Hambantota

Last updated
Hambantota

හම්බන්තොට
அம்பாந்தோட்டை
Hambantota Administrative Complex.jpg
Hambantota Administrative Complex
Sri Lanka adm-2 location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Hambantota
Location in Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 06°07′28″N81°07′21″E / 6.12444°N 81.12250°E / 6.12444; 81.12250 Coordinates: 06°07′28″N81°07′21″E / 6.12444°N 81.12250°E / 6.12444; 81.12250
CountrySri Lanka
Province Southern Province
District Hambantota District
Elevation
1 m (3 ft)
Population
 (2012)
  Total57,264
Time zone +05:30
Area code(s) 047

Hambantota (Sinhala : හම්බන්තොට, Tamil : அம்பாந்தோட்டை) is the main town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka. This underdeveloped area was hit hard by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and is undergoing a number of major development projects including the construction of a new sea port and international airport finished in 2013. These projects and others such as Hambantota Cricket Stadium are said to form part of the government's plan to transform Hambantota into the second major urban hub of Sri Lanka, away from Colombo. [1]

Contents

History

When the Kingdom of Ruhuna was established it received many travellers and traders from Siam, China and Indonesia who sought anchorage in the natural harbor at Godawaya, Ambalantota. The ships or large boats these traders travelled in were called "Sampans" and thota means port or anchorage so the port where sampans anchor came to be known as Sampantota (which is now known as Godawaya). After some time the area came to be called Hambantota. [2]

Ancient Hambantota

Hambantota District is part of the traditional south known as Ruhuna. In ancient times this region, especially Hambantota and the neighboring areas was the centre of a flourishing civilization. Historical evidence reveals that the region in that era was blessed with fertile fields and a stupendous irrigation network. Hambantota was known by many names Mahagama, Ruhuna and Dolos dahas rata.

About 200 BC, the first Kingdom of Sri Lanka was flourishing in the north central region of Anuradhapura.

After a personal dispute with his brother, King Devanampiyatissa of Anuradhapura, King Mahanaga established the Kingdom of Ruhuna in the south of the island. This region played a vital role in building the nation as well as nurturing the Sri Lankan Buddhist culture. Close to Hambantota, the large temple of Tissamaharama was built to house a sacred tooth relic. [3]

Modern history

Around the years of 1801 and 1803, the British built a Martello tower on the tip of the rocky headland alongside the lighthouse overlooking the sea at Hambantota. The builder was a Captain Goper, who built the tower on the site of an earlier Dutch earthen fort. The tower was restored in 1999, and in the past, formed part of an office of the Hambantota Kachcheri where the Land Registry branch was housed. Today it houses a fisheries museum.

From 2 August to 9 September 1803, an Ensign J. Prendergast of the regiment of Ceylon native infantry was in command of the British colony at Hambantota during a Kandian attack that he was able to repel with the assistance of the snow ship Minerva. [4] Earlier, HMS Wilhelmina had touched there and left off eight men from the Royal Artillery to reinforce him. [5] This detachment participated in Prendergast's successful defense of the colony. [6] If the tower at Hambantota was at all involved in repelling any attack this would be one of the only cases in which a British Martello tower had been involved in combat.

Leonard Woolf, future husband of Virginia Woolf, was the British colonial administrator at Hambantota between 1908 and 1911.

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated Hambantota, and reportedly killed more than 4500 people. [7]

Climate

Hambantota features a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) under the Köppen climate classification. There is no true dry season, but there is significantly less rain from January–March and again from June–August. The heaviest rain falls in October and November. The city sees on average roughly 1,050 millimetres (41 in) of precipitation annually. Average temperatures in Hambantota change little throughout the year, ranging from 26.3 °C (79.3 °F) in January to 28.1 °C (82.6 °F) in April and May.

