The Old Parliament Building is one of the major attractions in Colombo. This magnificent neo-baroque building was planned by Sir Henry McCallum, GCMG (1852-1919), Governor of Ceylon, to house the legislative council. It was opened on 29 January 1930 by the Governor, Sir Herbert Stanley, GCMG (1872-1955). In 1931 it was taken over by the State Council of Ceylon, who were tenants until 1947, when it was transferred to the House of Representatives. Between 1972 and 1977 the National State Assembly was convened here, and then renamed the Parliament of Sri Lanka. They moved into new specially built complex at Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte in 1983. The building then became the home of the Presidential Secretariat, some of the rooms being used for state functions. In the front garden, there are several bronze statues of eminent statesmen including that of Rt Hon D. S. Senanayake (1883-1952), first Prime Minister of Ceylon 1947-52, Hon Dudley Senanayake (1911-73), the second Prime Minister, General Sir John Kotalawela (1895-1980), the third Prime Minister, and Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan (1851-1930), the first native elected member of a Legislative Council anywhere in the British Empire, and described as ‘the greatest Ceylonese of all times.’
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