Our Legal Status in Sri Lanka

Geneva Conventions on a mandate attested by 190 State Governments including Sri Lanka, has accepted the position of a Red Cross National Society in every country of the world.  This is further authenticated by UN Resolution 55(1) accepting the role of the National Society. Hence the National Society of the Red Cross is an Inter-Governmental Organization (IGO).

Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) is the National Society of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka. It gets its legal status from a Royal Charter – of 1951. (Original at Privy Council office, UK).  The S.L.Constitution change in 1972 allowed continuity of Royal Charters and Ordinances. The S.L.Constitution change in 1978 also allowed continuity through the Interpretation Ordinance.

The National Society has been gazetted as a Charitable Organization in 1951 by the Ministry of Finance. The Gazette No.10332 of 21.12.1951 declared and approved charity status to the Ceylon Red Cross Society.

The Article 8 Clause 2 of the Gazette 1358/31 of 18.09.2004  under Diplomatic Privileges Act clearly defines the National Society as the implementation authority for the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) within the territory of Sri Lanka.

Geneva Conventions Act 4 of 2006 of the S. L. Parliament, disallowed the use of the Red Cross Emblem by unauthorized parties. Only the SLRCS, as the Red Cross National Society in Sri Lanka, has been allowed to use this emblem in Sri Lanka under this Act of Parliament. (Attached).

For more information on the Legal Status of Sri Lanka Red Cross Society please contact

Dr. Mahesh Gunasekara
Director General
Sri Lanka Red Cross Society
Dharmapala Mawatha,
Colombo 07, Sri Lanka

[email protected]