The graceful history woven around the splendid island of Sri Lanka is just simply wonderful. Starting from the civilization of Naga-Yakka tribe, with the arrival of Prince Vijaya and his 700 followers, passing a series of successive ancient kingdoms, the journey Sri Lanka came was full of delight, and excitement. However, next, Sri Lanka passed a period of colonization. Of course, it is this period that paved the path for the Sri Lanka independence movement. Thus, it is something that can never be missed. Specially, when studying about the history of Sri Lanka, as well as about the Sri Lankan independence day history.
Hence, we thought of sharing with you the story behind these incidents, helping you have a good overview on the olden days of this charming isle. So, why not? Let us start getting to know about this epoch of the Sri Lankan saga. For a better understanding, let us start with the British colonial period.
Who ruled Sri Lanka Before Independence?
If you have an idea about the colonization history timeline of Sri Lanka, you might know that Sri Lanka was first colonized by Portuguese. Next, Sri Lanka was under Dutch rule. Finally British colonized Sri Lanka, in 1815.
Of course, Sri Lankans were happy with the British rule. They proceeded ahead with their day to day lives at first. Yet, with time, Sri Lankans hated the British rule. They needed Sri Lanka to regain freedom, and to have a self-rule. Thus, the struggles against colonial power began. Many struggles came up, and all of them had an important role when considering the Sri Lanka independence day history. Some of them are as follows.
- Uva Rebellion
- Matale Rebel
Below sections highlight those most significant incidents that took place with regard in detail.
Accordingly, in 1817, the Uva rebellion took place. There were two closest incidents that led to this uprising. One was the obstacles Sri Lankans faced when enjoying the traditional privileges. The other was the appointment of a Moor loyal to British as an official. Keppetipola Disawe launched the rebellion. Moreover, several chiefs joined and supported the rebel. However, the rebel could not achieve the expected success, owing to poor leadership, and several other reasons.
And then in 1848, the Matale rebel came up. Hennedige Francisco Fernando (Puran Appu) and Gongalegoda Banda led it. The Sinhalese army left from Dambulla to capture Kandy from the British. They attacked the British buildings, and destroyed tax records as well. However, British troops took Puran Appu as a prisoner, and they executed him. Yet, Gongalegoda Banda and his younger brother escaped. Later, British issued a warrant to arrest Gongalegoda Banda. Moreover, they declared a reward for any who provided information about him. However, Malay soldiers were able to arrest Gongalegoda Banda, and the British kept him as a prisoner in Kandy.
The Buddhist Resurgence in Sri Lanka
From ancient times, Buddhism remained the main religion in Sri Lanka. Of course, there were instances where Hinduism flourished in this island owing to the South Indian invasions. Moreover, Islamism emerged from some parts of the island due to the foreign traders who arrived in Sri Lanka. Yet, the majority of the great monarchs were Buddhists. Thus, their main contributions were towards flourishing Buddhism in the island.
However, with the colonizations, Catholicism, and Christianity came up. The British worked hard with regard. Moreover, they attempted to provide Protestant Christian education to the younger generations of the country. Yet, the efforts could not reach a success as per their expectation. That was because of the Buddhist resurgence that took place during this period. Several eminent personalities aided this Buddhist resurgence. Further, foreigners such as Col. Henry Steel Olcott were among them as well. Owing to their activities, Buddhism flourished on this island again. Also a group of Buddhist institutions came up with their sponsorship.
In the course, Sinhala Buddhist revivalists such as Anagarika Dharmapala emerged influencing the society. Many individuals were with him. Hence, it was more like the emergence of a group of people striving towards a similar cause. However, Anagarika Dharmapala, together with his community, could create a Sinhala-Buddhist consciousness.
