Ministry of Defence (Sri Lanka)

Ministry of Defence
Agency overview
Formed 1948
Preceding agency
Jurisdiction Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Annual budget Rs 307 Billion (2016) [1]
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Karunasena Hettiarachchi

The Ministry of Defence (Sinhala: රාජ්‍ය ආරක්ෂක හා නාගරික සංවර්ධන අමාත්‍යාංශය Rajya Arakshaka Ha Nagarika Samvardhana Amathyamshaya) is the Sri Lankan government ministry responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

The Ministry of Defence states that its principal objectives are the formulation, co-ordination and the execution of policies in relation to the national security. With the end of the Cold War, the MOD does not foresee any short-term conventional military threat, the main threat to Sri Lanka having been the now-defunct terrorist organization, the LTTE). The Ministry of Defence also manages day-to-day running of the armed forces, contingency planning and defence procurement.

The National Security Council of Sri Lanka is the executive body of the Sri Lankan government that is charged with the maintenance of national security with authority to direct the Sri Lankan military and Police. The Minister of Defence and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff are permanent members of the National Security Council.


With Ceylon gaining independence in 1948, the Ministry of External Affairs and Defence was formed to administer the country's armed forces and formulate defence and foreign policy. The Prime Minister was also the Minister of Defence and External Affairs, and was supported by a Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and External Affairs who was a member of Parliament.

In 1977, J.R Jayawardena's government adapted two separate ministries, forming the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were formed. Since then many presidents retained the portfolio of Minister of Defence under him/her self, except for a few brief periods. In 1999 the National Security Council was established removing the direct control the military from the deputy Minister of Defence.

In 2011, the ministry was renamed Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.[2]


2016 Sri Lanka Defence Budget
Year Appropriated endowment (Billion) Rs Supplementary funding (Billion) Rs Cumulative expenditure (Billion) Rs
1948 - -
1988 5 -5
1989 4 -9
19907 -16
1991 11 -27
1992 14 -41
1993 17 -58
1994 21 -79
1995 39 -118
1996 42 -160
1997 41 -201
1998 47 -248
1999 44 -292
2000 63 -355
2001 60 -415
2002 54 -469
2003 52 -521
2004 62 -583
2005 64 -647
2006 82 -729
2007 140[3] -869
2008 166[4] -1035
2009 175 391249
2010 273 None 1552
2011 214 201756
2012 230 None1986

Senior officials

Departments that come under the Ministry of Defence

Ministers attached to the Ministry of Defence

Since the establishment of the MoD in 1978 the portfolio of Minister of Defence was held by the President of Sri Lanka, except for a few brief periods . However a minister oversaw activities of the MoD and the armed forces. Incomplete

Minister of Defence

Deputy Minister of Defence

Permanent Secretaries


See also

Key Functions


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