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka Northern Mullaitivu 2,415 km2(932 sq mi) 202 km2(78 sq mi) 2,617 km2(1,010 sq mi) 121,667 * 50 /km2(129 /sq mi)
Nuwara Eliya Area map of Nuwara Eliya District, located immediately south of the middle of the country and running roughly south west to north east, in the Central Province of Sri Lanka Central Nuwara Eliya 1,706 km2(659 sq mi) 35 km2 (14 sq mi) 1,741 km2(672 sq mi) 703,610 412 /km2(1,067 /sq mi)
Polonnaruwa Area map of Polonnaruwa District, roughly square in shape, located at the middle from north east of the centre of the country and south west of the north eastern coast, in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka North Central Polonnaruwa 3,077 km2(1,188 sq mi) 216 km2(83 sq mi) 3,293 km2(1,271 sq mi) 358,984 117 /km2(303 /sq mi)
Puttalam Area map of Puttalam District, lying along the western coast, in the North Western Province of Sri Lanka North Western Puttalam 2,882 km2(1,113 sq mi) 190 km2(73 sq mi) 3,072 km2(1,186 sq mi) 709,677 246 /km2(637 /sq mi)
Ratnapura Area map of Ratnapura District, some distance from the south western coast with its western and southern borders converging towards the north west, in the Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka Sabaragamuwa Ratnapura 3,236 km2(1,249 sq mi) 39 km2 (15 sq mi) 3,275 km2(1,264 sq mi) 1,015,807 314 /km2(813 /sq mi)
Trincomalee Area map of Trincomalee District, along the north eastern coast with its south western border extending inwards, in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka Eastern Trincomalee 2,529 km2(976 sq mi) 198 km2(76 sq mi) 2,727 km2(1,053 sq mi) 340,158 * 135/km2
(349/sq mi)
Vavuniya Area map of Vavuniya District, located in the middle of the northern half of the country, running roughly in a south west—north east direction, in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka Northern Vavuniya 1,861 km2(719 sq mi) 106 km2(41 sq mi) 1,967 km2(759 sq mi) 149,835 * 81/km2
(208/sq mi)
Total 62,705 km2(24,211 sq mi) 2,905 km2(1,122 sq mi) 65,610 km2(25,330 sq mi) 18,797,257 300 /km2(777 /sq mi)
For more information on districts in Sri Lanka visit the District & Divisional Secretariat’s Portal of the Government of Sri Lanka

 

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