1915 Sinhala Muslum Riots
In 1915, an ethnic riot arose in the city of Colombo. It was against Muslims. Moreover, Buddhists, as well as Christians took part in it. Besides, British understood that this riot could later turn out to be against them as well. Hence, they heavy-handedly reacted to this riot. As a result, Dharmapala broke his leg. His brother passed away there. Also, the British government arrested several hundreds of Sinhalese Buddhists for supporting this riot as well. Among the imprisoned were several future leaders of the independence movement. Some of them highlighting characters among them were F.R. Senanayake, D. S. Senanayake, Anagarika Dharmapala, Baron Jayatilaka, Edwin Wijeyeratne, A. E. Goonesinghe, John Silva, Piyadasa Sirisena, etc.
Their imprisonment was indeed a great loss for the continuation of the struggles. Yet, nothing could hold back the Sri Lankan motive. Sir James Peiris, with the support of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, and E.W. Perera, submitted a secret memorandum to the Secretary of States for Colonies. It was a plea to repeal the martial law. Also, it described the cruelty of the Police, led by the British, Dowbiggin. However, these attempts succeeded, as the British government ordered the release of the imprisoned leaders. Further, several British officers were replaced as well.
Founding the Ceylon National Congress
In December, 1919, a nationalist political party was founded. Yes, you guessed it right! It was named Ceylon National Congress (CNC).
This group was a combination of the members from the Ceylon National Association and the Ceylon Reform League. However, the Ceylon National Congress played a vital role in Sri Lanka’s journey of attaining independence. The founding president of the CNC Party was Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam. Later, eminent personalities such as Sir James Peiris, D. B. Jayatilaka, E. W. Perera, C. W. W. Kannangara, Patrick de Silva Kularatne, H. W. Amarasuriya, W. A. de Silva, George E. de Silva and Edwin Wijeyeratneled the party. However, it was this CNC party that paved the path for the formation of the United National Party as well.
Sri Lanka Independence Movements and the Youth Leagues
The youth of the country were highly interested and involved in the Sri Lanka independence movement. Moreover, their utmost motive was not only achieving freedom, but also seeking justice for the citizens of the country. It is no secret that it was Dharmapala’s ethnic group that paved the way for the youth to take part in the independence movement. However, it was the Tamil Youth of Jaffna, that gave the head start for the youth leagues. Accordingly, they formed Jaffna Students. It was later popular as the Jaffna Youth Congress (JYC). They argued that the Donoughmore reforms did not concede sufficient self-governance. Thus, they successfully led a boycott of the first state council elections that took place in Jaffna, in 1931.
Meanwhile, more youth leagues came up from South Sri Lanka. Intellectuals who returned from Britain, after completing their education in foreign states, supported these leagues. However, the ministers of the CNC demanded more power from the colonial government. They even petitioned the government in order to get their demands. Yet, they never demanded for independence, or at least the dominion statues. Nevertheless, owing to their demands, as well as due to a severe campaign of the Youth leagues, the CNC ministers had to withdraw their ‘Ministers’ memorandum’.
Nevertheless, the youth leagues that came up during that period actively took part in several activities. And of course yes! All those activities had some kind of an influence in the journey of the Sri Lanka Independence movement. Thus, we thought of having a quick glance over those highlights as well. Some of them are as follows.
- Suriya- Mal Movement
- Formation of Lanka Sama Samaja Party
Of course, they were some interesting movements. They had a uniqueness of their own. Continue reading, to get to know what they are!
As the British rule continued, a poppy sale was carried out in Sri Lanka. It was with relation to the Armistice Day, which was on 11th November. Moreover, it was a project to support the British ex-servicemen to the detriment of Sri Lankan ex-servicemen.
However, Aelian Perera, who could not tolerate this activity, started a rival sale of Suriya flowers (flowers of the Portia tree) focusing on the same day. It was with the aim of aiding the needy Ceylon ex-servicemen. Later, the South Colombo Youth League joined hands with this movement and revived it. British authorities tried to interrupt this effort of the youth. Yet, they failed. Thereafter, until the second world war, groups of youth sold Suriya flowers, in competition with the poppy sellers.
Formation of Lanka Sama Samaja Party
Indeed, this is one of the most significant milestones with regard to the involvement of youth leagues in the Sri Lanka independence movement. The Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), also known as the Marxist Lanka Sama Samaja Party was the first party that had the sole motive of demanding independence. And the speciality is that it grew out of the youth.
