Colombo

Colombo

Overview
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo. Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins and a population of 647,100.
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Encyclopedia
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo. Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins and a population of 647,100. The Colombo Metropolitan Region, defined by the districts of Colombo
Colombo District
Colombo District is the smallest district in Sri Lanka with an area of 642 km². It is located in the Western Province, on the western coast of the island. Sri Lanka’s commercial capital, Colombo and the political capital, Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte are located in this district...

, Gampaha
Gampaha District
- Local Authorities in Gampaha district:Gampaha is the District Capital of Gampaha District and is a principal town around Colombo. It is about 4 km from Miriswatte on the Colombo - Kandy Road.- Urban Councils :* Katunayake-Seeduwa * Ja-ela* Wattala...

 and Kalutara, has an estimated population of 5,648,000, and covers an area of 3,694.20 km². As per the Provincial Gross Domestic Product-2010, The Western Province, which includes the cities of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara recorded GDP per capita of USD 3,808, the highest recorded GDP per capita for any region in South Asia. It was formerly the political capital of Sri Lanka, before Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte.

Due to its large harbour
Colombo Harbour
The Colombo Harbour is the largest and busiest port in Sri Lanka. Located in Colombo, on the southwestern shores on the Kelani River, it serves as an important terminal in Asia due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean...

 and its strategic position along the East-West
East-West
-Side two:-Personnel:* Paul Butterfield — vocals, harmonica* Mike Bloomfield — electric guitar* Elvin Bishop — electric guitar, lead vocal on "Never Say No"* Mark Naftalin — piano, organ* Jerome Arnold — bass...

 sea trade route
Trade route
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial...

s, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. It was made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 in 1815, and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent
Sri Lanka Independence Struggle
The Sri Lankan independence movement was a peaceful political movement which aimed at achieving independence & self rule for Ceylon from the British Empire. It was initiated around the turn of the 20th century lead mostly by the educated middle class and ultimately was successful when February 4,...

 in 1948. In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.

Like many cities, Colombo's urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority, encompassing other Municipal
Mayor-council government
The mayor–council government system, sometimes called the mayor–commission government system, is one of the two most common forms of local government for municipalities...

 and Urban Councils. The main city is home to a majority of Sri Lanka's corporate offices, restaurants and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green
Galle Face Green
The Galle Face is a promenade which stretches for half kilometre along the coast in the heart of financial and business district of Colombo, Sri Lanka...

, the Viharamahadevi Park
Viharamahadevi Park
The Viharamahadevi Park is a public park located in Colombo, next to the National Museum in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest and largest park of the Port of Colombo. situated in front of the colonial style Town Hall building. The park is named after the mother of King Dutugamunu, Viharamahadevi...

 as well as the National Museum.

Etymology


The name "Colombo", first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhalese name කොලොන් තොට Kolon thota, meaning "port on the river Kelani
Kelani River
The Kelani River is a river in Sri Lanka. Ranking as the fourth longest river in the country, it stretches from the Sri Pada Mountain Range to Colombo. It covers approximately 80% of the water supply to Colombo. In addition to that, the river is used for transport, fisheries, sewage disposal,...

". It has also been suggested that the name may be derived from the Sinhalese name කොල-අම්බ-තොට Kola-amba-thota which means "Harbour with leafy mango trees". However, it is also possible that the Portuguese named the city after Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

, the Italian sailor who lived in Portugal for many years before discovering the Americas on behalf of the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 and Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

. His Portuguese name is Cristóvão Colombo. Colombo set sail westwards to look for India around the same time Portuguese sailor Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

 set sail eastwards, landing at the Port of Calicut
History of Kozhikode
Kozhikode , also known as Calicut, is a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is the third largest city in Kerala and the headquarters of Kozhikode district....

 in India on 20 May 1498. Colombus landed in the Americas six years before that on 12 October 1492 and was already a famed sailor and explorer, celebrated both in Portugal and Spain by the time Dom Lourenço de Almeida
Lourenço de Almeida
Lourenço de Almeida , son of Francisco de Almeida, acting under him, distinguished himself in the Indian Ocean, and made Ceylon tributary to Portugal...

 accidentally landed in the port of Galle
Galle
Galle is a city situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the capital city of Southern Province of Sri Lanka and it lies in Galle District....

 in 1505.

History


As Colombo possesses a natural harbour, it was known to Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

, Persians, Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s, and Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 traders over 2,000 years ago. Traveller Ibn Batuta who visited the island in the 14th century, referred to it as Kalanpu. Muslims of various ethnicities whose prime interests were trade, began to settle in Colombo around the 8th century AD mostly because the port helped their business and controlled much of the trade between the Sinhalese
Sinhalese people
The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group,forming the majority of Sri Lanka,constituting 74% of the Sri Lankan population.They number approximately 15 million worldwide.The Sinhalese identity is based on language, heritage and religion. The Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language and the...

 kingdoms and the outside world. Their descendants now comprise the local Sri Lankan Moor
Sri Lankan Moors
The Sri Lankan Moors are the third largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka comprising 8% of the country's total population . They are predominantly followers of Islam. The Moors trace their ancestry to Arab traders who settled in Sri Lanka some time between the 8th and 15th centuries...

 community.

The Portuguese Era



Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 explorers led by Dom Lourenço de Almeida
Lourenço de Almeida
Lourenço de Almeida , son of Francisco de Almeida, acting under him, distinguished himself in the Indian Ocean, and made Ceylon tributary to Portugal...

 first arrived in Sri Lanka in 1505. During their initial visit they made a treaty with the King of Kotte Parakramabahu VIII (1484–1508) enabling them to trade in the islands' crop of cinnamon, which lay along the coastal areas of the island, including in Colombo. As part of the treaty, the Portuguese were given full authority over the coast line in exchange for the promise of guarding the coast against invaders. They were also allowed to establish a trading post
Trading post
A trading post was a place or establishment in historic Northern America where the trading of goods took place. The preferred travel route to a trading post or between trading posts, was known as a trade route....

 in Colombo. Within a short time, however, they then expelled the Muslim
Sri Lankan Moors
The Sri Lankan Moors are the third largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka comprising 8% of the country's total population . They are predominantly followers of Islam. The Moors trace their ancestry to Arab traders who settled in Sri Lanka some time between the 8th and 15th centuries...

 inhabitants of Colombo and began to build a fort there in 1517.

The Portuguese soon realized that control of Sri Lanka was necessary for protection of their coastal establishments in India and they began to manipulate the rulers of the Kotte Kingdom in order to gain control of the area. After skilfully exploiting rivalries within the Royal Family, they took control of a large area of the Kingdom and the Sinhalese King Mayadunne established a new Kingdom at Sitawaka, a domain in the Kotte kingdom. Before long he annexed much of the Kotte kingdom and forced the Portuguese to retreat to Colombo, which was repeatedly besieged by Mayadunne and the later Kings of Sitawaka, forcing them to seek reinforcement from their major base in Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

, India. However, following the fall of the Kingdom in 1593, the Portuguese were able to establish complete control over the entire coastal area, with Colombo as their capital.
This part of Colombo is still known as Fort and houses the presidential palace and the majority of Colombo's five star
Star (classification)
Stars are often used as symbols for classification purposes. They are used by reviewers for ranking things such as movies, TV shows, restaurants, and hotels. For example, one to five stars is commonly employed to categorize hotels.-Restaurant ratings:...

 hotels. The area immediately outside Fort is known as Pettah
Pettah, Sri Lanka
Pettah is a neighborhood in Colombo, Sri Lanka located east of the City centre Fort. The Pettah neighborhood is famous for its open air bazaars and markets....

 (Sinhala පිට කොටුව piṭa koṭuva, "outer fort") and is a commercial hub.

