There are several ways to own the title of a land. Some of these are:

  1.  Purchasing
  2.  Receiving as a gift
  3. Long term procession without any interruption 
  4. Admitted private
  5. A government grant

A land can be owned on either way of above without breeching ethical and social standards.


The current system used in our country to legalize the title of a land is to go to a Notary Public and write a deed and register it with the Land Registry.  This is processed under Document Registration Ordinance. Even though, we use this system today, a deed only guarantees the transaction relevant to the land but not the title. Regardless of what we think, a deed cannot confer the absolute title of a land. So, every time we are doing a land transaction, you need to get a Title Certificate from a Notary Public by settling the title of the land. In order to get the title certificate you need to get all the entries of transactions occurred with the land from the Land Registry. Then, you can get the certificate. This is an expensive, time-consuming and cumbersome task

There are two main types of land registration in the world. Those are deed and title registration. Title registration is used by many development countries in the world. People and the countries can reach many benefits from this method

Earlier it was introduced several times but not continued due to various reasons. Now the implementation of this method has been introduced in our country again. But it is not an easy task. Therefore, we are following a suitable method of title registration in Sri Lanka. It has been implemented as a government program. The program is called “Bim Sawiya” or “Land Title Registration Program”


The primary phase is to create a simple, accurate and clear land title registration system in Sri Lanka. Many benefits can be achieved from registering both title and land. In view of this, a research has been carried out in last few years. Based on that experience, “Bim Sawiya” was launched in 2007 as a government program. Further, land title was registered in 18 Divisional Secretary Divisions through “Bim Sawiya” program. Seventy two (72) new Divisional Secretary Divisions were also selected in 2011 and most of them are carrying out title registrations successfully.

Yes. Every land without any dispute and lands that have a clear title can receive this certificate. This program also attempts to clear disputes of lands. 


This program is implemented in a certain procedure. That can be explained step by step. By 2011, 72 Divisional Secretary Divisions have been allocated for this program. The program has been successfully carried out in Grama Niladhari Divisions of respective Divisional Secretariats. Further, necessary actions have been taken to establish regional offices to carry out this work further.


The staff and the officers are organized as follows;       

  1. Superintendant of Surveys/ Surveyors of Survey Department 
  2. A Deputy / Assistant Commissioner and Assistant Title Investigation Officers /Development Officers of Land Title Settlement Department.
  3. Title Registrar and staff of Title Registry

Supervisory Officers of Department of Survey together with Land Title Settlement Department will select one village from the selected list to implement this“Bim Sawiya” program. If the village is large, it will be divided into several sectors. Then, they draw a sketch of the village.


The Commissioner of Title Settlement informs the Additional Secretary / Senior Assistant Secretary of Land Title Registration Program at Ministry of Lands about the selected land. They will then meet the Grama Niladhari Officers, Village Chiefs, and the Divisional Secretary to discuss the program and launch an awareness program. An awareness program will be conducted to the villagers by the regional officers before starting work in the relevant village.

First, a convenient date and a time will be reserved after the discussion with Grama Niladhari. Then a letter will be sent to each house requesting to participate in the program. Officers from the “Bim Sawiya” Head Office and regional offices will brief on the program and the leaflets and handbooks will be given to the villagers for more information. Also, attendance and their address of land owners should be given to the coordinating officers of the program. We will also introduce officers that visit each house to implement this program.