Moreover, their aims were specific, since what they aimed at was complete national independence. Also, re-gaining nationalism in terms of production, distribution, as well as exchange was associated with their objectives. Moreover, they also worked hard to abolish the ethnic inequality, caste inequality, and gender inequality as well. Going beyond, they also demanded that colonial authorities replace the official language by Sinhala and Tamil. Yet, the demanded replacement did not take place, and English continued to be the official languages until 1956.Still, their efforts were impressive. They could strengthen the Sri Lanka Independence day movement.
The Sri Lankan Society By Then
Owing to the Colebrook reforms, a number of opportunities and income paths emerged. Thus, the castes and status of the traditional Sri Lankan society diminished. Instead, a new middle-class was formed within the society.
Most of them were businessmen, and they were educated. Among them were even individuals who completed their education in foreign countries. Thus, they had a good exposure, and they had a good overview on the political status of the country. All these things made this new middle-class get involved and lead the political campaigns of Sri Lanka. Hence, their involvement can be seen significant when considering the Sri Lanka independence day history.
Solbury Reforms and the Sri Lanka Independence
However, the British government appointed the Soulbury Commission. Their task was to study and make recommendations for Sri Lanka constitutional reforms. The members of the commission arrived in Sri Lanka in December, 1944. The report of the commission came out in September, 1945. Accordingly, the commission had recommended a constitution that offers Sri Lankans the full power of the internal activities of the country. Schedules were made for the first parliament election under the Solbury reforms. Yet, the British authorities declared nothing with regard to the grant of independence for Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Sri Lankan political leaders such as D. S. Senanayake argued detailing the rights that Sri Lankans have for independence. However, after much effort, and struggles, just two months before the scheduled parliament election, British authorities declared that they would grant Sri Lanka the freedom to enjoy the facilities of an independent country.
Then, in August 1947, the first parliamentary election took place. As per the results, having won the majority of the seats, the United Nationals Party with the leadership of D.S. Senanayake could establish the government. Yet, the British rule still had power in terms of foreign affairs, and military. The reason behind this was the significant geographical location of Sri Lanka, which was highly beneficial in terms of foreign affairs and military activities.
Nevertheless, D.S. Senanayake could recognize the wishes of the British authorities. Hence, he took actions to sign treaties with them. Time passed by, and later, the British government approved the Ceylon Freedom Act. Accordingly, the British government lost the power to interfere with the activities related to governing Sri Lanka from 4th February, 1948. Of course, with that, Sri Lanka attained Independence, and it happened to be the independence day of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Independence Day Celebration
However, it was on 10th February, 1948 that the first parliament of the independent Sri Lanka assembled. On that day, D.S.Senanayake took down the British flag, hoisted the Sri Lankan national flag, and symbolized the establishment of Sri Lankan rule.
Yet, from 1948 onward, Sri Lanka celebrated independence day on 4th February each year, commemorating the national heroes, and the efforts behind this achievement. The official independence day celebration takes place having the president as the chief guest. The president hoists the national flag, and addresses the country. Parades, and cultural performances also take place as a part of this official celebration annually. Meanwhile, Sri Lankans all around the island, hoist the national flag on this day, and join the celebration.
The Bottom Line | Sri Lanka Independence Day History
Likewise, when considering the Sri Lanka independence day history, it is clear that the journey of achieving independence had not been that much easy. It was a collective effort of several hundreds. Moreover, it was the strength of the unity of Sinhalese. However, even after achieving independence on 4th February, 1948 Sri Lanka was under dominion state. It was only on 22nd May, 1972 that Sri Lanka achieved the status of a republic. It was after that Sri Lanka was called the ‘republic of Sri Lanka’. Besides, more than 70 years have passed after Sri Lanka gained independence. Sri Lanka passed several milestones after independence day as well. If you are willing to get to know about them as well, do not forget to check our article on, ‘Significant milestones of Sri Lanka after independence’.
