Whereas an association of women’s institutes in Ceylon called and known as the ” Lanka Mahila Samiti” has hitherto been established for the purpose of effectively carrying out and transacting all matters connected with the said association according to the rules agreed to by its members :

And whereas the said association has heretofore successfully carried out and transacted the several objects and matters for which it was established, and has applied to be incorporated, and it will be for the public advantage to grant the application :

Be it, therefore, enacted by the Governor of Ceylon, with the advice and consent of the State Council thereof as follows : –

Ordinance Nos,
45 of 1947
[2nd July
, 1947
Short title.

1. This Ordinance may be cited as the Lanka Mahila Samiti Ordinance.

Incorporation of Lanka Manila Samiti.

2. From and after the date of the commencement of this Ordinance, the president, vice-president and other members of the Lanka Mahila Samiti (hereinafter referred to as ” the association “), and such and so many persons as may hereafter be members of the association for the time being shall become and be a corporation with continuance for ever under the name and style of ” The Lanka Mahila Samiti” and by that name shall and may be sued in all courts with full power and authority to have and use a common seal and to change and alter the same at their pleasure.


3. The general objects of the association are hereby declared to be

(1) to promote and assist the establishment in Ceylon of women’s associations or mahila samiti, with the object of furthering concerted work among women for their educational, social and economic progress and advancement and generally of carrying on propaganda designed to further the uplift of the women of Ceylon;

(2) to act as a central federation of mahila samiti throughout Ceylon and to assist in the furtherance of the objects and interests of such samiti;

(3) to take steps for the appointment and constitution in the provinces of Ceylon of provincial committees for the promotion and encouragement of the following aims and objects of mahila samiti, that is to say:

(a) social intercourse, irrespective of caste, race or creed,

(b) agricultural enterprise,

(c) cottage industries,

(d) homecraft and mothercraft.

(e) co-operative enterprise,

(f) social hygiene,

(g) thrift,

(h) interest in hospitals, welfare centres and other similar institutions.

Central board.


(1) The control and management of the affairs of the association, including the power to expend the funds of the association and to deal with or dispose of movable or immovable property in the name of the association, shall, subject to this Ordinance and to the rules for the time being in force, be vested in a central board constituted as hereinafter provided.

(2) The central board shall consist of-

(a) nine members of the association elected, in accordance with the rules, at each annual general meeting of the association;

(b)one representative of each provincial committee elected by such committee in accordance with the rules, or where no provincial committee is for the time being constituted for any province of Ceylon, a person elected by the other members of the board to represent such province, being a person who is a member of an affiliated samiti;

(c) one representative of each of the following departments nominated by the head of the department:

(i) the Department of Agriculture,

(ii) the Department of Education,

(iii) the Department of Health,

(iv) the Department of Commerce and Industries,

(v) the Co-operative Department,

(vi) the Marketing Department;

(d) one representative of the vernacular guides;

(e) one representative elected by the trained organizers of the association;

(f) any other persons who may be co-opted by the other members of the board so that the total number of the board may not exceed twenty-nine.

(3) The president, vice-president and secretary for the time being of the association shall, in addition, be respectively the president, vice-president and secretary of the central board.

(4) The first central board shall consist of-

Miss C. Cooray (President)

Mrs, F. B. de Mel (Hony. Treasurer)

Mrs. 0. L. F. Senaratne (Hony. Secretary)

Mrs. S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike

Mrs. H. R. Goonewardene

Mrs. A. M. de Siiva

Dr. (Mrs.) Mary Ratnam

Mrs. K. Vaithianathan Lady de Soyza



(1) It shall be lawful for the association from time to time in general meeting, and by a majority of the votes of the members present thereat, to make rules for the management of the affairs of the association and the accomplishment of its objects and purposes; and without prejudice to the generality of the powers hereinbefore conferred, such rules may provide

(a) for the admission, withdrawal and expulsion of members;

(b) for the conduct of the functions and duties of the central board and the various officers, agents and servants of the association;

(c) for the constitution and appointment of provincial committees;

(d) for the conditions subject to which mahila samiti may be affiliated to the association;

(e) for the conduct and supervision of the affairs of affiliated samiti and the circumstances in which any such affiliation may be revoked ;

(f) for the procedure for the transaction of business, whether at meetings of the association or by the central board;

(g) for the sums from time to time to be payable as subscription by members of the association and the penalties to be attached in cases of default.

(2) The rules set out in the Schedule* to this Ordinance shall be deemed to be rules made by the association under subsection (1) and may accordingly be altered, amended, added to or revoked by rules which may hereafter be made under and in accordance with the provisions of that subsection.

* Schedules omitted under section 6 (1) of Revised Edition of the Legislative Enactments Act.

Power to hold and deal with property.


(1) The association shall at all times hereafter be able and capable in law to acquire by purchase, exchange, gift, devise or bequest or in any other manner, and to hold and enjoy in perpetuity or for any lesser term, subject to any express trust or otherwise, any property movable or immovable of any nature or kind whatsoever.

(2) The association may erect or cause to be erected any building on any land vested or acquired or held by it, and may also from time to time sell, grant, convey, demise, assign, exchange and dispose of or mortgage any property for the time being vested in the association. The association may invest its funds in any securities authorized as a trustee investment by the law of Ceylon or upon any mortgage of movable or immovable property in Ceylon.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1) of section 4, the central board shall not in the name of the association acquire any immovable property by purchase, or sell, grant, convey, demise, assign, exchange or dispose of any immovable property, or invest any of the funds of the association upon any mortgage, except with the consent of the association first had and obtained in general meeting.

Seal of the association.

7. The seal of the association shall not be affixed to any instrument whatsoever except in the presence of the chairman and one other member of the central board, who shall sign their names to the instrument in token of their presence, and such signatures shall be independent of the signature of any person as a witness.

Saving of the rights, of the Crown and others.

11 Nothing in this Ordinance contained shall prejudice or affect the rights of Her Majesty the Queen, Her Heirs, and Successors, or any body politic or corporate, or any other persons, except such as are mentioned in this Ordinance and those claiming by, from, or under them.

Chapter 311 , Volume No.10, Page No.474.