The Dutch Era


In 1638 the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 signed a treaty with King Rajasinha II of Kandy which assured the king assistance in his war against the Portuguese in exchange for a monopoly of the island's major trade goods. The Portuguese resisted the Dutch and the Kandyans, but were gradually defeated in their strongholds beginning in 1639. The Dutch captured Colombo in 1656 after an epic siege, at the end of which a mere 93 Portuguese survivors were given safe conduct
Safe-conduct
Safe conduct is the situation in time of international conflict or war where one state, a party to such conflict, issues to a person, usually an enemy state's subject, a pass or document to allow the enemy alien to traverse its territory without harassment, bodily harm, or fear of death. Safe...

 out of the fort. Although the Dutch, (e.q. Rijcklof van Goens) initially restored the captured area back to the Sinhalese Kings, they later refused to turn them over and gained control over the island's richest cinnamon lands including Colombo which then served as the capital of the Dutch maritime provinces under the control of the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 until 1796.

The British era


Although the British captured Colombo in 1796, it remained a British military
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 outpost until the Kandyan Kingdom was ceded to them in 1815 and they made Colombo the capital of their newly created crown colony
British overseas territories
The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

 of Ceylon. Unlike the Portuguese and Dutch before them, whose primary use of Colombo was as a military fort, the British began constructing houses and other civilian structures around the fort, giving rise to the current City of Colombo.

Initially, they placed the administration of the city under a "Collector", and John Macdowell of the Madras
Madras Presidency
The Madras Presidency , officially the Presidency of Fort St. George and also known as Madras Province, was an administrative subdivision of British India...

 Service was the first to hold the office. Then, in 1833, the Government Agent
Government Agent
A function called Government Agent exist or existed in the past in several countries, such as* Sri Lanka - see Government Agent * Canada - see Government Agent...

 of the Western Province was charged with the administration of the city. Centuries of colonial rule
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 had meant a decline of indigenous administration of Colombo, and in 1865 the British conceived a Municipal Council as a means of training the local population in self-governance
Self-governance
Self-governance is an abstract concept that refers to several scales of organization.It may refer to personal conduct or family units but more commonly refers to larger scale activities, i.e., professions, industry bodies, religions and political units , up to and including autonomous regions and...

. The Legislative Council of Ceylon
Legislative Council of Ceylon
The Legislative Council of Ceylon was the legislative body of Ceylon established in 1833, along with the Executive Council of Ceylon, on the recommendations of the Colebrooke-Cameron Commission. It was the first form of representative government in the island...

 constituted the Colombo Municipal Council in 1865 and the Council met for the first time on the January 16, 1866. At the time, the population of the region was around 80,000.

During the time they were in control of the Colombo, the British were responsible for much of the planning of the present city. In some parts of the city tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

 car tracks and granite flooring laid during the era are still visible today.

Post Independence



This era of colonialism ended peacefully in 1948 when Ceylon gained independence from Britain. Due to the tremendous impact this caused on the city's inhabitants and on the country as a whole, the changes that resulted at the end of the colonial period were drastic. An entire new culture took root. Changes in laws and customs, clothing styles, religions and proper names were a significant result of the colonial era. These cultural changes were followed by the strengthening of the island's economy. Even today, the influence of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British is clearly visible in Colombo's architecture, names, clothing, food, language and attitudes. Buildings from all three eras stand in their glory as reminders of the turbulent past of Colombo. The city and its people show an interesting mix of European clothing and lifestyles together with local customs.

Historically, Colombo referred to the area around the Fort and Pettah Market
Pettah Market
The Pettah Market is an open market in the suburb of Pettah in the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka.The entrance to the Pettah Market is marked formally by a tall monument in the centre of a roundabout, known as the Khan Clock Tower which was built by the family of Framjee Bhickajee Khan, an eminent...

which is famous for the variety of products available as well as the Khan Clock Tower
Khan Clock Tower
The Khan Clock Tower was built in Colombo, Sri Lanka by the Khan Family of Bombay. The Clock Tower is a popular landmark and marks the entrance to Pettah Market. The Clock Tower was built in the early 20th century by the family of Framjee Bhikhajee Khan...

, a local landmark. At present, it refers to the city limits of the Colombo Municipal Council
Colombo Municipal Council
The Colombo Municipal Council is the local council for Colombo, the largest city and financial centre in Sri Lanka. The council was formed in 1865 and first met in 1866. The municipal council is the oldest and the largest local government authority in Sri Lanka and, as of 2001, covers a resident...

. More often, the name is used for the Conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

 known as Greater Colombo, which encompasses several Municipal council
Municipal council
A municipal council is the local government of a municipality. Specifically the term can refer to the institutions of various countries that can be translated by this term...

s including Kotte
Kotte
Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte , also known as Sri Jayawardenapura or Kotte කෝට්ටේ, is the administrative capital of Sri Lanka. It is located beyond the eastern suburbs of the commercial capital Colombo and is often called New Capital Territory...

, Dehiwela and Colombo.

Although Colombo lost its status as the capital of Sri Lanka in the 1980s, it continues to be the island's commercial centre. Despite the official capital of Sri Lanka moving to the adjacent Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte, most countries still maintain their diplomatic mission
Diplomatic mission
A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organisation present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state...

s in Colombo.

Geography and climate



Colombo's geography is a mix of land and water. The city has many canals and, in the heart of the city, the 65 hectares (160.6 acre) Beira Lake
Beira Lake
Beira Lake is a lake in the heart of the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The lake is surrounded by many important businesses in the city. It occupied approximately 165 hectares of land 100 years ago and has been reduced to mere 65 hectares today due to various reasons. During the colonial era of the...

. The lake is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Colombo, and was used for centuries by colonists to defend the city. It remains a popular attraction, hosting regattas, and theatrical events on its shores. The Northern and North-Eastern border of the city of Colombo is formed by the Kelani River
Kelani River
The Kelani River is a river in Sri Lanka. Ranking as the fourth longest river in the country, it stretches from the Sri Pada Mountain Range to Colombo. It covers approximately 80% of the water supply to Colombo. In addition to that, the river is used for transport, fisheries, sewage disposal,...

, which meets the sea in a part of the city known as the Modera (mōdara in Sinhala) which means river delta
River delta
A delta is a landform that is formed at the mouth of a river where that river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, flat arid area, or another river. Deltas are formed from the deposition of the sediment carried by the river as the flow leaves the mouth of the river...

.

Colombo features a tropical rainforest climate
Tropical rainforest climate
A tropical rainforest climate, also known as an equatorial climate, is a tropical climate usually found along the equator...

 under the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

. Colombo's climate is fairly temperate all throughout the year. From March to April the temperature averages around 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) maximum. The only major change in the Colombo weather occurs during the monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

 seasons from May to August and October to January. This is the time of year where heavy rains can be expected. Colombo sees little relative diurnal range of temperature, although this is more marked in the drier winter months, where minimum temperatures average 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit). Rainfall in the city averages around 2400 millimetres (94.5 in) a year.

Demographics



Colombo is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city. The population of Colombo is a mix of numerous ethnic groups, mainly Sinhalese, Moors
Sri Lankan Moors
The Sri Lankan Moors are the third largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka comprising 8% of the country's total population . They are predominantly followers of Islam. The Moors trace their ancestry to Arab traders who settled in Sri Lanka some time between the 8th and 15th centuries...

 and Tamils
Sri Lanka Tamils
Sri Lanka Tamils could mean* Sri Lankan Tamil people, Tamils who are native to the island* Sri Lankan Tamil dialects, unique Tamil-language dialects used in Sri Lanka by native Sri Lankan Tamil population and in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora...

