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Colombo

Parliament of Sri Lanka

The Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the supreme legislative body Sri Lanka. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the island. It is modeled after the British Parliament.

It consists of two hundred and twenty-five (225) members known as Members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected by proportional representation for five-year terms, with universal suffrage. Parliament reserves the power to make all laws.

The President of Sri Lanka has the power to summon, suspend, prorogue, or terminate a legislative session and to dissolve the Parliament. The Speaker or, in his absence the Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees or the Deputy Chairman of Committees, presides over Parliament.

BMICH

The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), is a convention center located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Built between 1970 and 1973, the convention centre was a gift from the People’s Republic of China in memory of Solomon Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, Prime Minister (1956–1959).

The construction of the hall was carried out by a joint Sri Lankan and Chinese workforce with a considerable portion of the building materials being imported from China.

In 1998 a small Exhibition Centre, the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Exhibition Centre, was built on the grounds as a gift from China.

The BMICH premises is managed by the S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation (BNMF) which is chaired by the President of Sri Lanka.

The BNMF has an academic wing specialized in International Relations, Languages and Cultural Studies named “Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS)” located within the BMICH premises.

Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre

The Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre  (often known as Nelum Pokuna; previously the National Performing Arts Theatre, prior to naming at the opening ceremony; Mahinda Rajapaksa is a former President of Sri Lanka) is a performing arts centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The theatre opened on 15 December 2011.

The architecture of the building is inspired by the 12th-century Nelum Pokuna (lotus pond) in Polonnaruwa. Built by King Parakramabahu the Great, Polonnaruwa’s Nelum Pokuna is shaped as a stylised eight-petalled lotus flower.

The building spreads over 14,000 square metres of floor area.

The theatre is equipped with ultra-modern facilities such as an auditorium with 1,288 seats, a library, and training facilities. The building features two permanent theatres—the main auditorium and an open-air theatre—and the ability to convert the front steps into an additional open-air theatre.

The 690-square-metre moving stage in the auditorium includes the ability to raise and lower the orchestra pit to and from stage level. There are facilities to conduct educational and research activities. Parking for 500 vehicles, is also available.

Gangarama temple

Gangaramaya Temple is one of the most important temples in Colombo, Sri Lanka, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence. The temple’s architecture demonstrates an eclectic mix of Sri Lankan, Thai, Indian, and Chinese architecture.

This Buddhist temple includes several imposing buildings and is situated not far from the placid waters of Beira Lake on a plot of land that was originally a small hermitage on a piece of marshy land. It has the main features of a Vihara (temple), the Cetiya (Pagada) the Bodhitree, the Vihara Mandiraya, the Seema malaka (assembly hall for monks) and the Relic Chamber. In addition, a museum, a library, a residential hall, a three storeyed Pirivena, educational halls and an alms hall are also on the premises.

Most notable for tourists is the architecture of the Simamalaka Shrine, which was built with donations from a Muslim sponsor to the design of Geoffrey Bawa.

Independence square

Independence Memorial Hall (also Independence Commemoration Hall) is a national monument in Sri Lanka built for commemoration of the independence of Sri Lanka from the British rule with the restoration of full governing responsibility to a Ceylonese-elected legislature on February 4, 1948. It is located at the Independence Square (formerly Torrington Square) in the Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo. It also houses the Independence Memorial Museum.

The monument was built at the location where the formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament by the HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester occurred at a special podium February 4, 1948.

Located at the head of the monument is the statue of the first prime minister of the country Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake “The Father of the Nation”. Most of the annual National Independence Day celebrations have been held here. Apart from a monument it served as the ceremonial assembly hall for the Senate of Ceylon and the House of Representatives of Ceylon until the parliament was moved to the new parliament complex. Currently it is the venue for religious events and annual national day celebrations.

Arcade Independence Square

The Arcade Independence Square is a shopping complex housed in a group of renovated buildings including the former Jawatta Lunatic Asylum (later known as the Auditor General’s building) and the former Western Provincial Council Building. It was built as a part of the Independence Square Redevelopment programme initiated by the Sri Lankan Government.

In 2012 the Urban Development Authority commenced the renovation of the buildings and special care was taken to preserve their original architectural features whilst adding modern technological features and amenities. The construction of the mall took approximately 200 soldiers and six months of work to clear the spaces and fully reveal the original structures. The buildings remain true to the original complex with no additions or alterations. It took nearly 2 years to fully renovate the structure at a cost of Rs 550 million. The 8,400 m2 (90,000 sq ft) shopping complex was officially opened by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 13 July 2014.

The arcade also houses Sri Lanka’s first ever boutique cinema, ‘The Empire Cineplex’, run by Ceylon Theatres.

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. It is maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government. The museum holds contains a collections of much importance to Sri Lanka such as the regalia of the country, including the throne and crown of the Kandyan monarchs as well as many other exhibits telling the story of ancient Sri Lanka.

The Colombo museum as it was called at the beginning was established on 1 January 1877. Its founder was Sir William Henry Gregory the British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) at the time. The Royal Asiatic Society (CB) was instrumental in bringing to the notice of Gregory on his appointment as Governor in 1872 the need for a public Museum with much difficulty the approval of the legislative council was obtained within a year. The Architect of the Public Works Department, James G. Smithers (1833 – 1910) was able to prepare the plans for new structure on Italian Architectural style. The construction was completed in 1876 and the Museum commenced it functions in the following year.

Diyatha Uyana

Diyatha Uyana is a located at Polduwa junction, Battaramulla near the Waters Edge Hotel. The park has been constructed on a marshy land on the banks of the Diyawanna Oya. It sits between the Parliament Complex and the Diyawanna Oya at the Polduwa junction

The Diyatha Uyana Park built along the banks of the Diyawanna Oya was opened on September 15, 2012. The opening ceremony of the “Diyatha Uyana” was graced by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr.Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The project was carried out by the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy and Civil Security Department personnel under the close guidance and supervision of Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Kelaniya temple 

The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara or Kelaniya Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, seven miles from Colombo. The Chief Incumbent (Chief Priest) is Venerable Professor Kollupitiye Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera.

Buddhists believe the temple to have been hallowed during the third and final visit of the Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka, eight years after gaining enlightenment. Its history would thus go back to before 500 BCE.

The Mahawansa records that the original Stupa at Kelaniya enshrined a gem-studded throne on which the Buddha sat and preached.

The temple flourished during the Kotte era but much of its land was confiscated during the Portuguese empire. Under the Dutch empire, however, there were new gifts of land and under the patronage of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha the temple was rebuilt. It was refurbished in the first half of the 20th century with the help of Helena Wijewardana.

The temple is also famous for its image of the reclining Gautama Buddha and paintings by the native artist Solias Mendis which depict important events in the life of the Buddha, in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, also incidents from the Jataka tales. It is the venue for the Duruthu Maha Perehera procession each January. An 18-foot stone statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara has been erected at the temple.