The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society has operated since 1936, first as a branch of the British Red Cross and then from 1949 to 1971 as the Ceylon Red Cross Society. It was recognized by the ICRC and admitted into the League of Red Cross Societies (now the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies) in 1952. The Ceylon Red Cross Society was renamed as Sri Lanka Red Cross Society in 1972. The society was recognized by Royal Charter in 1951 and as a charitable organization also in the same year by a gazette notification of the Finance Ministry.
In 2002, SLRCS adopted a new constitution and organizational changes.
The current NHQ core management structure comprises of the Director General, and a Deputy Director General. They are seven “Focal Points” appointed for core areas such as Disaster Management, Health, Organization Development, Humanitarian Values, Communication, Finance, Transportation who execute programmes through their respective programme officers and managers.
The SLRCS covers all 25 administrative Districts of the country and has 25 branches.
SLRCS Intention is to ensure that all activities, projects and programmes planned and implemented in the mid to long term by the various components of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are carried out in full respect of the spirit of the Seville Agreement, and the 2010 Strategy for the Movement. A Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2003 between the SLRCS, the Federation and the ICRC, acts as a guide in all its partnership formations.
Movement support of the SLRCS has been strengthened by the conclusion of an International Federation Status Agreement with the GoSL in 2004.
The total membership 100,000. The total number of active volunteers 6,500