. There are also small communities of people with Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Malay
Sri Lankan Malays
The Malays of Sri Lanka originated in Southeast Asia and today consist of about 50,000 people...

 and Indian origins living in the city, as well as numerous European expatriates. Colombo is the most populous city in Sri Lanka, with 642,163 people living within the city limits. In 1866 the city had a population of around 80,000. According to the census of 2001 the demographics of urban Colombo by ethnicity is as follows.

NoEthnicityPopulation% Of Total
1 Sinhalese
Sinhalese people
The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group,forming the majority of Sri Lanka,constituting 74% of the Sri Lankan population.They number approximately 15 million worldwide.The Sinhalese identity is based on language, heritage and religion. The Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language and the...

265,657 41.36
2 Tamils 185,672 28.91
3 Moors
Sri Lankan Moors
The Sri Lankan Moors are the third largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka comprising 8% of the country's total population . They are predominantly followers of Islam. The Moors trace their ancestry to Arab traders who settled in Sri Lanka some time between the 8th and 15th centuries...

153,299 23.87
4 Indian Tamils 13,968 2.17
5 Malay
Sri Lankan Malays
The Malays of Sri Lanka originated in Southeast Asia and today consist of about 50,000 people...

11,149 1.73
6 Burghers
Burgher people
The Burghers are a Eurasian ethnic group, historically from Sri Lanka, consisting for the most part of male-line descendants of European colonists from the 16th to 20th centuries and local women, with some minorities of Swedish, Norwegian, French and Irish.Today the mother tongue of the Burghers...

5,273 0.82
7 Sri Lankan Chetty 740 0.11
8 Bharatha 471 0.07
9 Other 5,934 0.96
10 Total 642,163 100


Government and politics


Local Government


Colombo is a charter city
Charter city
A charter city is a city in which the governing system is defined by the city's own charter document rather than by state, provincial, regional or national laws. In locations where city charters are allowed by law, a city can adopt or modify its organizing charter by decision of its administration...

, with a Mayor Council
Mayor-council government
The mayor–council government system, sometimes called the mayor–commission government system, is one of the two most common forms of local government for municipalities...

 form of government. Colombo's mayor and the council members are elected through local government elections held once in five years. For the past 50 years the city had been ruled by the United National Party
United National Party
The United National Party, often referred to as the UNP ), , is a political party in Sri Lanka. It currently is the main opposition party in Sri Lanka and is headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe...

 (UNP), a right
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

 leaning party, whose business friendly policies resonate with the population of Colombo. However the UNP nomination list for the 2006 Municipal elections was rejected, and an Independent Group supported by the UNP won the elections. Uvais Mohamed Imitiyas
Uvais Mohamed Imitiyas
Uvais Mohamed Imitiyas is the Mayor of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Effectively unelected, he assumed office on a technicality. Imtiyas was a Three Wheel Auto Driver from an impoverished background who contested local government elections on an independent ticket. At that stage he had no realistic chance...

 was subsequently appointed Mayor of Colombo.

The city government provides sewer, road management and waste management services, in case of water, electricity and telephone utility services the council liaises with the water supply and drainage board, the Ceylon electricity board and telephone service providers.

Official vision and mission
Vision:
Mission

National capital


Colombo was the capital of the coastal areas controlled by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British from the 1700s to the 1815 when the British gained control of the entire island following the Kandian convention. From then until the 1980s the national capital of the island was Colombo. During the 1980s plans were made to move the administrative capital to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and thus move all governmental institutions out of Colombo to make way for commercial activities. As a primary step the Parliament
Parliament of Sri Lanka
The Parliament of Sri Lanka is the 225-member unicameral legislature of Sri Lanka. The members of Parliament are elected by proportional representation for six-year terms, with universal suffrage. Parliament reserves the power to make all laws...

 was moved to a new complex in Kotte and several ministries and departments were also moved. However the move was never completed. Today many governmental institutions still remain in Colombo. These include the President's House
President's House, Colombo
President's House is the official residence of the President of Sri Lanka, located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It used to be the Queen's House until Sri Lanka became a Republic in 1972.-History:...

, Presidential Secretariat
Presidential Secretariat
The Presidential Secretariat is the office of the President of Sri Lanka. It provides the administrative and institutional framework for the exercise of the duties, responsibilities and powers vested in the President by the Constitution....

, Prime Minister's House
Prime Minister's House (Colombo)
Prime Minister's House, most commonly known as Temple Trees, is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. It is located in Colombo, Sri Lanka...

 (Temple Trees), Prime Minister's Office, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka is the highest court of the nation of Sri Lanka. The Supreme Court is the highest and final judicial instance of record and is empowered to exercise its powers, subject to the provisions of the Constitution. The Court has ultimate appellate jurisdiction in...

, Central Bank of Sri Lanka
Central Bank of Sri Lanka
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is the monetary authority of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1950, two years after independence. The founder governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka was John Exter, while the minister of finance at the time was J.R...

, important government ministries and departments; such as Finance
Ministry of Finance and Planning (Sri Lanka)
The Ministry of Finance & Planning and the Treasury of Sri Lanka is a ministry of the Government of Sri Lanka responsible for developing and executing the government's public finance policy, economic policy and long term planning...

 (Treasury), Defence
Ministry of Defence (Sri Lanka)
The Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order is the Sri Lankan government ministry responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces....

, Public Administration & Home affairs, Foreign affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Sri Lanka)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a ministry of the Government of Sri Lanka that conducts and manages Sri Lanka's relations with other countries...

, Justice and the Military headquarters
Army Headquarters (Sri Lanka)
Army Headquarters refers to the military headquarters complex of the Sri Lanka Army. Situated next to Galle Face Green and long the Lower Lake Road, this complex also includes the Ministry of Defence. Apart from operational and administrative offices, it contains the regimental centers of several...

, Naval headquarters (SLNS Parakrama
SLNS Parakrama
SLNS Parakrama is a Sri Lanka Navy shore establishment sited on Flagstaff Street in Colombo, in close proximity to the Colombo Lighthouse. It functions as the naval headquarter of the Navy. In this capacity it has the offices of the Commander of the Navy, Chief of Staff, the Board of Management ...

), Air Force headquarters (SLAF Colombo
SLAF Colombo
SLAF Colombo is the Sri Lanka Air Force headquarters in Colombo. In this capacity it has the offices of the Commander of the Air Force, Chief of Staff, the Board of Management and Board of Directors of the Sri Lanka Air Force...

) and Police national and field force headquarters.

Suburbs


Colombo is divided into 15 numbered areas for the purposes of postal services. Within these areas are the suburbs with their corresponding post office.
Postal zones Suburbs
Colombo 1 Fort
Colombo 2 Slave Island
Slave Island
Slave Island is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka located directly south of the Fort area of Colombo. The name Slave Island was given during the period of British occupation and administration, and refers to the situation under Portuguese and Dutch administration when slaves were held there, most of...

 and Union Place
Union Place
Union Place is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Union Place is located approximately 1 kilometre south-east from the centre of Colombo, Fort. - Demographic :...

Colombo 3 Kollupitiya
Kollupitiya
Kollupitiya is a major city in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The name Kollupitiya comes from the name of a chief from Kandy who had unsuccessfully attempted to dethrone the last king of Kandy. During the period of British and Dutch administration, a brewery had commenced in Kollupitiya which converted...

Colombo 4 Bambalapitiya
Bambalapitiya
Bambalapitiya is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The area, numbered Colombo 4, spans about one and a half kilometres of the Galle Road in Colombo. The west of the city is bordered by the Indian Ocean while to the east Havelock Town town borders it....

Colombo 5 Havelock Town
Havelock Town
Havelock Town is a neighbourhood of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Havelock Town is part of an area zoned as Colombo 5. Havelock Town is located approximately 6 kilometres south of Fort, the central business district of Colombo. Havelock City, a mixed-used development in Havelock Town is to be the largest...

 and Kirilapone
Kirilapone
Kirilapone is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka....

