Evolution of land registration and cadastral survey systems in Sri Lanka

H. Divithure, Hong Wai Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the evolutionary process of land registration and cadastral survey systems in Sri Lanka. It is a case study from Sri Lanka in the southern part of Asia. This case is of relevance to other countries in the region as they share common experiences in the extensive periods of western power each country's recent history. The study investigates how diverse policy objectives, evident in various stages of Sri Lankan history, have led to evolutionary change in the processes of land registration and in cadastral survey systems in Sri Lanka. Four prominent historical stages are discussed: the ancient Sinhalese kingdom (before 1505), the period of Portuguese rule (1505-1658), the period of Dutch rule (1658-1796) and the period of British rule (1796-1948). It is evident that the power shifts between different successive regimes with varying land policy objectives have greatly influenced the evolution of the land registration and cadastral survey systems in the country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalSurvey Review
Issue number329
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • Cadastral survey
  • Cadastral system
  • Land administration
  • Land registration
  • Sri Lanka

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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