This article needs additional citations for verification . (August 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Former names||Queen's House|
|Address||Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 01|
|Town or city||Colombo|
|Current tenants||Gotabaya Rajapaksa|
|Client||Government of Sri Lanka|
|Owner||Current President of Sri Lanka|
President's House is the official residence and workplace of the President of Sri Lanka, located at Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Since 1804 it has been the residence of British governors and governors-general and Sri Lankan presidents, having been known as the "King's House" or the "Queen's House" until Sri Lanka became a republic in 1972.
There have been 29 governors who resided here, and also six presidents who resided or used it in an official capacity. Currently it is used by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka for state functions. The Presidential Secretariat functions as the office of the president, with much of the presidential staff based there.
The last Dutch governor, Johan van Angelbeek, built a two-storied residence on the site of the demolished St Francis's Church, which had been built by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
It was sold to the British colonial administration by Angelbeek's granddaughter on January 17, 1804 for £10,000, to set off deficits incurred by her husband George Melvin Leslie, the revenue officer British Governor Fedrick North.
After the British took over the house, it became the official residence of the Governor of Ceylon known as Government House but most commonly referred to as the King's House or the Queen's House depending on the monarch of the time.
Since independence in 1948 the house became the official residence of the Governor General of Ceylon. It was formally renamed as the President's House in 1972 after Sri Lanka became a republic. William Gopallawa was the last governor general and first President of Sri Lanka to reside at the house.
In the 1980s and 1990s the house underwent refurbishments under the direction of one of Sri Lanka's foremost architects Geoffrey Bawa.
It was once again refurbished in 2000s with the addition of an underground bunker.
Set in about 4 acres (16,000 m2) of land, the residence gained further attraction when Governor Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon laid out the Gordon Gardens at his own expense in honour of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee celebrations in 1887. The Gardens boast a variety of trees. A marble statue of Queen Victoria was removed from the gardens in 2006. Gordon Gardens was open to the public until 1980, when it was made part of the President's House; it is now off-limits to the public. The site was the location for the 1881 Royal–Thomian.
In Sri Lanka, all distances from Colombo are measured, formally, in miles, from the President's House. This practice began with the construction of the Colombo-Kandy road in 1830, which was the first modern highway in the island. Since then, most of the highways originate from Colombo.[ citation needed ]
The King's House had limited opening to the public until the early part of the 20th century. Only colonial officers were allowed access to the governor when in residence.
Since independence, the Queen's House as it was known remained accessible in many ways. Gordon Gardens remain open as a public park. In times of emergencies access was limited and the Queen's Road was closed off. In peacetime these were open once again, until 1980, when Gordon Gardens were taken over to the President's House. Following the Central Bank bombing the Janadhipathi Mawatha (formally Queen's Road) was permanently closed off for vehicular traffic up to Old Colombo Lighthouse and further extended to Bank of Ceylon Mawatha. It was reopened in early 2015, and in June 2016 the President's House was opened to the public for a week.
A permanent guard of colonial troops was provided since 18th century which originated the colonial title of Mudaliar of the Governor's Gate. By the 20th century, the Governor's Guard was located in the basement of the GPO Building located opposite the King's House. In 1979, the Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police formed the President's Ceremonial Guard Company at the President's House to perform ceremonial guard duties, such as Guard Mounting. At present the President's House is protected by the President's Security Division.
Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka by population. According to the Brookings Institution, Colombo metropolitan area has a population of 5.6 million, and 752,993 in the city proper. It is the financial centre of the island and a tourist destination. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to the Greater Colombo area which includes Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the legislative capital of Sri Lanka and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. Colombo is often referred to as the capital since Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is within the urban area of, and a suburb of, Colombo. It is also the administrative capital of the Western Province and the district capital of Colombo District. Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life, colonial buildings and monuments.
The president of Sri Lanka is the head of state and head of government of Sri Lanka. The president is the chief executive of the union government and the commander-in-chief of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.
The Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is the supreme legislative body of 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.