Colombo 6 Wellawatte
Wellawatte
Wellawatte, a suburb in Colombo, lies immediately south of Bambalapitiya and is classified as zone 6 within the Colombo Municipal region. The town begins at the old Dutch canal just before the Savoy Cinema and extends all the way south to the same canal that spills into the sea just before the...

 and Pamankada
Pamankada
Pamankada is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is also part of the area numbered Colombo 6 and its postcode is 00600.It is noted for the magnificent Eros cinema located on Havelock Road....

Colombo 7 Cinnamon Gardens
Cinnamon Gardens
Cinnamon Gardens is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka located 3 kilometers south-east from Colombo city centre. Cinnamon Gardens is named from the former Cinnamon plantation in this area. In the year 1789, there were of Cinnamon trees in Cinnamon Gardens...

Colombo 8 Borella
Borella
Borella is the largest suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka represented by divisional code 8.-Demographic:Borella is a multi-religious and multi-ethnic area. The major ethnic communities in Borella are Sinhalese and Tamils. There are also various other minorities such as Burghers, Arab descendants and others...

Colombo 9 Dematagoda
Dematagoda
Dematagoda is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka represented by divisional code 9 . It is surrounded by Borella, Maradana and Kolonnawa. The Baseline Road passes through the Dematagoda.-Schools:* Anurudhdha Balika Maha Vidyalaya* Sevalee Vidyalaya...

Colombo 10 Maradana
Maradana
Maradana is a suburb of Colombo city, Sri Lanka. Maradana is the site of Maradana Railway Station, one of the primary railway hubs in the country, serving intercity rail and commuter rail. Maradana also has many railway yards and running sheds...

 and Panchikawatte
Panchikawatte
Panchikawatte is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is also part of the area numbered Colombo 10 and its postcode is 01000.Panchikawatte is specially known for spare and motor parts.The Tower hall is located here.It's close to maradana,and it is col-10.It's close to south colombo ,mainly majority...

Colombo 11 Pettah
Pettah, Sri Lanka
Pettah is a neighborhood in Colombo, Sri Lanka located east of the City centre Fort. The Pettah neighborhood is famous for its open air bazaars and markets....

Colombo 12 Hultsdorf
Hultsdorf
Hultsdorf is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is part of the postal area known as Colombo 12. It has been known historically as Hulffsdorp, Hulfsdorp, Hulftsdorp, Hulsdorp, Hulstsdorp and Hülffsdorf.-History:...

Colombo 13 Kotahena and Bloemendhal
Bloemendhal
Bloemendhal is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Bloemendhal is also part of an area numbered Colombo 13. The name Bloemendhal is of Dutch origin meaning Valley of Flowers....

Colombo 14 Grandpass
Grandpass
Grandpass is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is part of an area known as Colombo 14.-History:During the Portuguese administration in Sri Lanka, the area was named Grande Passo. The name was anglicised during the British administration to become Grandpass. It was also known as Groote Pas, Pas...

Colombo 15 Mutwal
Mutwal
Mutwal is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is part of the postal area Colombo 15....

, Modera
Modera
Modera is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is part of an area referred to as Colombo 15.-Military:* Rock House Army Camp...

, Mattakkuliya
Mattakkuliya
Mattakkuliya is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is part of an area referred to as Colombo 15...

 and Madampitiya
Madampitiya
Madampitiya is a suburb in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is part of the postal area Colombo 15....




Economy




The great majority of Sri Lankan corporations have their head offices in Colombo. Some of the industries include chemicals, textiles, glass, cement, leather goods, furniture, and jewellery. In the city centre is located South Asia's second tallest building – The World Trade Centre
World Trade Center (Colombo)
The World Trade Centre is the tallest completed building in Sri Lanka. Standing over from the ground, it ranks as the third tallest twin tower in South Asia. WTCC runs under the management of Overseas Realty Ceylon plc...

. The 40 story Twin Tower
Twin Tower
Twin Tower is a 1970s' design of residential block of Hong Kong public housing estate. The plan looks like two hollow squares joining one corner of each square. Two towers are of different heights although their shapes are the same....

 complex is the centre of important commercial establishments, situated in the Fort district, the city's nerve center. Right outside the Fort area is Pettah which is derived from the Sinhalese word pita which means out or outside as it is outside the Fort.

Pettah is more crowded than the fort area. Pettah's roads are always packed and pavements
Sidewalk
A sidewalk, or pavement, footpath, footway, and sometimes platform, is a path along the side of a road. A sidewalk may accommodate moderate changes in grade and is normally separated from the vehicular section by a curb...

 are full of small stalls selling from delicious Sherbat to Shirt
Shirt
A shirt is a cloth garment for the upper body. Originally an undergarment worn exclusively by men, it has become, in American English, a catch-all term for almost any garment other than outerwear such as sweaters, coats, jackets, or undergarments such as bras, vests or base layers...

s. Main Street consists mostly of clothes shops and the cross roads, which are literally known as Cross Streets where each of the five streets specializes in a specific business. For example the First Cross Street is mostly electronic
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 goods shops, the Second, cellular phones and fancy goods. Most of these businesses in Pettah are dominated by Muslim traders. At the end of the main street further away from Fort is the Sea Street, Sri Lanka's Gold market – dominated by Tamil interests. This mile-long street is full of jewellery shops.

The Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR) encompasses the country's administrative capital Kotte and Colombo. Found within the borders of the CMR is 80% of the country's industries and over 60% of all vehicles plying Sri Lankan roads.. The per capita income of the Western Province, of which [Colombo] is the capital city stood at USD 3,808, making it one of the most prosperous regions in South Asia.

At one time Air Lanka (now SriLankan Airlines
SriLankan Airlines
SriLankan Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Sri Lanka. It operates to destinations in Asia and Europe from its base and hub at Bandaranaike International Airport . The airline's trademark phrase is 'You're Our World', and the company's logo features a stylized peacock...

) had its head office in Colombo.

Law enforcement & crime



The Sri Lanka Police the main law enforcement agency of the island liaise with the municipal council, but is under the control of the Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (Sri Lanka)
The Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law & Order is the Sri Lankan government ministry responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces....

 of the central government. Policing in Colombo and its suburbs falls within the Metropolitan Range headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Metropolitan), this also includes the Colombo Crime Division. As with most Sri Lankan cities, the magistrate court handles felony crimes, the district court handles civil cases.

As in other large cities around the world, Colombo experiences certain levels of street crime
Street crime
Street crime is a loose term for criminal offences taking place in public places. It has moved to occupy the place once held by mugging. According to London's Metropolitan Police Force, street crime is:...

 and bribery
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

. In addition, in the period from the 1980s to 2009 there have been a number of major terrorist attacks. The LTTE has been linked to most of the bombings and assassinations in the city. Welikada Prison
Welikada Prison
The Welikada Prison is a maximum security prison and is the largest prison in Sri Lanka. It was built in 1841 by the British colonial government under Governor Cameron. The prison covers and area of . It is over-crowded with about 1700 detainees exceeding the actual member that could be accommodated...

 is situated in Colombo and it is one of the largest maximum-security prisons in the country.

Infrastructure


Colombo has most of the amenities that a modern city has. Compared to other parts of the country, Colombo has the highest degree of infrastructure. Electricity, water and transport to street lamps, phone booths and etc. have a considerably good standard. The majority of the major shopping malls in Sri Lanka are located in the city, of which all are wi-fi
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi or Wifi, is a mechanism for wirelessly connecting electronic devices. A device enabled with Wi-Fi, such as a personal computer, video game console, smartphone, or digital audio player, can connect to the Internet via a wireless network access point. An access point has a range of about 20...

 enabled. Apart from that, many luxurious hotels, clubs and restaurants are also situated in the city. In recent times there's been an outpour of high rise condominiums in the city, mainly due to the very high land prices.