Sri Lanka's Independence Day is celebrated on 4th of February to commemorate its internal political independence from British rule on that day in 1948. It is celebrated all over the country through flag-hoisting ceremony, dances, parades and performances.How did Sri Lanka get independence? ›
Following the Kandyan Wars, the island was united under British rule in 1815. Armed uprisings against the British took place in the 1818 Uva Rebellion and the 1848 Matale Rebellion. Independence was finally granted in 1948 but the country remained a Dominion of the British Empire until 1972.What is the history behind Sri Lanka? ›
Early settlement and the spread of Buddhism
Urban settlements first appeared in the 10th century bce near Anuradhapura in north-central Sri Lanka. The ancestors of the Sinhalese, who were speakers of Indo-Aryan languages, migrated from northern India about the 5th century bce.
Actual independence for the dominion of Ceylon came on February 4, 1948, when the constitution of 1947 went into effect.Who came to Sri Lanka first? ›
The Ceylon Tamils are south Indians who were amongst the first settlers in Sri Lanka who arrived as early as the 5th century BC.Who fought for Sri Lankan independence? ›
D.S. Senanayake formed the United National Party (UNP) in 1946 , when a new constitution was agreed on. At the elections of 1947, the UNP won a minority of the seats in Parliament, but cobbled together a coalition with the Sinhala Maha Sabha of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and the Tamil Congress of G. G.What is the old name of Sri Lanka? ›
Sri Lanka's government has decided to change the names of all state institutions still bearing the nation's former British colonial name, Ceylon. The government wants the country's modern name to be used instead. The decision comes 39 years after the country was renamed Sri Lanka.Who gave Sri Lanka Freedom? ›
The United States recognized Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as an independent state with the status of Dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nation on February 4, 1948, in accordance with the date set in an agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and Ceylon. President Harry S.How Sri Lanka got its name? ›
The current name of Sri Lanka was settled in 1972, when the island became a fully fledged republic. Lanka was taken from the ancient name of the island, and joined with Sri, meaning “resplendent”. So, Sri Lanka means Resplendent Island.Who is the first king of Sri Lanka? ›
The first entries in the Mahavamsa – or “Great History” – date back to 543BC, which coincides with the arrival of Prince Vijaya in Sri Lanka. Some 300 years later, commenced the early Anuradhapura Period, with King Devanampiya Tissa as the first ruler.
Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century, the island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.For what Sri Lanka is famous? ›
The smiles and hospitality of Sri Lanka are world famous and so are its spicy food, exotic fruits, and an array of sweetmeats found nowhere in the world. With so many cultures living next to each other life in Sri Lanka continues among a series of festivities throughout the year, an ideal recipe for fun and leisure.What is traditional Sri Lankan food? ›
The central feature of Sri Lankan cuisine is boiled or steamed rice, served with a curry of fish or meat, along with other curries made with vegetables, lentils, or fruits. Dishes are accompanied by pickled fruits or vegetables, chutneys, and sambols.Who came first Sinhalese or Tamils? ›
As far as we know the Sinhalese were the original inhabitants of this Island and the Tamils came in the 10th Century AD after the Chola Conquest.How long did British rule Sri Lanka? ›
The British Ceylon period is the history of Sri Lanka between 1815 and 1948. It follows the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom into the hands of the British Empire. It ended over 2300 years of Sinhalese monarchy rule on the island.How old is Sinhala language? ›
Sinhala is one of the official and national languages of Sri Lanka. Along with Pali, it played a major role in the development of Theravada Buddhist literature. The early form of the Sinhala language, is attested as early as the 3rd century BCE.Who is freedom fighter? ›
|Mahatma Gandhi||Father of the Nation Civil Rights Activist in South Africa Satyagraha Civil Disobedience Movement Quit India Movement|
|Ram Prasad Bismil||Founding Member of Hindustan Republican Association|
|Bal Gangadhar Tilak||The Maker of Modern India Swadeshi Movement|
The crisis is said to have begun due to multiple compounding factors like tax cuts, money creation, a nationwide policy to shift to organic or biological farming, the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka.How long has Sri Lanka been at war? ›
After a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan Armed Forces militarily defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end. Up to 70,000 people had been killed by 2007. Immediately following the end of the war, on 20 May 2009, the United Nations estimated a total of 80,000–100,000 deaths.