Climate data for Hambantota (1961–1990, extremes 1869–present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)34.7
(94.5)
35.0
(95.0)
35.3
(95.5)
36.0
(96.8)
36.4
(97.5)
37.2
(99.0)
36.2
(97.2)
39.2
(102.6)
36.0
(96.8)
36.9
(98.4)
36.7
(98.1)
34.8
(94.6)
39.2
(102.6)
Average high °C (°F)29.8
(85.6)
30.2
(86.4)
30.9
(87.6)
31.2
(88.2)
30.7
(87.3)
30.3
(86.5)
30.6
(87.1)
30.1
(86.2)
29.9
(85.8)
30.1
(86.2)
29.9
(85.8)
29.6
(85.3)
30.3
(86.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)26.3
(79.3)
26.6
(79.9)
27.4
(81.3)
28.1
(82.6)
28.1
(82.6)
27.7
(81.9)
27.6
(81.7)
27.4
(81.3)
27.2
(81.0)
27.1
(80.8)
26.8
(80.2)
26.5
(79.7)
27.2
(81.0)
Average low °C (°F)22.8
(73.0)
23.0
(73.4)
23.9
(75.0)
25.0
(77.0)
25.5
(77.9)
25.1
(77.2)
24.7
(76.5)
24.6
(76.3)
24.5
(76.1)
24.2
(75.6)
23.6
(74.5)
23.3
(73.9)
24.2
(75.6)
Record low °C (°F)17.7
(63.9)
15.6
(60.1)
17.4
(63.3)
18.9
(66.0)
19.5
(67.1)
21.2
(70.2)
21.2
(70.2)
20.1
(68.2)
20.6
(69.1)
20.2
(68.4)
19.6
(67.3)
18.2
(64.8)
15.6
(60.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches)58
(2.3)
47
(1.9)
66
(2.6)
95
(3.7)
89
(3.5)
59
(2.3)
48
(1.9)
55
(2.2)
71
(2.8)
151
(5.9)
188
(7.4)
118
(4.6)
1,045
(41.1)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)5358876571012985
Average relative humidity (%) (at Daytime)71717275787775767776777675
Mean monthly sunshine hours 207.7200.6248.0237.0235.6201.0204.6201.5207.0192.2189.0217.02,541.2
Mean daily sunshine hours 6.77.18.07.97.66.76.66.56.96.26.37.07.0
Source 1: NOAA [8]
Source 2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (precipitation days, 1968–1990 and sun, 1962–1977), [9] Meteo Climat (record highs and lows) [10]

Demographics

Hambantota Town is Buddhist majority. Islam is the second largest religion in the town. There are also small numbers of Christians and Hindus.

Religion in Hambantota Town (2012)
PopulationPercent
Buddhism
75.85%
Islam
23.90%
Christian
1.02%
Hindus
0.85%
Others
0.08%

Source:statistics.gov.lk

Economy and infrastructure

A cement grinding and bagging factory is being set up, as well as fertiliser bagging plants. Large salt plains are a prominent feature of Hambantota. The town is a major producer of salt. [3] A Special Economic Zone of 6,100 hectares (15,000 acres) has been proposed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, out of which approximately 500 hectares (1,235 acres) will be situated in Hambantota to build factories, LNG plants and refineries while the rest will be in Monaragala, Embilipitiya and Matara. [11] [12] [13] A Vocational training Center was opened in 2017 by Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe with China to train the workforce needed for the SEZs. [14] Wickramasinghe also came in to an agreement with state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings to lease 70 per cent stake of the strategically-located Hambantota port at $1.12 billion, opening Hambantota to the Belt and Road Initiative. [15]

Transportation

Air

Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) is located in the town of Mattala, 18 km (11 mi) north of Hambantota. Opened in March 2013, it is the second international airport in Sri Lanka after Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, [16] but is not being used. The Weerawila Airport is also located nearby. [17]

Road

A2 highway connects Colombo with Hambantota town through Galle and Matara. The Southern Expressway from Kottawa to Matara will be connected to Hambantota via Beliatta

Rail

Construction work started in 2006 on the Matara-Kataragama Railway Line project, a broad gauge railway being implemented at an estimated cost of $91 million. [18]

Energy

NEG Micon M1500-600 wind turbines in Hambanthota Wind Farm HambantotaWindFarm01.JPG
NEG Micon M1500-600 wind turbines in Hambanthota Wind Farm

The Hambantota Wind Farm is the first wind farm in Sri Lanka (there are two more commercial wind farms). [19] It's a pilot project to test wind power generation in the island nation. [20] Wind energy development faces immense obstacles such as poor roads and an unstable power grid.