Port of Colombo



The largest and one of the busiest port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

s in Sri Lanka, the Colombo Harbour is located in this city. Colombo was established primarily as a port city during the colonial era, with an artificial harbour that has been expanded over the years. The Sri Lanka Navy maintains a naval base
Naval base
A naval base is a military base, where warships and naval ships are deployed when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while...

, SLNS Rangalla within the harbour.

The Port of Colombo handled 3.75 million twenty-foot equivalent unit
Twenty-foot equivalent unit
The twenty-foot equivalent unit is an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals...

s in 2008, 10.6% up on 2007 (which itself was 9.7% up on 2006), bucking the global economic trend. Of those, 817,000 were local shipments with the rest transshipments. The port is close to its capacity for container handling. An expansion project, the South Harbour project, will increase the port's capacity.

Transport





Colombo has an extensive public transport system based on bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

es. The bus service is operated both by private operators and the government owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). Train transport within the city is limited since most trains are meant for transport to and from the city rather than within the city and are often overcrowded. However the Central Bus Stand and Fort Railway Station
Fort Railway Station (Colombo)
Fort Railway Station is a major rail hub in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The station is served by Sri Lanka Railways, with many inter-city and commuter trains entering each day...

functions as the islands primary hub for bus and rail transport respectively. Up until the 1970s the city had a tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

s service, which was discontinued. Other means of transport includes auto rickshaws (commonly called "three wheelers" in Sri Lanka) and taxicab
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

s. Three wheelers are entirely operated by individuals and hardly regulated whilst cab services are run by private companies and are metered.

Construction of the Colombo Metro Rail, a Mass Rapid Transit
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 railway system
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

, similar to that of other advanced Asian cities has begun. The project was established to control the excessive traffic in the city. The project is carried out by NEB Rapid Infrastructure Projects Pvt.Ltd., an Indian and Singaporean collaboration.

Post-war development in the Colombo area also involves the construction of numerous expressway grade arterial road routes. The first of these constructed is the Southern Expressway
Southern Expressway (Sri Lanka)
The Dakshina Lanka Distributor E01 also known as the Southern Lanka Express Highway or Southern Lanka Distributor or simply the Southern Expressway is Sri Lanka's first E Class highway...

, which goes from Kottawa
Kottawa
Kottawa is a suburb of Colombo, Sri Lanka, administered by the Maharagama Urban Council. Located 18km from Colombo, it can be reached via A4 highway and by train on via the Kelani Valley Railway Line. The northern end of the Southern Expressway is about 2km east of Kottawa on the High Level Road...

, a southern suburb of Colombo, to Matara
Matara
Matara can refer to:* Matara, Eritrea* Matara, Sri Lanka* Matará, Cangallo Province, Peru...

 in the south of the country. Expressways under construction in the Colombo metropolitan area include the Colombo–Katunayake Expressway and the Colombo orbital bypass Arthur C. Clarke Expressway which is due to be opened in 2014

Bandaranaike International Airport
Bandaranaike International Airport
Bandaranaike International Airport is Sri Lanka's only international airport at the moment. Mattala International Airport, when it gets built will be the second International Airport of Sri Lanka. It is located in Katunayake, north of Colombo...

 serves the city for all International flights while the Ratmalana Airport
Ratmalana Airport
Ratmalana Airport , formally known as Colombo Airport, is a major domestic airport and military base in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was once Colombo's international airport, until the current Bandaranaike International Airport opened in the 1960s...

 serves all local flights.

Roads :
  • A1 highway connects Colombo with Kandy
    Kandy
    Kandy is a city in the center of Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an...

    .
  • A2 highway connects Colombo with Galle
    Galle
    Galle is a city situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the capital city of Southern Province of Sri Lanka and it lies in Galle District....

    .


Rail:
  • Main Line – Colombo to Badulla
    Badulla
    Badulla , is the capital of Uva Province, Sri Lanka. Badulla is located 60 km southeast of Kandy, almost encircled by the Badulu Oya River, about 680 metres above sea level and is surrounded by picturesque hills and mountains, most of which have tea plantations.-Geography:It is located on the...

    .
  • Southern Line – Colombo to Matara
    Matara, Sri Lanka
    Matara is a city on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, 160 km from Colombo. It is one of the largest cities in Sri Lanka. It was deeply affected by the Asian tsunami in December 2004.-History:...

  • Northern Line – Colombo to Kankesanturai deviates from the Main Line at Polgahawela
    Polgahawela
    Polgahawela is a town in north western Sri Lanka. The town is most notable for a major railway accident that occurred in 2005. Polgahawela is a small city that belongs to the North Western Province of Sri Lanka, and situated at a distance of 80 km north-east from the capital city of Colombo; 50 km...

     junction – presently operating only up to Vavuniya
    Vavuniya
    Vavuniya is a town in northern Sri Lanka. This town is situated in the Northern Province. Vavuniya was often referred to as the gateway to Vanni....

  • Puttalam Line – Colombo to Puttalam
    Puttalam
    Puttalam is the capital city of the Puttalam District in North Western Province, Sri Lanka.-History:The history of this dry zone dates back to the arrival of Prince Vijaya, nearly 2500 years ago, when his vessel washed ashore. The name "Puttalam" may be a modification of the Tamil word Uppuththalam...

  • Kelani Valley Line (Narrow Gauge)now this is broad gauge – Colombo to Yatiyantota – presently operating only up to Avissawella
    Avissawella
    Avissawella, also known as Seethawakapura or Seethawaka, is a town along the A4 route from Colombo on the Western Coast to Kalmunai in the Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka via Ratnapura, Pelmadulla, Balangoda and Wellawaya.- Overview :...

  • Mannar Line (Earlier Indo-Lanka Line) Colombo To Talaimannar
    Talaimannar
    Talaimannar is a settlement in Sri Lanka located on the northwestern coast of Mannar Island.- Transport :Prior to the severe destructions by a cyclone in December 1964, it was the terminus of a ferry service to India across the very shallow Palk Bay...

     – Divides from Northern Line at Medawachchiya
    Medawachchiya
    Medawachchiya is a town in the Anuradhapura District, North Central Province of Sri Lanka. Situated 27km from Anuradhapura, on the A9 Jaffna - Kandy main road, it is 229km from the capital Colombo. Medawachchiya is also the point from which the A14 main road to mannar and Talaimannar starts...

     junction – Not operational


Ferry Services:
  • A luxury ferry liner, the Scotia Prince, is conducting a ferry service to Tuticorin, India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    . Ferry services between the two countries have been revived after more than 20 years.

Landmarks



The two World Trade Centre towers used to be the most recognized landmarks of the city. Before these towers were completed in 1997, the adjacent Bank of Ceylon
Bank of Ceylon
Bank of Ceylon is a government-owned, major commercial bank in Sri Lanka. Its head office is located in iconic cylindrical building in the capital Colombo, the political and commercial capital of the islandThe bank has a network of 308 branches and 200+ extension centers covering all parts of the...

 tower was the tallest structure and the most prominent landmark of the city. Before the skyscrapers were built it was the Old Parliament Building that stood majestically in the Fort district with the Old Colombo Lighthouse
Old Colombo Lighthouse
Old Colombo Lighthouse is a Lighthouse in Colombo ]. It is operational any more, but functions as a clock tower and is designated as a monument. It is located at the junction of Chatham Street and Janadhipathi Mawatha in Colombo fort....

 situated close to it. Another important landmark of the city is the Independence Hall
Independence Commemoration Hall (Sri Lanka)
Independence Memorial Hall is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the establishment of Dominion of Ceylon on February 4, 1948. It is located at the Independence Square in the Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo...

 at Independence Square in Cinnamon Gardens.