The University of Colombo is a public research university located primarily in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is the oldest institution of modern higher education in Sri Lanka. Specialised in the fields of natural, social, and applied sciences as well as mathematics, computer sciences, and law. It is ranked among the top 10 universities in South Asia.
The Governor-general of Ceylon was the representative of the monarch in the Dominion of Ceylon from the country's independence from the United Kingdom in 1948 until it became the republic of Sri Lanka in 1972.
The Governor of Ceylon was the representative in Ceylon of the British Crown from 1795 to 1948. In this capacity, the governor was president of the Executive Council and Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in Ceylon. The governor was the head of the British colonial administration in Ceylon, reporting to the Colonial Office.
The current decorations and medals of the Sri Lanka Police were adapted from those of the Dominion of Ceylon in 1972 when Sri Lanka became a republic.
The Department of Posts, functioning under the brand name Sri Lanka Post, is a government operated postal system in Sri Lanka. The postal headquarters is the General Post Office which is located in Colombo. The department itself comes under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Mass Media. It was formerly known as the Ceylon Post and Telecommunications Department and is one of the oldest Government departments in existence today.
Deshamanya Geoffrey Manning Bawa, FRIBA was a Sri Lankan architect. He was among the most influential Asian architects of his generation. He is the principal force behind what is today known globally as "tropical modernism".
"It's no exaggeration to say that architect Geoffrey Bawa transformed the look of South-East Asia. And yet what he did is so subtle that we almost take it for granted today. In short, Bawa-tailored modern buildings to a specific environment. It hardly seems revolutionary and yet no one else had done anything like it in the region."
Temple Trees, is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. It is located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Several recent Presidents have used it as their official residence too.
Sir James Peiris was a prominent leader in the Sri Lankan independence movement, the first elected Vice-President of the Legislative Council of Ceylon and the first native Governor of Ceylon (Acting).
The former Colombo General Post Office, at 17 Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo Fort, was the headquarters of the Sri Lanka Post and the office of the Postmaster General for over one hundred years, from 1895 until 2000.
Fort (Colombo) is the central business district of Colombo in Sri Lanka. It is the financial district of Colombo and the location of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the World Trade Centre of Colombo from which the CSE operates. It is also the location of the Bank of Ceylon headquarters. Along the foreshore of the Fort area is the Galle Face Green Promenade, built in 1859 under the governance of Sir Henry George Ward, the Governor of Ceylon during British colonial era. Fort is also home to the General Post Office, hotels, government departments and offices.
The Republic Building is the building that houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in southern wing and the Cabinet Office in its northern wing. It is located in Colombo Fort in close proximity to the President's House, and it was known as the Senate Building until 1972.
The Old Parliament Building, is the building that houses the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka. Situated in the Colombo fort area facing the sea, it is in close proximity to the President's House, Colombo and adjacent to the General Treasury Building. The building housed the island's legislature for 53 years until the new parliamentary complex was opened at Sri Jayawardenepura in 1983.
The Sri Lankan Parliament Complex is a public building and landmark that houses the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Situated in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, the administrative capital, it is built on an island, surrounded by the Diyawanna Oya. It was designed by Deshamanya Geoffrey Bawa.
Queen's Cottage is a country house near Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. It is the vacationing and country residence of the President of Sri Lanka. Located within the limits of the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council along the Queen Elizabeth Drive, it is a protected monument under the Antiquities Ordinance.
Johan Gerard van Angelbeek was a Dutch colonial officer who commanded Dutch forces on the island of Ceylon during the colony's final year in the Dutch Empire before its seizure by a British expeditionary force.
Kumaratunga Munidasa Mawatha is a road in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Located in Cinnamon Gardens, it was named after Rev. J. Thurstan, a missionary from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In the 1970s, it was renamed after the Sri Lankan poet Kumaratunga Munidasa.
Major Bevis William Frederick Bawa, ADC, CLI was a Ceylonese planter, soldier and a landscaper. He was also one of the most renowned landscape architects in Sri Lanka and served as the Aide-de-camp to four Governors of Ceylon.