Sri Lankan honours system
The Sri Lankan national honours system is a fully indigenous honours system of titles, decorations and medals which are awarded to recognize achievements of, or service by, Sri Lankans or others in connection with Sri Lanka. Until 1972, the British honours system was in place in Ceylon along with several indigenous titles (which were not awarded since 1948), however since 1956 no nominations were made for these honors and were automatically discontinued after Sri Lanka became a republic. Since 1981 a uniquely Sri Lankan system of National Honours have been introduced. These awards are titles that can be used by the recipients.
The Sri Lankan national honours divided into five categories:
- Service to the nation
- Scientific achievement
- Achievements in arts, culture and drama
- 1 List of Honours
- 1.1 For service to the nation
- 1.2 For bravery
- 1.3 For scientific achievement
- 1.4 For achievements in arts, culture and drama
- 1.5 For non-nationals
- 2 Order of precedence
- 3 Other honours
- 4 Former titles
- 5 References
List of Honours
These include the following in the order of their ranking, which are used as titles;
For service to the nation
The Sri Lankabhimanya is conferred to "those who have rendered exceptionally outstanding and most distinguished service to the nation". The honour can only be held by five Sri Lankans contemporaneously, and can be also be conferred posthumously.
Sri Lanka Sikhamani
Sri Lanka Thilaka
For scientific achievement
The Vidya Jyothi is a national honour awarded "for outstanding scientific and technological achievements". It is the highest National Honour for Science in Sri Lanka for outstanding contribution to the development of the country through dedicated work in the chosen field. It is conventionally used as a title or prefix to the awardee's name. Vidya Jyothi ranks lower than Veera Chudamani.
For achievements in arts, culture and drama
The Kala Keerthi is a national honour awarded "for extraordinary achievements and contributions in arts, culture and drama". It is the highest National Honour for arts, culture and drama in Sri Lanka. It is conventionally used as a title or prefix to the awardee's name. Kala Keerthi ranks lower than Vidya Jyothi.
Sri Lanka Mitra Vibhushana
The Sri Lanka Mitra Vibhushana is a Sri Lankan honour, for Heads of State and Heads of Government with which Sri Lanka has friendly relations “in appreciation of their friendship towards and solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka”. The recipient of the honour is awarded a citation and a silver medal, which is to be worn around the neck, studded and adorned with nine kinds of Sri Lankan gems (Nawaratna) with the symbols of a lotus, the globe, sun, moon and sheaves of rice. The ribbon on medal 6.5 Centimeters wide. The honour takes precedence over the National Honours awarded to non Sri Lankans, and will be awarded by the President as and when he/she deems fit. The names of all the recipients are contained in a register maintained under the direction of the President for the recipient of National Honours granted to Sri Lankans. The honour was introduced in February 2008 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sri Lanka Rathna
The Sri Lanka Rathna is a Sri Lankan honour, for foreigners or non nationals, awarded "for exceptional and outstanding service to the nation". It comprises a citation and a gold medal studded with nine "navaratnas" (Sri Lankan gems) with a Manel symbol (the country's national flower).
Sri Lanka Ranajana
Sri Lanka Ramya
Order of precedence
- Sri Lankabhimanya
- Veera Chudamani
- Vidya Jyothi
- Kala Keerthi
- Sri Lanka Sikhamani
- Vidya Nidhi
- Kala Suri
- Sri Lanka Thilaka
- Veera Prathapa
- Sri Lanka Mitra Vibhushana
- Sri Lanka Rathna
- Sri Lanka Ranajana
- Sri Lanka Ramya
- Justice of the Peace appointments are commonly made as honours by the Minister of Justice. This entitle the holder to place post nominals JP after his or her name.
- Religious and civil institutions in Sri Lanka commonly award various titles, however these are not recognized by the government and legislation is being drafted to stop such awards.
- Adhipadya (Duke)
- Sarmiwaraya (Lord)
- Srimath (Sir)
- Maha Manya (The Right Honourable)
- Mudaliyar - Originally a Portuguese title of office continued by the British
- Muhandiram - Originally a Portuguese title of office continued by the British
- Adigar - Originally a Kandian title of high office continued by the British
- Dissava - Originally a Kandian title of high office continued by the British
- "Sri Lankabhimanya award for two distinguished Sri Lankans". Island. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- Gunawardena, Charles A. (2005). Encyclopedia Of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 254.
- "Two Palestinian Heads of State awarded Sri Lanka Mitra Vibhushana National Honour". Sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- Malalgoda, Kitsiri (1976). Buddhism in Sinhalese society 1750-1900. University of California Press. p. 43. Retrieved 30 March 2012.