Colombo Fort

The Old Ceylon Parliament Building

Until the new parliament complex was built at Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, this attractive neo-classical grand building housed the parliament of Sri Lanka. It can be found facing the Indian ocean just at the end of the Galle Face Green at the entrance to the Colombo Fort. The British built it to house the Legislative Council of Ceylon during the islands colonial period. It looks older than it really is. The building was opened on 29th January 1930. I was expecting it to be over 200 years old. The statues at the front of the building are of former Prime Ministers.

Now it is the Presidential Secretariat which is similar to the British Home Office or the American State Department. It puts into practice and monitors policies of the Sri Lankan Government. There are a number of national sub departments run from the building; Presidential Media Division: Alcohol tobacco and illicit drug policy unit: Parliamentary affairs and public relations division: Social sector development division: policy research and information unit: personal division: development and monitoring division: Administration and Finance division and the Secretary’s Office.

Walk south past the Colombo Presidential Secretariat building towards the pedestrian crossing and the green open area of Galle Face. Turn around and take a photo of the building against the backdrop of modern skyscrapers that appear to dwarf it. When it was first built in the 1930’s it was considered a tall building. Now it looks small. The modern buildings you can see are the Bank of Ceylon tower and the twin towers of the Sri Lankan World Trade Centre building.

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