Even before the parliament was built some claim that the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque
Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque is a mosque located at Second Cross Street in Pettah, Sri Lanka. Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque was built in 1909 by the Pettah Muslim Community to fulfill the daily five-times prayer and Jummah on Fridays....

 was recognized as the landmark of Colombo by sailors
Sailors
Sailors is the plural form of Sailor, or mariner.Sailors may also refer to:*Sailors , a 1964 Swedish film*Ken Sailors , American basketball playerSports teams*Erie Sailors, baseball teams in Pennsylvania, USA...

 approaching the port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

. The mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 is still one of the most visited tourist sites in Colombo.

Another landmark is St.Paul's Church Milagiriya
Milagiriya
Milagiriya is a district of Colombo city in Sri Lanka. The area took its name from the Sinhalised form of the Portuguese word "Milager," or Miracle...

, one of the oldest churches in Sri Lanka, first built by the Portuguese and re-built by the British in 1848.

The Fort district also has the famous Cargills & Millers complex that is protected by a special government law from demolition. This is done mainly to preserve the historic beauty of the Fort area.

The Galle Face Green is the city's largest and most elegant promenade. Lined with palm trees and adjacent to the coast, this mile-long stretch in the heart of the city is a constant beehive of activity. The green is especially busy on Fridays and Saturdays. In the evenings it plays host to families and children playing sports and flying kites, lovers embracing under umbrellas and health enthusiasts taking their daily evening walks. There are numerous small food stalls and a small stretch of beach to get wet. The green was recently given a make over and since then has been even more popular with the local community. The Green also frequently hosts numerous international and local concerts and performances, such as the recently concluded World Drum Festival.

Cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

s that were once mounted on the rampart of the old fort of Colombo laid out for observance and prestige at the Green, giving a colonial touch to the city. The famous colonial styled Galle Face Hotel
Galle Face Hotel
The Galle Face Hotel, founded in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1864, is the oldest hotel east of Suez. It is located at 2, Galle Road, Colombo 03. The Ceylon Hotels Corporation is now part of the Galle Face Hotel Group. The hotel is a member of Select Hotels and Resorts International. The current chairman...

, known as Asia's Emerald on the Green since 1864, is also adjacent to Galle Face Green. The Hotel has played host to distinguished guests including the British Royal Family
British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

 and other Royal
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

 Guests and Celebrities. Apparently after having stayed at the hotel, Princess Alexandra of Denmark had commented that "the peacefulness and generosity encountered at the Galle Face Hotel cannot be matched". Around the corner from Galle Face are prominent coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 bars, chic bars and boutiques.

Education



Education institutions in Colombo have a long history. Colombo has many of the prominent public schools
Public School (UK)
A public school, in common British usage, is a school that is neither administered nor financed by the state or from taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees and charitable contributions, usually existing as a non profit-making charitable trust...

 in the country, some of them government owned and others private. Most of the prominent schools in the city date back to the 1800s when they were established during the British colonial rule, such as the Royal College Colombo
Royal College Colombo
The Royal College of Colombo was founded in January 1835 in Colombo. It is considered to be the leading Public School in Sri Lanka...

 (1835). Certain urban schools of Sri Lanka have some religious alignment, this is partly due to the influence of British who established Christian missionary schools, these include the Anglican, Bishop's College
Bishop's College
Bishop's College in Colombo, Sri Lanka was founded by the Anglican Church of Ceylon in February 1875.It is a fee-levying private school, with over 2000 students at all grades from Kindergarten to Grade 14. The current principal is Mrs...

(1875); the Buddhist, Ananda College
Ananda College
Ananda College , Colombo which is considered as the leading National school in Sri Lanka, was established on November 1, 1886, by the Buddhist Theosophical Society led by Colonel Henry Steel Olcott...

 (1886); the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, Zahira College (1892); the Catholic, St. Joseph's College
St. Joseph's College, Colombo
St. Joseph's College is a Catholic educational institution in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was established in 1896 by French missionaries, with Rev Christopher Ernst Bonjean playing a leading role. The college has over 4000 students with a staff of over 200...

 (1896). These religious alignments do not affect the curriculum of the school except for the demographics of the student population.

Higher education in the city has a long history, beginning with the establishment of the Colombo Medical College (1870), the Colombo Law College
Sri Lanka Law College
Sri Lanka Law College was established as the Ceylon Law College under the Council of Legal Education in 1874 in order to impart a formal legal education to those who wished to be lawyers in Ceylon...

 (1875), School of Agriculture (1884) and the Government Technical College (1893). The first step in the creation of a University in Colombo was taken in 1913 with the establishment of the University College Colombo which prepared students for the external examinations of the University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

, this was followed by the establishment of the University of Ceylon
University of Ceylon
The University of Ceylon was the only university in Sri Lanka from 1942 until 1972. It had several constituent campuses at various locations around Sri Lanka. The University of Ceylon Act No. 1 of 1972, replaced it with the University of Sri Lanka which existed from 1973 to 1978. In 1978 it was...

 in Colombo. Today the University of Colombo
University of Colombo
The University of Colombo is a public research university located primarily in Colombo, Sri Lanka...

 and the University of the Visual & Performing Arts
University of the Visual & Performing Arts
The University of the Visual & Performing Arts is the only university of visual arts in Sri Lanka. Established in July 2005, its campus is situated in Colombo.-History:...

 are state universities in the city. The Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology
Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology
Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology , is a public technological university in Sri Lanka mainly focused on information technology established by the Government of Sri Lanka.The main campus is located in Malabe, 16 km from Colombo. It also has a metropolitan campus in Colombo, the...

 also has a metropolitan campus in the centre of the city. There are several private higher education institutions within the city.

Architecture



Colombo has wildly varying architecture that span centuries and depict various styles. Many colonial buildings influenced by the Portuguese
Architecture of Portugal
Architecture of Portugal refers to the architecture practised in the territory of present-day Portugal since before the foundation of the country in the 12th century...

, Dutch
Architecture of the Netherlands
Dutch architecture has played an important role in the international discourse on architecture in three eras. The first of these was during the 17th century, when the Dutch empire was at the height of its power. The second was in the first half of the 20th century, during development of modernism...

 and British
Architecture of the United Kingdom
The Architecture of England refers to the architecture practised in the territory of the present-day country of England, and in the historic Kingdom of England...

 exist alongside structures built in Buddhist
Buddhist architecture
Buddhist religious architecture developed in South Asia in the 3rd century BC.Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture of early Buddhism: monasteries , stupas, and temples ....

, Hindu, Islamic
Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture....

, Indian and Contemporary
Contemporary architecture
Contemporary architecture is generally speaking the architecture of the present time.The term contemporary architecture is also applied to a range of styles of recently built structures and space which are optimized for current use....

 architectural styles. No other place is this more evident in the heart of the city the Fort area. Here one may find new towering skyscrapers as well as historic buildings dating far back as the 1700s.

Colombo Fort



The Portuguese were the first colonist to settle in Colombo, establishing a small trading post they had laid the foundations for a small fort which in time became the largest colonial fort in the island. The Dutch expanded the fort thus creating a well old fortified harbour. This came in to the possession of the British in the late 1700s and by the late 19th century the seeing no threat to the Colombo Harbour
Colombo Harbour
The Colombo Harbour is the largest and busiest port in Sri Lanka. Located in Colombo, on the southwestern shores on the Kelani River, it serves as an important terminal in Asia due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean...

, began demolishing the ramparts to make way for the development of the city. Although now there is nothing left of the fortifications the area which was once the fort is still referred to as Fort and the area out side the fort; Pettah or pita-koutuwa in Sinhalese which means outer fort.

