“The president signed a gazette notification dissolving parliament. The government announced that the election will be held on 17 August.
Nominations will be called from 6-15 July and the new parliament is due to sit by September 1.
The president pledged to dissolve parliament within his first 100 days in power.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pressed for early elections . Mr.Wickremesinghe had faced a no-trust resolution by the opposition, which commanded a majority in the 225-member assembly and would have remained until April 2016 if not for the dissolution.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters on Wednesday that the UNP government favoured a snap election to increase its majority. He said a new government was needed to bring about stability in the legislature and also address the ethnic reconciliation