Port

Hambantota Port Hambantota Port.jpg
Hambantota Port

Hambantota is the selected site for a new international port, the Port of Hambantota. It was scheduled to be built in three phases, with the first phase due to be completed by the end of 2010 at a cost of $360 million. [21] As part of the port, a $550 million tax-free port zone is being started, with companies in India, China, Russia and Dubai expressing interest in setting up shipbuilding, ship-repair and warehousing facilities in the zone. The port officially opened on November 18, 2010, at the end of the first phase of construction. [22] When all phases are fully complete, it will be able to berth 33 vessels, which would make it the biggest port in South Asia. [23]

Bunkering facility: 14 tanks (8 for oil, 3 for aviation fuel and 3 for LP gas) with a total capacity of 80,000 m3 (2,800,000 cu ft). [24] But in the whole of 2012 only 34 ships berthed at Hambantota, compared with 3,667 ships at the port of Colombo. [22] Sri Lanka was still heavily in debt to China for the cost of the port and with so little traffic, was unable to service the debt. [25] In 2017 China was given a 99-year lease for the port in exchange for $1.1 billion. [26]

The involvement of Chinese companies in the development of Hambantota port have provoked claims by some analysts that it is part of China's String of Pearls strategy. Other analysts have argued that it would not be in Sri Lanka's interests to allow the Chinese navy access to the port and in any event the exposed nature of the port would make it of dubious value to China in time of conflict. [27]

In November 2019, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa indicated that the Sri Lankan government would try to undo the 99-year lease of the port and return to the original loan repayment schedule. [26] [28] As of August, 2020 the 99-year lease was still in place. [29]

Culture

Hambantota contains the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium for sports activities. It has a capacity of 35,000 seats and was built for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. The cost of this project is an estimated Rs. 900 million (US$7.86m). Sri Lanka Cricket is seeking relief from its debts incurred in building infrastructure for the 2011 Cricket World Cup. [1]

Magam Ruhunupura International Conference Hall (MRICH) was built for local and international events. The MRICH, situated in a 28-acre plot of land in Siribopura, is Sri Lanka's second international conference hall. The main hall has 1,500 seats and there are three additional halls with a seating capacity of 250 each. The conference hall is fully equipped with modern technical facilities and a vehicle park for 400 vehicles and a helipad for helicopter landing. [30]

On 31 March 2010, a surprise bid was made for the 2018 Commonwealth Games by Hambantota. Hambantota is undergoing a major face lift since the tsunami. On 10 November 2011, the Hambantota bidders claimed they had already secured enough votes to win the hosting rights. [31] However, on 11 November it was officially announced that Gold Coast City had won the rights to host the games. [32] [33]

Twin cities

Hambantota is twinned with Guangzhou, China, since 2007. [34]

See also

Related Research Articles

Transport in Sri Lanka

Transport in Sri Lanka is based on its road network, which is centred on the country's commercial capital Colombo. A rail network handles a portion of Sri Lanka's transport needs. There are navigable waterways, harbours and three international airports: in Katunayake, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Colombo, in Hambantota, and in Jaffna.

Mahinda Rajapaksa Sri Lankan politician; current Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa, commonly known as Mahinda Rajapaksa, is the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and Minister of Finance since 2019, and previously from 2004 to 2005. He served as President of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015 and as Leader of the Opposition from 2002 to 2004 and 2018 to 2019. He has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kurunegala since 2015.

D. A. Rajapaksa

Don Alwin Rajapaksa was a Sri Lankan politician and Member of Parliament who represented the Beliatta electorate in Hambantota district from 1947 to 1965. A founding member of Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake's government, he was the father of two Sri Lankan Presidents; Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

E01 expressway (Sri Lanka)

The Southern Expressway is Sri Lanka's first E Class highway. The 222-kilometre-long (138 mi) highway links the Sri Lankan capital Colombo with Galle, Matara and Hambantota, major cities in the south of the island.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa 8th and current President of Sri Lanka

Lieutenant Colonel Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, RWP, RSP, psc, GR is a Sri Lankan politician and former military officer currently serving as the 8th President of Sri Lanka since 2019. He has previously served as Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development from 2005 to 2015 under the administration of his elder brother former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, leading the Sri Lankan Armed Forces to the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers, which ended the Sri Lankan Civil War.

Japan–Sri Lanka relations Diplomatic relations between Japan and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Japan–Sri Lanka relations refers to the bilateral relations between the Sri Lanka and Japan.