The most original of all the existing versions of Valmiki's Ramayana also suggest the location of Ravana's Lanka to be in the western Indian Ocean. It indicates that Lanka was in the midst of a series of large island-nations, submerged mountains, and sunken plateaus in the western part of the Indian Ocean.What is the most common surname in Sri Lanka? ›
Sri Lanka often referred to as the 'pearl of the Indian ocean', is claimed by both locals and expats alike as a truly great place to live and work. A country of many facets, Sri Lanka offers a spectrum of experiences, cultures and places for those who enjoy diversity and variety.Who are Sri Lankan people? ›
The main ethnic groups are the Sinhalese and Tamils, both originally from the Indian subcontinent. Then there are Muslims, who settled in the island from the time it became an ancient trading centre. Similarly, Malays and Chinese were also attracted to the island.Is Sri Lanka a free country? ›
In 1972, its formal name was changed to "Free, Sovereign and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka".When was Sri Lanka founded? › Why is Sri Lanka called the Pearl of the Indian Ocean? ›
Sri Lanka has been called “The tear drop of Indian ocean” because of its shape and location is known as “The pearl of the Indian Ocean” because of its natural beauty. It is also known as “The nations of smiling people”. The island contains tropical forests, and diverse landscape with high biodiversity.Why Sri Lanka is beautiful? ›
Apart from all other beautiful natural features, Sri Lanka is best known for its beaches. There are many popular beaches in this country and it is said that they come in one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia.Why do people love Sri Lanka? ›
Surrounded on all sides by the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches along its spectacular coastline. The shores in Sir Lanka have a unique charm to them and offer up some incredible swimming, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, sunbathing, and whale watching.What is the English meaning of Sri Lanka? ›
Meaning of Sri Lanka in English
Sri Lanka. /ˌsriː ˈlæŋ.kə/ us. /ˌsriː ˈlæŋ.kə/ an island country in the Indian Ocean south of India. Countries, nationalities & continents: country names.
List of Sri Lankan monarchs.
|King of the Sinhala Kingdom|
|First monarch||Prince Vijaya|
|Last monarch||Sri Vikrama Rajasinha|
|Formation||543 BC (according to chronicles)|
Sri Lanka Cities Database.
Parakramabahu II | king of Sri Lanka | Britannica. Check out these retro videos from Encyclopedia Britannica's archives.What is the oldest building in Sri Lanka? ›
The Thuparamaya is regarded as the first ever historical stupa built in Sri Lanka. The building of colossal stupas started during the reign of King Dutugamunu. Afterward many kings built stupas.What is Sri Lanka culture? ›
Sri Lankan culture is best known abroad for its cricket, food, holistic medicine, religious icons like the Buddhist flag, and cultural exports such as tea, cinnamon and gems. Sri Lankan culture is diverse, as it varies from region to region. Sri Lanka has had ties with Indian subcontinent from ancient times.Who is the Queen of Sri Lanka? ›
|Born||Kingdom of Anuradhapura|
|Died||42 BC Kingdom of Anuradhapura|
|Consort||Chora Naga Kuda Tissa|
It is said that Ravana ruled Lanka for several hundred years prior to the times of Ramayana, when he was killed by prince Rama for kidnapping his wife Sita. Yet some believe Ramayana to be a semi-fiction woven around a real King who ruled over Sri Lanka from 2554 to 2517 BC.What is the first Kingdom in Sri Lanka? ›
Kingdom of Anuradhapura
Polonnaruwa was named as The Anuradhapura Kingdom (Sinhala: අනුරාධපුර රාජධානිය, translit: Anurādhapura Rājadhāniya, Tamil: அனுராதபுர இராச்சியம்), named for its capital city, was the first established kingdom in ancient Sri Lanka and Sinhalese people.
