Western Province, Sri Lanka
Location within Sri Lanka
|Created||1 October 1833|
|Provincial council||14 November 1987|
|• Type||Provincial council|
|• Body||Western Provincial Council|
|• Governor||Alavi Moulana|
|• Chief Minister||Prasanna Ranatunga|
|• Total||3,684 km2 (1,422 sq mi)|
|• Land||3,593 km2 (1,387 sq mi)|
|Area rank||9th (5.61% of total area)|
|Population (2012 census)|
|• Rank||1st (28.73% of total pop.)|
|• Density||1,600/km2 (4,100/sq mi)|
|• Sinhalese||4,905,425 (84.26%)|
|• Sri Lankan Moors||450,505 (7.74%)|
|• Sri Lankan Tamil||335,751 (5.77%)|
|• Indian Tamil||61,826 (1.06%)|
|• Other||68,203 (1.17%)|
|• Buddhist||4,288,797 (73.67%)|
|• Christian||752,993 (12.93%)|
|• Muslim||500,992 (8.61%)|
|• Hindu||274,336 (4.71%)|
|• Other||4,592 (0.08%)|
|Time zone||Sri Lanka (UTC+05:30)|
|Telephone Codes||011, 031, 033, 034, 036, 038|
|ISO 3166 code||LK-1|
|Official Languages||Sinhala, Tamil|
The Western Province (Sinhala: බස්නාහිර පළාත Basnahira Palata; Tamil: மேல் மாகாணம் Mael Maakaanam) is one of the nine provinces of Sri Lanka, the first level administrative division of the country. The provinces have existed since the 19th century but did not have any legal status until 1987 when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka established provincial councils. The province is the most densely populated province in the country and is home to the legislative capital Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte as well to Colombo, the nation's administrative and business center.
Parts of present day Western Province were part of the pre-colonial Kingdom of Kotte. The province then came under Portuguese, Dutch and British control. In 1815 the British gained control of the entire island of Ceylon. They divided the island into three ethnic based administrative structures: Low Country Sinhalese, Kandyan Sinhalese and Tamil. The Western Province was part of the Low Country Sinhalese administration. In 1833, in accordance with the recommendations of the Colebrooke-Cameron Commission, the ethnic based administrative structures were unified into a single administration divided into five geographic provinces. The districts of Chilaw, Colombo, Kalutara, Puttalam, Seven Korales (present day Kurunegala District), Three Korales, Four Korales and Lower Bulatgama (present day Kegalle District) formed the new Western Province. Chilaw District, Puttalam District and Seven Korales were transferred to the newly created North Western Province in 1845. Three Korales, Four Korales and Lower Bulatgama were transferred to the newly created Sabaragamuwa Province in 1889.
Geography and climate
Western Province is located in the south west of Sri Lanka. It has an area of 3,684 square kilometres (1,422 sq mi). The province is surrounded by the Laccadive Sea to the west, North Western Province to the north, Sabaragamuwa Province to the east and the Southern Province to the south.
The Western Province is vulnerable to recurrent flooding as a result of an increase in average rainfall coupled with heavier rainfall events, with knock-on impacts to the infrastructure, utility supply and the urban economy of the Province. As the most urbanised province in Sri Lanka, these climate events pose a number of problems due to the rapid urban growth the province has undergone.
Administrative units, cities and towns
|Population (2012 Census)||Population
|Sinhalese||Sri Lankan Moors||Sri Lankan Tamil||Indian Tamil||Other||Total|
|Colombo||Colombo||H. T. Kamal Pathmasiri||13||566||699||676||1,771,319||242,728||231,318||27,336||37,108||2,309,809||3,304|
|Gampaha||Gampaha||J. J. Rathnasiri||13||1,177||1,387||1,341||2,079,115||95,501||80,071||10,879||29,075||2,294,641||1,654|
|Kalutara||Kalutara||U. D. C. Jayalal||14||762||1,598||1,576||1,054,991||112,276||24,362||23,611||2,020||1,217,260||762|
Major cities and towns
|Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte||Colombo||116,366|
|Year||Sinhalese||Sri Lankan Moors||Sri Lankan Tamil||Indian Tamil||Other||Total
Almost all the premier educational institutions in the island are located in the Western Province. Universities in the province includes the University of Colombo, University of Kelaniya, University of Moratuwa, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Open University, Sri Lanka, Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University and the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology. Having the highest population in the all the provinces, Western Province has the largest amount of schools in the country, which includes national, provincial, private and international schools.
- Roman Catholic and Other Christian.
- "Area of Sri Lanka by province and district". Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.
- "A2 : Population by ethnic group according to districts, 2012". Census of Population & Housing, 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.
- "A3 : Population by religion according to districts, 2012". Census of Population & Housing, 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.
- "Provinces of Sri Lanka". Statoids.
- "Provincial Councils". Government of Sri Lanka.
- Mills, Lennox A. (1933). Ceylon Under British Rule (1795 - 1932). London: Oxford University Press. pp. 67–68.
- Mendis, G. C. (1946). Ceylon Under the British (2nd (revised) ed.). Colombo: The Colombo Apothecaries Co. pp. 39–40.
- Medis, G. C. (1946). Ceylon Under the British (2nd (revised) ed.). Colombo: The Colombo Apothecaries Co. p. 51.
- Medis, G. C. (1946). Ceylon Under the British (2nd (revised) ed.). Colombo: The Colombo Apothecaries Co. p. 85.
- Integrating urban agriculture and forestry into climate change action plans: Lessons from Sri Lanka, Marielle Dubbeling, the Climate and Environment Knowledge Network, 2014
- "Grama Niladhari Divisions". Colombo District Secretariat.
- "Grama Niladhari Divisions". Gampaha District Secretariat.
- "Grama Niladhari Divisions". Kalutara District Secretariat.
- "Population of principal towns by sex, census years". Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.
- "Population by ethnic group and district, Census 1981, 2001". Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.
- "Population by religion and district, Census 1981, 2001". Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Western Province, Sri Lanka.|
||North Western Province|
|Lakshadweep Sea||Sabaragamuwa Province|