The UNP office. Boarded up and presumably under construction.
Savan and I took a Rs. 400 tuk-tuk tour around Kotte the other day. This was once the boss kingdom of Sri Lanka and there are still (woefully neglected) archeological sites scattered around the now fully occupied suburb. It’s like a hidden kingdom if you know where to look. There are small stupas which may mark the grave of King Parakramabahu VI, a tunnel that may have once led to Fort, and an ancient Ambalama which now seems to be a bus stand. Here, however, I would like to highlight another ruin in Kotte. The UNP office.
This is Sirikotha, the official home of the once proud UNP. Under current leader Ranil Wickremesinghe the once venerable United National Party has bled both votes and MPs, leaving it in a seemingly permanent minority. The one thing Ranil has power over is the party, through a working committee he appoints, and he recently had himself appointed to a six year term as opposition leader. So now he’s sprucing up the party headquarters, as a sort of mausoleum I suppose.
The sorry Sri Lankan flag in front.
Just look how faded that Sri Lankan flag is. It’s really a sorry site to see. The last time I remember hearing about Sirikotha was when UNP members were going to protest in front of it. In fear, Ranil called in road paving guys to lay down tar and make the area in front impassable. This is the true ruin of Kotte, the shell of the UNP.
For the more ancient ruins, check out Savan’s article on YAMU.