Sajith Premadasa Sri Lankan politician

Sajith Premadasa, MP is a Sri Lankan politician. He is the current Leader of the Opposition of Sri Lanka and Member of Parliament for Colombo District. He is the current leader of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya

George Rajapaksa

George Rajapaksa was a Sri Lankan politician. He was the former Cabinet Minister of Health, Fisheries and a Member of Parliament.

Lieutenant Colonel Prasanna Wickramasuriya, WWV, RWP, RSP is a highly decorated (retired) Sri Lanka Army officer who served as Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Ltd. As a two time recipient of the Weera Wickrama Vibhushanaya (WWV), the highest wartime military decoration awarded non-posthumously by Sri Lanka, Wickramasuriya is one of the most highly decorated Sri Lankan military officers.

Chamal Rajapaksa Sri Lankan politician

Chamal Jayantha Rajapaksa is a Sri Lankan politician who was Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka from 2010 to 2015. Previously he served as Minister of Ports & Aviation and Irrigation & Water Management. He hails from a well known political family in Sri Lanka. His father, D. A. Rajapaksa, was a prominent politician, independence agitator, member of parliament and Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake's government. He is the elder brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was President of Sri Lanka from 2005 to 2015. Nine members of the Rajapaksa family have been members of parliament in Sri Lanka.

Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium Cricket stadium in Sri Lanka

Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium better known as Sooriyawewa International Cricket Stadium, and abbreviately as MRIC Stadium, is an international cricket stadium in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. It was built for the 2011 Cricket World Cup and hosted two matches, the first being Sri Lanka against Canada, on 20 February 2011. The stadium has a capacity of 35,000 people making It the second largest stadium in Sri Lanka.

Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port Port in Sri Lanka

The Hambantota Port was to be a maritime port in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. The first phase of the port was opened on 18 November 2010, with the first ceremonial berthing of the naval ship "Jetliner" to use the port facilities. It is named after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Hambantota Port is built inland and operated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. The total estimated construction cost of the Phase 1 of the project is US$361 million, out of which 85% was funded by the EXIM Bank of the People's Republic of China.

Namal Rajapaksa

Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa is a Sri Lankan politician. He is one of three sons of Sri Lankan former President and current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and a member of parliament. It was widely believed that Rajapaksa was to be groomed to succeed his father. He is the current Minister of Youth and Sports

Ambalantota Town in Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Ambalantota is a coastal town in southern Sri Lanka. It is located in Southern Province in Hambantota District between Matara and Hambantota.

China–Sri Lanka relations Diplomatic relations between the Peoples Republic of China and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

China–Sri Lanka relations are the bilateral relations between the People's Republic of China and Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. There is a Chinese embassy located in Colombo and a Sri Lankan embassy situated in Beijing. Historical and cultural ties between the two countries extend back hundreds of years.

Coastal line (Sri Lanka)

The coastal line is a major railway line in Sri Lanka, running between Colombo Fort and Beliatta, via Galle and Matara. Operated by Sri Lanka Railways, the line includes some of the busiest rail services in the country. The line has been extended to Beliatta on 8 April 2019 and is proposed to be extended to Kataragama, via Hambantota. With a designed maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) between Kalutara and Matara, and a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) between Matara and Beliatta, the line is one of the fastest in Sri Lanka.

The Rajapaksa family is a Sri Lankan family that is prominent in politics. It was one of Sri Lanka's most powerful families during Mahinda Rajapaksa's Presidency, where many members of the family occupied their senior positions in the Sri Lankan state. As their political power grew, there were reports suggesting that the country was heading towards autocracy under their rule. Following the unexpected defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2015 Presidential Election, they have been accused of authoritarianism, corruption, nepotism and bad governance. In 2019 Presidential election Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa contested and won.

Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport International airport located in Sri Lanka

Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) is an international airport serving southeast Sri Lanka. It is located in the town of Mattala, 18 km (11 mi) from Hambantota. It is the first greenfield airport and the second international airport in the country, after Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

D. V. Chanaka

Denagama Vitharanage Chanaka Dinushan is a Sri Lankan politician and a current member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. He was elected as the United People's Freedom Alliance candidate, representing the Hambantota Electoral District at the general parliamentary elections held in August 2015.

