2020 Mar 14
It’s Big Match season. A season where, cricket, the most popular sport in Sri Lanka is celebrated, as schools all over the country compete with each other, in the spirit of friendly rivalry. In a country where school pride is above all else, and cricket is the game of the people, Sri Lankan migrants in other countries, try their best to make a visit to their motherland in support of their alma mater. So if you’re one of those people, here’s what’s new since the 2019 Big Match season.
Opening of the Jaffna International Airport
The Jaffna International Airport opened its doors to all flights flying in and out of the country, in October 2019, providing much needed convenience for the population of the North and tourists alike. Located in Palaly, Sri Lanka’s third International Airport can accommodate flights up to a capacity of 80 seats. In case you want to tour the North before setting your footprint towards the rest of the island, this information might come in handy!
Opening of the One Galle Face Shopping Mall
The One Galle Face Mall wow-ed us Lankans, by being the most glamorous and the biggest shopping mall that opened last year. From top-notch brands like Adidas, Rolex and Armani Exchange to local brands like Avirate, Viana and Lovi Ceylon; One Galle Face has it all. Inclusive of a premium cinema as well as a plethora of new restaurants and cafes, a visit to One Galle Face will not disappoint.
Appointment of a New President and Prime Minister
From a political standpoint, Hon. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected as the 7th Executive President of Sri Lanka, on the 16th of November 2019. He then proceeded to appoint his brother, Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Within just a few weeks of his appointment, they made changes to the cabinet and provided guidelines with hopes of improving Finance, Economic affairs, Policy Development and Housing in the country.
Addition of Port City to the Map of Sri Lanka
The Port City that has been in development for years, was added to the Sri Lankan map that was updated by Sri Lanka’s Survey Department. The updated map further indicates notable changes on the Hambantota Port in the South, highways and the Moragahakanda Reservoir, in the North Central Province. Sri Lanka’s Survey Department also aims to keep updating the Sri Lankan map every 2 years, indicating the upcoming developments of Port City.
Retirement of Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara and Ajantha Mendis
In 2019, we had to witness the retirement of three absolute cricket legends who were of prime importance to the Sri Lankan Cricket Team.
Lasith Malinga, known for his killer fast bowls as well as his blonde curly hair, retired from One Day International Cricket after the first ODI against Bangladesh. However, he still plays for Twenty20 International Cricket, continuing to make the nation proud.
Nuwan Kulasekara, known as Sri Lanka’s third-highest ODI wicket-taker among seamers also retired from International Cricket, but still remains open to playing global domestic T20 tournaments.
Ajantha Mendis, one of the most talented spinners in the Sri Lankan team, announced his retirement from all forms of the game.
Opening of the Hambantota Highway
A new section of the Southern Expressway was declared open to the public on the 23rd of February 2020. Having inaugurated on the 04th of July 2015, and funded by the Exim Bank of China, the new expressway stretches 21.8 km from Barawakumbuka to Mattala and another 16.6 km from Andarawewa to Hambantota. So if you’re looking to take a break and head down south post Big Match, this highway sure to make life a little easier for you.
The Street Art
So while you might be seeing a lot of changes around Colombo, what’s definitely going to catch your eye is the vibrant street art spread, not just across Colombo, but the whole country. Unlike the typical graffiti that you might see elsewhere, the wall art seen here tells a number of stories from our country’s long and rich history. The trend first saw light just before the Presidential Election of 2020 and started getting the attention of the media, following the Hon. Gotabaya Rajapaksha’s inauguration as President.
Caroline Jurie becomes Mrs. World
Caroline Lucy Anne Jurie won the title of Mrs. World in the year 2020, becoming the second Sri Lankan woman to win this coveted prize after Rosy Senanayake in 1985. Caroline represented Sri Lanka as she took part in the Mrs. World 2020 pageant held on the 7th of December 2019 at the grand finale in Las Vegas, Nevada.
New Restaurants & Bars Around Town
Dishing up some of the best Mexican food, Revolution Colombo is one of the hot spots around town. Located on the rooftop of Trillium Residencies in Torrington Avenue, you’ll most likely be able to catch a beautiful sunset while you wine and dine with your loved ones.
Open Times: 11AM – 2AM
Address: Trillium Hotel Colombo Rooftop, Torrington Avenue, Colombo 07
Contact: 0117 999 123
A hotspot for dog lovers and owners alike, Tayo Bear is a dog-oriented cafe serving up a variety of healthy treats, for us humans as well as our fellow paw-pals (off of two different menus of course).
Read our review at: https://bit.ly/3aXId5B
A quaint little boutique hotel and courtyard cafe, built in what was originally a private residence from the 1960’s, Nivasa opened its doors last year amidst the bustling town of Thimbirigasyaya. So if you’re looking to escape from the chaos that is big match season, this might just be the perfect place.
Read our review at: https://bit.ly/2IHGbKK
KAVA Island Bar
The KAVA Island Bar created massive buzz since its opening last year, being the first tiki bar to pop up in town, with a theme that’s all things jungle. Boasting a wide array of island cuisines from around the world, along with their ‘jungle potions’ concocted by their in house ‘witch doctors’, you should definitely head up and hula into the night.
Open Times: 5AM – 1AM (Sunday to Friday) | 5AM – 12AM (Saturday)
Address: 41, Maitland Cres, Colombo 07
Contact: 0777 777 420
Now that you’re all caught with everything that you missed since the last big match season, enjoy the booze, the papare, rave in the spirit that’s big match and, last but surely not least, enjoy your visit back in Sri Lanka