Western Province, Sri Lanka

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Western Province
බස්නාහිර පළාත
மேல் மாகாணம்
Province
Colombo
Colombo
Flag of Western Province
Flag
Location within Sri Lanka
Location within Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 06°50′N 80°05′E / 6.833°N 80.083°E / 6.833; 80.083Coordinates: 06°50′N 80°05′E / 6.833°N 80.083°E / 6.833; 80.083
Country Sri Lanka
Created 1 October 1833
Provincial council 14 November 1987
Capital Colombo
Largest City Colombo
Districts
Government
 • Type Provincial council
 • Body Western Provincial Council
 • Governor Alavi Moulana
 • Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga
Area[1]
 • 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)[2]
 • Total 5,821,710
 • Rank 1st (28.73% of total pop.)
 • Density 1,600/km2 (4,100/sq mi)
Ethnicity(2012 census)[2]
 • 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%)
Religion(2012 census)[3]
 • 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)
Post Codes 00000-19999
Telephone Codes 011, 031, 033, 034, 036, 038
ISO 3166 code LK-1
Vehicle registration WP
Official Languages Sinhala, Tamil
Website Western Provincial Council

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.[4][5] 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.

History[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7] Chilaw District, Puttalam District and Seven Korales were transferred to the newly created North Western Province in 1845.[8] Three Korales, Four Korales and Lower Bulatgama were transferred to the newly created Sabaragamuwa Province in 1889.[9]

Geography and climate[edit]

Western Province is located in the south west of Sri Lanka. It has an area of 3,684 square kilometres (1,422 sq mi).[1] 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.[10]

Administrative units, cities and towns[edit]

Administrative units[edit]

The Western Province is divided into three administrative districts, 40 Divisional Secretary's Divisions (DS Divisions) and 2,505 Grama Niladhari Divisions (GN Divisions).

District Capital District Secretary DS
Divisions
GN
Divisions
[11][12][13]
Total
Area
(km2)[1]
Land
Area
(km2)[1]
Population (2012 Census)[2] Population
Density
(/km2)
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
Total 40 2,505 3,684 3,593 4,905,425 450,505 335,751 61,826 68,203 5,821,710 1,580

Major cities and towns[edit]

City/town District Population
(2001
census)
[14]
Colombo Colombo 647,100
Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Colombo 210,546
Moratuwa Colombo 177,563
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte Colombo 116,366
Negombo Gampaha 127,754
Gampaha Gampaha 9,889
Kalutara Kalutara 37,451

Demographics[edit]

Population[edit]

The Western Province's population was 5,821,710 in 2012.[2] The majority of the population are Sinhalese, with a minority Sri Lankan Moor and Sri Lankan Tamil population.

Ethnicity[edit]

Population of Western Province by ethnic group 1981 to 2012[2][15]
Year Sinhalese Sri Lankan Moors Sri Lankan Tamil Indian Tamil Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %
1981 Census 3,321,830 84.74% 238,728 6.09% 228,516 5.83% 59,402 1.51% 71,331 1.82% 3,919,807
2001 Census 4,530,918 84.20% 374,729 6.96% 325,706 6.05% 61,337 1.14% 88,507 1.64% 5,381,197
2012 Census 4,905,425 84.26% 450,505 7.74% 335,751 5.77% 61,826 1.06% 68,203 1.17% 5,821,710

Religion[edit]

Population of Western Province by religion 1981 to 2012[3][16]
Year Buddhist Christian[a] Muslim Hindu Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %
1981 Census 2,885,789 73.62% 556,581 14.20% 279,639 7.13% 194,000 4.95% 3,798 0.10% 3,919,807
2001 Census 3,942,171 73.26% 721,115 13.40% 441,397 8.20% 271,777 5.05% 4,737 0.09% 5,381,197
2012 Census 4,288,797 73.67% 752,993 12.93% 500,992 8.61% 274,336 4.71% 4,592 0.08% 5,821,710

Education[edit]

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.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Roman Catholic and Other Christian.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Area of Sri Lanka by province and district". Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "A2 : Population by ethnic group according to districts, 2012". Census of Population & Housing, 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  3. ^ a b "A3 : Population by religion according to districts, 2012". Census of Population & Housing, 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  4. ^ "Provinces of Sri Lanka". Statoids. 
  5. ^ "Provincial Councils". Government of Sri Lanka. 
  6. ^ Mills, Lennox A. (1933). Ceylon Under British Rule (1795 - 1932). London: Oxford University Press. pp. 67–68. 
  7. ^ Mendis, G. C. (1946). Ceylon Under the British (2nd (revised) ed.). Colombo: The Colombo Apothecaries Co. pp. 39–40. 
  8. ^ Medis, G. C. (1946). Ceylon Under the British (2nd (revised) ed.). Colombo: The Colombo Apothecaries Co. p. 51. 
  9. ^ Medis, G. C. (1946). Ceylon Under the British (2nd (revised) ed.). Colombo: The Colombo Apothecaries Co. p. 85. 
  10. ^ Integrating urban agriculture and forestry into climate change action plans: Lessons from Sri Lanka, Marielle Dubbeling, the Climate and Environment Knowledge Network, 2014
  11. ^ "Grama Niladhari Divisions". Colombo District Secretariat. 
  12. ^ "Grama Niladhari Divisions". Gampaha District Secretariat. 
  13. ^ "Grama Niladhari Divisions". Kalutara District Secretariat. 
  14. ^ "Population of principal towns by sex, census years". Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  15. ^ "Population by ethnic group and district, Census 1981, 2001". Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 
  16. ^ "Population by religion and district, Census 1981, 2001". Statistical Abstract 2011. Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka. 

External links[edit]