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Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

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Directive Principles of State Policy

27. (1) The Directive Principles of State Policy herein contained shall guide Parliament, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers in the enactment of laws and the governance of Sri Lanka for the establishment of a just and free society.

(2) The State is pledged to establish in Sri Lanka a democratic socialist society, the objectives of which include -

(a) the full realization of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons;

(b) the promotion of the welfare of the People by securing and protecting as effectively as it may, a social order in which justice (social, economic and political) shall guide all the institutions of the national life ;

(c) the realization by all citizens of an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, the continuous improvement of living conditions and the full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities ;

(d) the rapid development of the whole country by means of public and private economic activity and by laws prescribing such planning and controls as may be expedient for directing and coordinating such public and private economic activity towards social objectives and the public weal ;

(e) the equitable distribution among all citizens of the material resources of the community and the social product, so as best to subserve the common good ;

(f) the establishment of a just social order in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are not concentrated and centralised in the State, State agencies or in the hands of a privileged few, but are dispersed among, and owned by, all the People of Sri Lanka ;

(g) raising the moral and cultural standards of the People, and ensuring the full development of human personality ; and

(h) the complete eradication of illiteracy and the assurance to all persons of the right to universal and equal access to education at all levels.

(3) The State shall safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

(4) The State shall strengthen and broaden the democratic structure of government and the democratic rights of the People by decentralizing the administration and by affording all possible opportunities to the People to participate at every level in national life and in government.

(5) The State shall strengthen national unity by promoting co-operation and mutual confidence among all sections of the People of Sri Lanka, including the racial, religious, linguistic and other groups, and shall, take effective steps in the fields of teaching, education and information in order to eliminate discrimination and prejudice.

(6) The State shall ensure equality of opportunity to citizens, so that no citizen shall suffer any disability on the ground of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion or occupation.

(7) The State shall eliminate economic and social privilege and disparity, and the exploitation of man by man or by the State.

(8) The State shall ensure that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and the means of production to the common detriment.

(9) The State shall ensure social security and welfare.

(10) The State shall assist the development of the cultures and the languages of the People.

(11) The State shall create the necessary economic and social environment to enable people of all religious faiths to make a reality of their religious principles.

(12) The State shall recognize and protect the family as the basic unit of society.

(13) The State shall promote with special care the interests of children and youth, so as to ensure their full development, physical, mental, moral, religious and social, and to protect them from exploitation and discrimination.

(14) The State shall protect, preserve and improve the environment for the benefit of the community.

(15) The State shall promote international peace, security and co-operation, and the establishment of a just and equitable international economic and social order, and shall endeavour to foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in dealings among nations.

Fundamental duties.

28. The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly it is the duty of every person in Sri Lanka -

(a) to uphold and defend the Constitution and the law ;

(b) to further the national interest and to foster national unity ;

(c) to work conscientiously in his chosen occupation ;

(d) to preserve and protect public property, and to combat misuse and waste of public property ;

(e) to respect the rights and freedoms of others ; and

(f) to protect nature and conserve its riches.

Principles of State Policy and fundamental duties not justiciable.

29. The provisions of this Chapter do not confer or impose legal rights or obligations, and are not enforceable in any court or tribunal. No question of inconsistency with such provisions shall be raised in any court or tribunal.

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