Dutch era buildings


There are none of the buildings of the Portuguese era and only a few from the Dutch period. These include the oldest building in the fort area, the Dutch Hospital, the Dutch House which is now the Colombo Dutch Museum and several churches. The President's House
President's House, Colombo
President's House is the official residence of the President of Sri Lanka, located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It used to be the Queen's House until Sri Lanka became a Republic in 1972.-History:...

 (formerly the Queen's House) have originally been the Dutch governor's house, and successive British Governors made it their office and residence. However, it has undergone much change since the Dutch period. Adjoining the President's House are the Gordon Gardens, now off limits to the public.

British era buildings


Much of the old buildings of the fort area and in other parts of the city date back to the British times, these include governmental, commercial buildings and private houses. Some of the notable government building of British colonial architecture includes; the old Parliament building which is now the Presidential Secretariat
Presidential Secretariat
The Presidential Secretariat is the office of the President of Sri Lanka. It provides the administrative and institutional framework for the exercise of the duties, responsibilities and powers vested in the President by the Constitution....

, the Republic Building which houses the Ministry of Foreign affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Sri Lanka)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a ministry of the Government of Sri Lanka that conducts and manages Sri Lanka's relations with other countries...

, but once housed the Ceylon Legislative council, the General Treasury Building
General Treasury Building
The General Treasury Building is the building that houses the Treasury of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Finance & Planning along with several of its departments. It was formally known as the Secretariat Building therefore it is still officially referred to as the The Secretariat...

, the old General Post Office
General Post Office, Colombo
The General Post Office, also known as the GPO, is the headquarters of the Sri Lanka Post. It is also the office of the Post Master General.-Building:...

 an Edwardian style building opposite the President's House, the Prime Minister's Office, the Central Telegraph Office
Central Telegraph Office, Colombo
Central Telegraph Office is a building in Colombo, Sri Lanka that housed the Ceylon Telegraph Department the preciser to the Sri Lanka Telecom. Situated Colombo fort along Duke street, across from the head quarters of the Colombo Metropolitan Police; it was built in 1910 and is used by the Sri...

, the Mathematics department of the University of Colombo
University of Colombo
The University of Colombo is a public research university located primarily in Colombo, Sri Lanka...

 (formally the Royal College, Colombo). Notable commercial buildings of the British era include, the Galle Face Hotel
Galle Face Hotel
The Galle Face Hotel, founded in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1864, is the oldest hotel east of Suez. It is located at 2, Galle Road, Colombo 03. The Ceylon Hotels Corporation is now part of the Galle Face Hotel Group. The hotel is a member of Select Hotels and Resorts International. The current chairman...

, Cargills & Millers complex, Grand Oriental Hotel.

Annual cultural events and fairs



Colombo's most beautiful festival is the celebration of Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

's Birth, Enlightenment and Death all falling on the same day. In Sinhala this is known as Vesak
Vesak
Vesākha is a holiday observed traditionally by Buddhists in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the South East Asian countries of Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, and Indonesia...

.
During this festival, much of the city is decorated with lanterns, lights and special displays of light(known as Thoran). The festival falls in mid May and lasts a week when many Sri Lankans visit the city to see the lantern competitions and decorations. During this week people distribute, rice, drinks and various other food items for free in places what is known as Dunsal which means charity place. These Dunsal are popular amongst visitors from the suburbs.

Christmas is another major festival in the city. Although Sri Lanka's Christians make up only just over 7% of the population, Christmas is one of the island's biggest festivals. Most streets and commercial buildings light up from the beginning of December and festive sales begin at all shopping centres and department stores. Caroling and nativity plays are also frequent sights during the season.

The 'sinhala Hindu aluth awurudda' is another cultural event that takes place in April. This is the celebration of the Sinhala and Hindu new year. The festivities take place on 13 and 14 April and include many events and traditions that display a great deal of Sri Lankan culture.

Several old clubs of the city gives a glimpse of the British equestrian life style, these include the Colombo Club
Colombo Club
The Colombo Club is one of the oldest gentlemen's clubs in Sri Lanka. Established on March 4, 1871 by prominent British colonialist in the island at the Colpity Race Course Grandstand. The most exclusive club in the country, its membership was limited to British and Europeans until Ceylon gained...

, Orient Club, the 80's Club, the Colombo Cricket Club
Colombo Cricket Club
The Colombo Cricket Club is a first-class cricket club in Sri Lanka. It is the oldest in the country, having been formed in 1832.-External links:*...

.

Performing arts


Colombo has several performing arts
Performing arts
The performing arts are those forms art which differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal or paint which can be molded or transformed to create some physical art object...

 centers which are popular for their musical and theatrical performances. The most famous performing arts centers are the Lionel Wendt
Lionel Wendt
Lionel Wendt was a Sri Lankan musician , photographer, literature collector,critic, and cinematographer. According to Pablo Neruda, Wendt "was the central figure of a cultural life torn between the death rattles of the Empire and a human appraisal of the untapped values of Ceylon."-External...

 Theater, the Elphinstone and the Tower Hall, all of which have a very rich history and made for western style productions. The Navarangahala
Navarangahala
The Navarangahala in Colombo is one of the main national theatres of Sri Lanka. Built between 1966 and 1969 as the Royal Primary School Hall it was specially designed for local drama and music which required open air type auditorium in accordance to Natya Shastra...

 also found in the city is the country's first nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

al theatre designed and build for Asiatic and local style musical and theatrical productions.

The National Performing Arts Theatre
Colombo National Performing Art Theatre
The National Performing Arts Theatre is a performing arts centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The theatre is set to open in October 2011, though construction has been completed.- Design and features :...

 is a world-class theatre set to open in October 2011. Designed in the form of the Lotus Pond in Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 AD to reunite the country once more under a local leader.-History:While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of Kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa...

, the National Performing Arts Theatre is set to be a major theatre destination.

Museums and art collections


The National Museum of Colombo
Colombo National Museum
National Museum of Colombo, also known as the Sri Lanka National Museum is one of two museums in Colombo. It is the largest museum in Sri Lanka. Its is maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government...

, was established on 1 January 1877 during the tenure of the British Colonial Governor Sir
Sir
Sir is an honorific used as a title , or as a courtesy title to address a man without using his given or family name in many English speaking cultures...

 William Henry Gregory
William Henry Gregory
Sir William Henry Gregory PC was an Anglo-Irish writer and politician.The only child of Robert Gregory and Elizabeth O'Hara Gregory, he was born at the Castle, in Dublin's Phoenix Park. From 1830 to 1835 he attended Harrow, where he was an award-winning student...

 is situated in cinnamon gardens area. The museum houses the crown jewels
Crown jewels
Crown jewels are jewels or artifacts of the reigning royal family of their respective country. They belong to monarchs and are passed to the next sovereign to symbolize the right to rule. They may include crowns, sceptres, orbs, swords, rings, and other objects...

 and throne of the last king of the Kingdom of Kandy, Sri Vikrama Rajasinha
Sri Vikrama Rajasinha
Sri Vikrama Rajasinha was the last king of Ceylon and the last of four kings from the Telugu origin of Nayakar dynasty...

. There is also the Colombo Dutch Museum detailing the Dutch colonial history of the country. Colombo does not boast a very big art gallery. There is a small collection of Sri Lankan masterpieces at the Art Gallery in Green Path next to it is the Natural History Museum.

Sports



Undoubtedly the most popular sport in Sri Lanka is cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

. The country emerged as champions of the 1996 Cricket World Cup
Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup is the premier international championship of men's One Day International cricket. The event is organised by the sport's governing body, the International Cricket Council , with preliminary qualification rounds leading up to a finals tournament which is held every four years...

 and became runners up in 2007 and 2011. In the ICC World Twenty20 2009 they became runners up again. The sport is played in parks, playgrounds, beaches and even in the streets of the city. Colombo is also the home for two of the country's most popular international cricket
International structure of cricket
There was no formal structure of international cricket until the early twenty first century. It had long been traditional for countries, without any intervention from a body such as the International Cricket Council , to organize for themselves the various cricket matches...

 stadiums, Sinhalese Sports Club
Sinhalese Sports Club
The Sinhalese Sports Club is a first-class cricket club in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese is the most successful club in Sri Lankan domestic cricket, having won the Premier Trophy a record 30 times to 2008.-History:-Honours:...

