CONSTITUTION OF THE LIBERAL PARTY
We, Liberals of Sri Lanka assembled in Colombo at a time of gross violations of human rights, of violence, racism, terrorism and persistence attempts to undermine the liberty of the individual and to devalue representative democracy;
(a) Convinced that a truly free, just, united, peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka can only be achieved by determined and since adherence to the principles of Liberalism and through the structure of a Liberal Democracy;
(b) Recognizing the contribution made towards the advancement of Liberalism and towards the preservation of Sri Lanka as a Liberal Democracy by The Council for Liberal Democracy;
(c) Acknowledging that the very progress made by our movement makes desirable
the creation of a political party fully committed to Liberalism;
(d) Hereby adopt this constitution which we name The Constitution of the Liberal Party.
The Liberal Party shall be a Sri Lankan political party dedicated to the preservation, promotion and development of Liberalism and to the maintenance of Sri Lanka as a liberal democracy.
The ideology of the Liberal party shall be Liberalism as it is understood in political philosophy and as defined in the Liberal Manifesto of 1947, The Liberal Declaration of Oxford of 1967 and The Liberal Party is fully committed to individual liberty, parliamentary democracy, the market economy and the welfare state. It shall be dedicated to oppose all forms of totalitarianism, authoritarianism, racism and narrow nationalism, statism and collectivism.
The Liberal Party shall be committed to international solidarity with Liberals everywhere and to oppose the violation of human rights, racism, totalitarianism and authoritarianism in all parts of the world
Membership of the Liberal Party may by obtained by any person above the age of sixteen years who has signed the declaration of liberal principles set out in the schedule of this constitution, upon the approval of such application by the National Committee of the Liberal Party.
The approval of an application for Membership of the Liberal Party shall only be valid at a duly convened meeting of the National committee.
If an application for membership of the Liberal party has been rejected by the National Committee, disagree with that decision, the person whose application has been rejected shall have a right to appear in person before the National Committee, and to put forward reasons for the acceptance of such application. The subsequent decision of the National Committee shall be final and conclusive unless it is superseded by a subsequent decision of the National Committee.
The National Committee may require a member of the Liberal Party to pay such annual or life subscription as it may deem fit.
Any member of the Liberal Party who has paid the subscription required shall be eligible to seek or to hold any office within it.
The National Committee may by a two thirds majority determine that membership of a movement that engages in activities incompatible with the principles enunciated in Chapter I of this constitution is incompatible with membership of the Liberal Party.
THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE
The National Committee shall consist of The Leader, The President, no more than two Vice Presidents, ,the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General, the Treasurer ,the National Organizer, Seven elected committee members and Six members elected by the National Committee in its first meeting.
(Instead of four, seven and instead of two, six was adopted at 2005 April and 2012 National Congress.)
The National Committee shall be the highest policy making and administrative body of the Liberal Party. It shall have the authority to determine or to change policy and to take whatever administrative decisions it deems necessary for the successful functioning of the party.
A meeting of the National Committee may be summoned by the Leader, the President, the Secretary General or Secretary General by the requisition of four members of the National Committee.
The National Committee shall be required to approve the setting up of branches of the Liberal Party and shall have to confer approval on all Provincial Committees or local Committees that may be elected..
The National Committee may appoint such special committees for the detailed analysis of policy or administration, as it thinks fit.
All officers and unofficial members of the National Committee shall be elected by the membership at the Annual Congress of the Liberal Party and shall hold office until the next Annual Congress,
THE OFFICERS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE
a. The Leader shall be elected by the Annual Congress or by the first national committee meeting to be held after the Annual Congress.
b. The Leader may should he wish to do so, also hold any other position of Liberal Party.
c. The President shall be elected by the alternative vote (AV) method of election by the members present and voting at the Annual Congress.
The President shall if he is present; preside at all meetings of the Liberal Party.
There shall be no more than two Vice Presidents who shall be elected by the alternative vote (AV) by those members present and voting at the Annual Congress.
One of the Vice Presidents shall be the Senior Vice President (Amended at the Annual Congress held in 1993)
The Vice Presidents shall perform the functions and duties of the President in his absence and be responsible for whatever specific areas of activity confer upon them by The Secretary General.
The Secretary General shall be elected by the alternative vote (AV) by those members present and voting at the Annual General Meeting.
The Secretary General shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Liberal Party. While being responsible to the National Committee, the Secretary General shall have the authority to make executive and administrative decisions and be responsible for the office and staff of the party.
Apart from such responsibilities as are specifically conferred upon officers recognized by this Constitution, the Leader may assign any further responsibility to any member of the National Committee.
No other officer of the Liberal Party shall take any decision or engage in any activity outside the specific area of his or her responsibility without the approval of the National Committee on should such approval be difficult to obtain within the constraints of time, the approval of the Leader.
The Deputy Secretary General shall be elected by the alternative vote by the Annual Congress.
The Deputy Secretary General shall be the administrative officer of the Liberal Party. The Deputy Secretary General shall keep the record of the membership, shall issue all notice to members, shall keep the minutes of the meetings of the National Committee, general meetings and the meetings of special committee and all others administrative responsibilities that may be assigned to him by the Secretary General. In the absence from Sri Lanka of the Secretary General, The Deputy Secretary General shall be responsible for all functions of the Secretary General and exercise all the authority vested in the Secretary General, which has not specifically been assigned to another officer.
When the office of Secretary- General is vacant the President, Vice Presidents and the Deputy Secretary General shall jointly exercise the powers and functions of the Secretary General.
