Grama Niladhari

A Grama Niladhari ("village officer") is a Sri Lankan public official appointed by the central government to carry out administrative duties in a grama niladhari division, which is a sub-unit of a divisional secretariat. They come under the Grama Niladhari Division under the Home Affairs Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs. There are 14,022 grama niladhari divisions under 332 divisional secretary’s division in the island.

The duties of a grama niladhari include the reporting of issuing of permits, gathering statistics, maintaining the voter registry and keeping the peace by settlement of personal disputes. They are responsible for keeping track of criminal activity in their area and issuing character certificates on behalf of residents when requested by them. They may arrest individuals if sworn in as a Peace Officer.

The post was created in the 1970s replacing the post of village headman (Vidane) that was created by the British during the colonial era.

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