2019 Sri Lankan presidential election

Presidential elections were held in Sri Lanka on 16 November 2019. The incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena's term of office would have ended on 9 January 2020. This was the first Presidential election in Sri Lanka where no sitting president, prime minister or opposition leader was contesting for president. Gotabaya Rajapaksa won this election to Sajith Premadasa.

References

  1. 1 2 Fernando, Andrew Fidel (April 5, 2013). "SLC expects financial assistance from government". ESPNCricinfo . Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  2. "Hambantota". Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 5 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  3. 1 2 "Hambantota District. Hambantota: Sri Lanka's Deep South". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
  4. The Asiatic annual register, or, A View of the history of ..., Volume 8, Issue 1, p.74.
  5. "No. 15689". The London Gazette . 3 April 1804. p. 405.
  6. Stubbs, Francis W. (January 2010). History of the Organization, Equipment, and War Services of the Regiment of Bengal Artillery. General Books. p. 165. ISBN   978-1-150-23818-5.
  7. "Divisions over tsunami new town". BBC. 17 March 2005. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  8. "Climate Normals for Habantota". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  9. "Klimatafel von Hambantota / Sri Lanka (Ceylon)" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961–1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  10. "Station Hambantota" (in French). Meteo Climat. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  11. "economynext.com". www.economynext.com. Archived from the original on 2018-08-07. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  12. Lanka, Gamini Gunaratna, Sri Lanka News Paper by LankaPage.com (LLC)- Latest Hot News from Sri. "Sri Lanka : Sri Lanka launches special industrial zone to attract Chinese industries". www.colombopage.com. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  13. "US $ 5 b investment in Hambantota: 1,235 acres for industrial zone". Sunday Observer. 2017-01-07. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  14. "Sri Lanka, China open training center to support southern development – Xinhua | English.news.cn". news.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
  15. "Hambantota Port agreement to be signed tomorrow - PM".
  16. "Overview of Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA)". www.airport.lk/. Archived from the original on 2018-04-10.
  17. "(WRZ) Weerawila Airport". FlightStats. Retrieved 2017-01-07.
  18. Massive Development in Hambantota District Archived 2011-07-22 at the Wayback Machine , Media Centre for National Development in Sri Lanka, retrieved 2010-01-19
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 November 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. Shirajiv Sirimane (21 February 2010). "Hambantota port, gateway to world". Sunday Observer. Archived from the original on 24 February 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  22. 1 2 Abi-Habib, Maria (25 June 2018). "How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port". The New York Times . nytimes.com. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  23. Ondaatjie, Anusha (8 March 2010). "Sri Lanka to Seek Tenants for $550 Million Tax-Free Port Zone". Business Week. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  24. http://www.colombopage.com/archive_14B/Jul08_1404836212CH.php
  25. Stacey, Kiran (11 December 2017). "China signs 99-year lease on Sri Lanka's Hambantota port". Financial Times . ft.com. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  26. 1 2 Asantha Sirimanne, Anusha Ondaatjie (30 November 2019). "Sri Lanka leased Hambantota port to China for 99 yrs. Now it wants it back". Business Standard . Business Standard Ltd. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  27. David Brewster. "Beyond the String of Pearls: Is there really a Security Dilemma in the Indian Ocean?. Retrieved 11 August 2014".Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  28. Ondaatjie, Anusha; Sirimanne, Asantha (28 November 2019). "Sri Lanka Wants to Undo Deal to Lease Port to China for 99 Years". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 8 December 2019. “We would like them to give it back,” Ajith Nivard Cabraal, a former central bank governor and an economic adviser to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said in an interview at his home in a Colombo suburb. “The ideal situation would be to go back to status quo. We pay back the loan in due course in the way that we had originally agreed without any disturbance at all.”
  29. Saeed Shah, Asiri Fernando (7 August 2020). "Pro-China Populists Consolidate Power in Sri Lanka". The Wall Street Journal . wsj.com. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  30. http://www.ft.lk/2013/11/08/president-opens-international-convention-center-in-hambantota-ahead-of-chogm/#comment-877716
  31. Ardern, Lucy (11 November 2011). "Sri Lanka boasting of Games bid win". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  32. "Candidate City Manual" (PDF). Commonwealth Games Federation. December 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  33. Ardern, Lucy (13 November 2011). "Coast wins 2018 Commonwealth Games". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  34. "Guangzhou Sister Cities[via WaybackMachine.com]". Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-21.