The Constitution of Sir Lanka as amended by the 13th amendment defines  Sinhala and Tamil as the official languages and English as the link language. In addition under the Constitution  Sinhala and Tamil are also the  National languages of  Sri Lanka . Any citizen of the state has the right to deal with the Government institutions in any one of the above three languages. However the government cannot serve the public in all three languages  due to the lack of proficiency among the government employees in the second and the third languages. Tamil and Sinhala are respectively  the Second Official Languages of the Sinhala speaking and Tamil speaking public servants. English is the third Language in which the public could communicate with the government institutions. These in the main comprise the Official Languages Policy (OLP) .

      The Official Languages Commission is a statutory body established by Act No. 18 of 1991 is vested with the authority it oversee  the implementation of the OLP among other functions.

Objectives are set out in Section 6 of the Act. The Official Languages Commission (OLC) is entitled to recommend principles of policy relating to the use of the Official Languages and to monitor and supervise compliance with provisions contained in Chapter IV of the Constitution which lays down the Official Languages Policy of the state. It may also take all such actions and measures as are necessary to ensure the appropriate use of the Official Languages. Another object of the Commission is to conduct investigation into non -compliance of Official Languages Policy according to the provision of the Act . It is also vested with the power to engage in public educational activities on the status or use of the relevant languages.

Main Functions

The Commission therefore has four main functions.
Advisory – on matters of policy
Monitoring – regarding due compliance by the state machinery of  constitutional provisions on language use and
Educative – on the status or use of the relevant Languages
Investigative –on complaints regarding the violation of language rights laid   down in the Constitution.
  Our Vision  

    The Commission's mandate is to monitor and supervise the compliance of the constitutional provisions regarding the use of the Official Languages and the link language by the government,  to advise the government on measures necessary to ensure such compliance and to take punitive action against those responsible when such compliance is deliberately prevented or perverted. The Commission is also empowered to accept and investigate into complaints from citizens who allege that their linguistic rights have been violated and to give them redress.

   These rights are embodied in a series of constitutional provisions and legislative enactments. In August 1978, both Sinhala and Tamil were declared as national languages. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in November 1987 made Tamil also an Official language in addition to Sinhala, which had been the sole official language since 1956. This same amendment gave sanction to the use of English as a 'link ' language. Through the 16th Amendment to the constitution chapter IV on Language was further defined and elaborated.

   Among other things these provisions made Sinhala the language of record and administration in the seven provinces in the south and gave Tamil the same position in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. There is, presently  a constitutional provision to declare an administrative division in any part of the Island in which substantial numbers of both Sinhala and Tamil speaking people  live as a division in which both Sinhala and Tamil shall be use a as the languages of record and administration. By virtue of the powers vested by article 22(1) of the constitution President has directed by notifications published in the Extra Ordinary Gazettes that both Sinhala and Tamil Languages be used as the Languages of administration in 29 Divisional Secretaries Divisions .