's cricket stadium and R. Premadasa Stadium
R. Premadasa Stadium
R. Premadasa Stadium is a cricket stadium situated on Khettarama Road, Maligawatta, Colombo, Sri Lanka. The stadium was, prior to June 1994, known as the Khettarama Cricket Stadium and is today one of the main venues in which the Sri Lankan cricket team play...

 (named after late president Premadasa). Rugby
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 is also a popular sport at the club and school level. Colombo has the distinction of being the only city in the world to have 4 cricket Test venues in the past: Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium, Sinhalese Sports Club Ground
Sinhalese Sports Club Ground
The Sinhalese Sports Club is one of the most famous cricket grounds in Sri Lanka. It is theheadquarters of Sri Lanka Cricket, the controlling body of cricket in Sri Lanka. The Ground often cited as the Lord's of Sri Lanka, hosting most domestic finals and one of preeminent international cricket...

, Colombo Cricket Club Ground
Colombo Cricket Club Ground
Colombo Cricket Club Ground is a multi-purpose stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is currently used mostly for domestic first-class cricket matches and for hosting warm up matches for touring teams. The stadium can hold 6,000 people and hosted its first Test match in 1984. It is one of the smallest...

 and Ranasinghe Premadasa Stadium. The Sugathadasa Stadium
Sugathadasa Stadium
Sugathadasa Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is currently used mostly for football matches and athletic tournaments. The stadium holds 25,000 people. The 1991 and 2006 South Asian Games were held in this stadium. It also hosted the majority of matches for the 2010 AFC...

 situated in the city, is an international standard stadium for athletics
Sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

, swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...

 and football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

, also held the South Asian Games in 1991 and 2006. Situated in Colombo the Royal Colombo Golf Club
Royal Colombo Golf Club
The Royal Colombo Golf Club is the oldest Golf Club in Sri Lanka. Established in 1880, it is located in the capital city of Colombo at the The Ridgeway Links also known as the Anderson Golf Course. It is home to the Sri Lanka Golf Union, the governing body of Golf in Sri Lanka and maintains links...

 is one of the oldest Golf Clubs in a Asia. Other sporting clubs in Colombo include Colombo Swimming Club
Colombo Swimming Club
The Colombo Swimming Club is a swimming club in Colombo, Sri Lanka, founded in 1938. It is one of the premier clubs in Sri Lanka.-History:Originally formed in 1936, its initial meeting place was the Galle Face Hotel and was known as the Colombo Amatur Swimming Club...

, Colombo Rowing Club
Colombo Rowing Club
The Colombo Rowing Club is the premier boat club in Sri Lanka having been founded in 1864. Its club house and boat house are located on the edge of the northern Beira Lake, at Sir Chittapalam A...

 and the Yachting Association of Sri Lanka
Yachting Association of Sri Lanka
The Yachting Association of Sri Lanka is a yacht club in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was formerly known as Colombo Sailing Club.This club has seen its activity much reduced during the past three decades owing to the civil war in the island. Even so the YASL manages to organize regattas regularly, like...

.

The city of Colombo also has its own local football team Colombo FC
Colombo FC
Colombo Football Club aka Colombo FC is a Sri Lankan football club located in the capital city of Colombo. Colombo FC is currently playing in the Division II Colombo League, which is operated by the Football Federation of Sri Lanka....

 and the sport is being developed as a part of the FIFA Goal program.

Media


Almost all major media businesses in Sri Lanka operate from Colombo. The state media has its offices in Bullers Road and carry out regional transmission from there, this includes the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation
Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation
The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation came into existence on January 5, 1967 when Radio Ceylon became a public corporation. Dudley Senanayake who was the Prime Minister of Ceylon in 1967 ceremonially opened the newly established Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation along with Minister Ranasinghe...

 (SLBC), formerly known as Radio Ceylon
Radio Ceylon
Radio Ceylon is the oldest radio station in Asia. Broadcasting was started on an experimental basis in Ceylon by the Telegraph Department in 1923, just three years after the inauguration of broadcasting in Europe.- Edward Harper :...

 and the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. The SLBC is the oldest radio station in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, second oldest in the world. Many of the private broadcasting companies have their offices and transmission stations in or around Colombo.

Sister cities

Country ity tate / Region ince
 Mainland China China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

Shanghai Municipality 2003
 Russia Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

Northwestern Federal District
Northwestern Federal District
Northwestern Federal District is one of the eight federal districts of Russia. It consists of the northern part of European Russia. Its population was 13,583,800 according to the 2010 Census, living on an area of...

1997
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Leeds
Leeds
Leeds is a city and metropolitan borough in West Yorkshire, England. In 2001 Leeds' main urban subdivision had a population of 443,247, while the entire city has a population of 798,800 , making it the 30th-most populous city in the European Union.Leeds is the cultural, financial and commercial...

England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...


See also

  • Colombo Port City
    Colombo Port City
    Colombo Port City is a proposed offshore city in Colombo, Sri Lanka which is planned to be built on reclaimed land adjacent to the Galle Face Green...

  • Kandy
    Kandy
    Kandy is a city in the center of Sri Lanka. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka; it is both an...

  • Jaffna
    Jaffna
    Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna district located on a peninsula of the same name. Jaffna is approximately six miles away from Kandarodai which served as a famous emporium in the Jaffna peninsula from classical...

  • Galle
    Galle
    Galle is a city situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km from Colombo. Galle is the capital city of Southern Province of Sri Lanka and it lies in Galle District....

  • Trincomalee
    Trincomalee
    Trincomalee is a port city in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka and lies on the east coast of the island, about 113 miles south of Jaffna. It has a population of approximately 100,000 . The city is built on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours. Overlooking the Kottiyar Bay,...

  • Colombo Town Guard
    Colombo Town Guard
    Colombo Town Guard was regiment attached to the Ceylon Defence Force which was the predecessor to the Sri Lanka Army prior to 1949 when the Ceylon Army was formed. It was a volunteer regiment was based in Colombo.-History:...

  • Colombo Town Hall
  • List of tallest buildings and structures in Sri Lanka
  • National War Memorial, Colombo
    National War Memorial, Colombo
    The National War Memorial in front of the Parliament complex is dedicated to all military personal killed since World War I and police personal killed due to terrorist activities.-References:*...

  • Place names in Sri Lanka
  • South Asian capitals
  • Yachting Association of Sri Lanka
    Yachting Association of Sri Lanka
    The Yachting Association of Sri Lanka is a yacht club in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It was formerly known as Colombo Sailing Club.This club has seen its activity much reduced during the past three decades owing to the civil war in the island. Even so the YASL manages to organize regattas regularly, like...

  • Bibile
    Bibile
    Bibile is a town in Sri Lanka in the Bibile Divisional Secretariat, of Uva Province, Sri Lanka. Bibile's land is important to Sri Lankan agriculture. It was well known for oranges, though still oranges grown there the original variety 'Bibile Sweet is no longer in existence...


Further reading


The following books contain major components on colombo;
  • Changing Face of Colombo (1501–1972): Covering the Portuguese, Dutch and British Periods, By R.L. Brohier, 1984 (Lake House, Colombo)
  • The Port of Colombo 1860–1939, K. Dharmasena, 1980 (Lake House, Colombo)
  • Decolonizing Ceylon: Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Politics of Space in Sri Lanka, By Nihal Perera, 1999 (Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    )

External links