Kotte, Sinhala Kōṭṭe, Sinhalese kingdom that flourished in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) during the 15th century. Its king, Parākramabāhu VI (1412–67), was the last native sovereign to unify all of Ceylon under one rule.Where are the Tamils originally from? ›
The Tamil people are an ethnic group from South Asia with a recorded history going back more than two millennia. The oldest Tamil communities are those of southern India and northeastern Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. Reissued with updates to health information. Exercise increased caution in Sri Lanka due to fuel and medicine shortages, civil unrest, and terrorism.What are 3 facts about Sri Lanka? ›
Sri Lanka was first colonized by the Portuguese in 1505, then by the Dutch in 1658, then by the British in 1796 and finally gained independence in 1948. Sri Lanka used to be called Ceylon which is the transliteration of Ceilao. The oldest living tree known to be planted by man is in Sri Lanka.Who introduced tea to Sri Lanka? ›
The industry was introduced to the country in 1867 by James Taylor, a British planter who arrived in 1852. Tea planting under smallholder conditions has become popular in the 1970s.What is the national drink of Sri Lanka? ›
Tē (tea): The national drink, said to be among the best in the world. Toddy: Mildly alcoholic fermented drink that is tapped from palm trees – often illegally – and drunk across Sri Lanka. Arrack: A potent liquor made from the sap of palm trees.What is the national dress of Sri Lanka? ›
There is no official national costume in Sri Lanka. But the most popular items are sari for women and sarong for men. The traditions in men's clothing are simpler and clearer – men of any age wear sarongs or trousers.How do you say hello in Sri Lanka? ›
Hello - “Ayubowan” Aayu-bo-wan.What happened in 1948 in Sri Lanka? ›
U.S. Recognition of Ceylon's Independence, 1948.
The United States recognized Ceylon (Sri Lanka) as an independent state with the status of Dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nation on February 4, 1948, in accordance with the date set in an agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and Ceylon.
Sri Lanka Independence Day 2023: National Day, also known as Independence Day, is a national holiday in Sri Lanka that is recognized annually on February 4th to celebrate the country's political independence from British rule in 1948.What is Independence Day celebrated? ›
Independence Day marks the end of British rule in 1947 and the establishment of a free and independent Indian nation. It also marks the anniversary of the partition of the subcontinent into two countries, India and Pakistan, which occurred at midnight on August 14–15, 1947.What is special about August 3rd in Sri Lanka? ›
Remembrance Day (Sri Lanka)
Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century, the island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.Who ruled Sri Lanka in 1492? ›
The Portuguese Period
At this time Sri Lanka had three main kingdoms – the Kingdom of Jaffna in the north, the Kingdom of Kandy in the central highlands and Kotte, the most powerful, in the south-west.
76th Independence Day 2022 theme
Mountbatten decided to grant independence on 15 August 1947. On 15 August 2022, the Government of India is organizing various programs with the Independence Day 2022 theme of Nation First, Always First.
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has appointed a cabinet subcommittee to organise the island nation's 75th anniversary of independence from British colonial rule, with plans under way to recommence singing the national anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil.What is Independence Day essay? ›
Because they were the ones who struggled for our country and sacrificed their lives. Our Independence day is of great importance to us. As it is the only day when we can remember our martyrs who died for the country. Also, it is the only day when we forget all our cultural differences and unite as one true Indian.What is importance of independence? ›
Independence Day is significant as it commemorates the valour and spirit of the freedom fighters who fought for the independence of the nation. Keeping the tradition since 1947 alive, the prime minister hoists the flag and addresses the country from the Red Fort every year.What is importance of Independence Day speech? ›
Most noteworthy, it tells them how our country got independence from the grasps of the Britishers. And about the sacrifices, our freedom fighter has made for the country. Also, we do it to make our children aware of the history of our country.How was Independence Day created? ›
On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.What is the biggest festival in Sri Lanka? ›
Navam Perahera is the main festival in Sri Lanka which is a mix of colours, parades, and traditions. In 1979, Navam Perahera was celebrated for the first time in the Gangaramaya temple in Colombo.
Another quintessential Sri Lankan eat, kottu roti is ubiquitous — in fact, it's Sri Lanka's national dish.