Magampura Harbour will yield huge economic benefits - SLIA President
Hong Kong, according to history started as a fishing village and then
gained a reputation as a salt producing country. Later it became a
trading ground and in the last century the country converted to an
international financial centre that enjoys the world's sixth highest GDP
per capita, supporting 33 percent of the foreign capital flows into
The main reason for the country's success was the birth of its
Architect and President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects
(SLIA), Chandana Edirisuriya said that the new Ruhunu Magampura Mahinda
Rajapaksa International Port too would usher prosperity to Sri Lanka and
be one of the main pillars to lead Sri Lanka towards becoming the Wonder
of Asia.He said that investments on ports are made for the future and
one should not expect immediate results.
"I am confident that the Magampura Harbour would bring long-term
economic benefits to Sri Lanka similar to what its port did to Hong
Kong," he said.
He said that already benefits of the harbour are trickling to the
Commenting on the beautification of the City of Colombo he said that
it is a timely move that should have been done a decade ago.
Several new areas of interest have come up near the WTC, Public
Library and even the Police Station at Cinnamon Gardens has got a new
Relocating the shanties in Colombo is a priority and this too is now
being addressed. In developing countries shanties are removed and given
alternate land and prime properties where shanties were given to
investors to develop. "This is an ambitious and a good plan and the
government must ensure that shanty dwellers are assured a better place
to live in," he said.
He said the architects were disappointed in the manner in which some
townships were developed several decades ago.
"It's due to this that we are facing congestion and severe traffic
jams in areas such as Kadawatha and Maharagama."
With the ending of the conflict a golden opportunity has been opened
to the government to restructure the townships in conflict areas.
"We are ready to help the government with our expertise in this
area," he said. "Concrete jungles should be avoided at any cost," he
He also said that the Indian government is to invest Rs. 2 billion to
put up a multi storeyed cultural centre in Jaffna next to the Public
"The Indian embassy has requested a contest be held to get a design
for this proposed site," he said.
The government also must ensure high quality roads and the investors
are ready to pay a toll and travel on these roads. He also praised the
road network in the Southern Province.
He said that after the tsunami several new buildings came up and this
has helped add glamour to those affected areas. "The schools were some
of the main beneficiaries," he said.He said that tourism is not an
industry that can be developed with minimum effort and the government is
on the right track to provide infrastructure for the industry.
Commenting on the 'Architect 2011' exhibition now in its 29th
consecutive year which would be held from February 23-27 at BMICH, he
said that this year's theme would be 'Architecture for All, City +
Archt. Chandana Edirisuriya, President of SLIA said, "After the war
the Government has initiated many ways to fast-track development
projects in this country and I think the Government focused initially on
the infrastructure; roads, airports and ports while they are also very
sincere and keen on resettling shanty dwellers.
"We felt that it is important to communicate to the Government what
the SLIA has done up to now in the national development effort; during
the tsunami and floods, SLIA was involved very actively in rebuilding
"So we take this as an opportunity to communicate to the Government
and public as to the capabilities and capacities of the Sri Lankan
architects and what we have to offer."
The President is to be the Chief Guest at the event. The annual
sessions are planned to be inaugurated with Minister of Economic
Development Basil Rajapaksa, Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha
and President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Ruth
The National Conference is scheduled to be presided over by Minister
of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities
Wimal Weerawansa and Governor of Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal as
guest of honour.
The National Conference of Architect 2011, will have Brazilian
architect and urban planner Jaime Lerner as its keynote speaker.
Prominent internationally acclaimed architects President RIBA, Ruth
Reed, President of the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA),
Mubasshar Hussain, President of the Architects Regional Council Asia
(ARCASIA) George Kunihiro and architects representing India, Portugal as
well as Vietnam will participate.
The exhibition will have 350 stalls with 260 construction related
companies displaying their wares and services and 90 members' panels
displaying architectural work.
At the inauguration the SLIA will recognise excellence and
achievement in the architectural profession with an awards ceremony.
Four spheres will be considered viz. design, use of colour, the young
architect of the year and research and publication.