The Treasurer shall be elected by the membership, at the Annual General meeting by the alternative vote (A. V)
The Treasurer shall be responsible for the finances of the Liberal Party, shall keep the accounts of the party or cause such accounts to be kept, shall organized and promote ways in which funds may be collected and shall be responsible to the National Committee for such bank accounts, deposit or financial investments of the party.
(a). National Organizer may be elected from the Annual Congress or from the 1st meeting of the national committee that is to be held after the Annual Congress.
The National Organizer has the authority to the setup Local, Municipal, Electorate, District Level and International party branches. He may organize seminars, discussions, workshop, lectures and press conferences. He also has authority to set up youth women's and trade union activities for the party. He has to inform the Leader, President and Secretary General all his organizational activities. ( This amendment was incorporated in 2012)
The other elected members of the National Committee shall be elected by the membership at the Annual Congress on the alternative vote.
Unofficial members of the National Committee whether elected or appointed may be assigned specific positions and responsibilities created by the National Committee.
Any person desirous of being elected an officer or an unofficial member of the National Committee may by sending to the Secretary General a written declaration of intent to stand for that position 14 days prior to the date of the Annual Congress, become a candidate for such position.
(a). Where more than one person shall be nominated for the offices of leader, President, Secretary General or Deputy Secretary General , National Organizer and where more than two persons are nominated for the office of Vice President, an opportunity shall be afforded at the Annual Congress for such candidates to speak in support of their candidacies.
(b). The President or a member nominated by him with the concurrence of the National Committee shall act as Returning Officer for elections.
The quorum for a meeting of the National Committee shall be four persons of whom shall be the Leader, the President, Secretary General and one other officer.
The position of an officer or members not holding office of the National Committee shall become vacant through death, resignation or by the passage of time by a simple majority of a vote of no-confidence, moved at a Special General Meeting or if he causes to be a member of the Liberal Party.
A decision of the National Committee may be reversed by a majority of the entire recorded membership.
THE ANNUAL CONGRESS AND SPECIAL GENERAL MEETINGS
The Annual Congress of the Liberal Party will take place in the month of December (Amended in 2010, prior to that it was held in month of April)
The Deputy Secretary General shall inform all members of the date of the Annual Congress twenty one days (21) in advance of the date of the meeting.
Members shall inform the Secretary General or the Deputy Secretary General of all resolutions to be moved at the Annual Congress fourteen days (14) in advance of the date of the meeting.
The Deputy Secretary General shall provide copies of resolutions to be debated at the Annual Congress and the names of all candidates seeking office and the respective offices sought at least seven days (7) in advance of the date of the Annual Congress.
The President shall preside over the Annual Congress and Special General Meetings. In his absence a Vice President and in the absence of a Vice President, the Secretary General shall preside.
The President (or presiding officer) shall resolve all questions of procedure at the Annual Congress or at Special General Meetings provided that an opportunity is given for the presentation of deferent points of view before the ruling.
A decision of procedure by the President (or Presiding officer) may be challenged in writing by ten members. Such a challenge shall be resolved by a vote of the membership at a Special General Meeting. A person whose conduct is being questioned shall not preside over a meeting at which such conduct is being debated.
An emergency resolution may be taken up at the Congress if twenty members stand up in support of such resolution.
a. The Leader shall deliver an address at the Annual Congress of the Liberal Party.
b. The Secretary General shall present a report of the activities of the party for the past year and make such remarks on the future course of the movement as he may deem appropriate.
The Treasurer shall present an audited statement of accounts for the previous year accompanied by such comments on the finances of the party as may be deemed appropriate.
Members may direct questions to officers relative to the discharge of their official duties at the Annual Congress.
A Special General Meeting may be convened by the Secretary General, or the Deputy Secretary General.
Twenty members by a written request to the President or the Secretary General shall be entitled to summon a Special General Meeting.
The Deputy Secretary General shall notify the member / shall notify the membership by means of advertisements placed in two national newspapers at least five days before the date of such meeting, of a Special General Meeting.
All issues not dealt with in this constitution shall be determined by the National Committee.
All Officers at the formation of the Liberal Party shall be appointed by decision of the National Committee of the Council for Liberal Democracy.
The First National Committee shall subject itself for re-election at the First Annual Congress of the party.
AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
Any member may by a written communication to the Secretary General or the Deputy Secretary General give notice of intent to move an amendment to the Constitution.
a. The Deputy Secretary General shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting for such an amendment to be considered and shall inform members at least twenty one (21) days in advance of the date of such a meeting.
b. The Deputy Secretary General shall furnish copies of the text of the amendment at least fourteen (14) days before the date of the Extraordinary General Meeting at which the amendment is to be debated.
All articles of the Constitution apart from those in Chapter. I may be amended by the passage of such amendment by a two thirds majority of the members present at an Extraordinary General Meeting.
No article in Chapter! of the Constitution, nor the first schedule of the Constitution may be amended without the approval of seventy five percent (75%) of the recorded membership of whom The Leader, the President and the Secretary - General shall from a part.
I declare and affirm that I am fully committed to the principles of Liberalism as they understood in political philosophy, that I sincerely shall uphold defend and promote the Liberty of the individual in all its varied forms, that I shall be committed to the maintenance of Sri Lanka as a Liberal democracy, that I shall support and defend the right of political dissent, that I believe that true freedom can exist only with a market economy complimented by a strong welfare state and that I shall strongly and dedicatedly oppose all forms of totalitarianism, authoritarianism racism, narrow nationalism, statism and collectivism. In consequence of my commitment to the above principles 1 herby seek membership of the Liberal Party.
Adopted on Monday, the Nineteenth Day of January in the year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Eighty Seven in Colombo.