Opening its doors to a new world of tourist attractions

Published : 9:08 am  February 8, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Thilanka Kanakarathna  

Fulfilling the much needed void in the Sri Lankan tourism sector, Sri Dharanee’ Colombo’s first tourism aimed performing arts theatre will be declared open at the Water’s Edge on Friday (09).  
‘Sri Dharanee’ Performing Arts Theatre, constructed by the Green Leaves Entertainment (Pvt) Ltd will be another milestone achievement to the proposed mega private public joint venture surrounding the Diyawanna Lake.  

Under the directives of the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry and the Tourism Ministry, the ‘Sri Dharanee’ will introduce novel historical shows and cultural performance for tourists with the intention of providing additional features for tourism related industries in Colombo and its suburbs.   

image_1518031808-0ff16eaf0eThe theatre will be a tourist attraction similar to those in developed metropolises such as Bangkok, Singapore and Japan and will provide local tour guides a unique sales pitch. The Ministry believes it will provide the city with much needed entertainment facilities and provide a competitive footing in the South Asian region in the years to come.   

Combining the charm and scenic beauty of the historic Diyawanna Oya, the renowned Water’s Edge complex with restaurants and adjacent shopping and fair attractions, Sri Dharanee will be a step forward in establishing a tourism enclave in close proximity to Colombo.  

The theatre which has a seating capacity of 500 is also equipped with a State-of-the-Art sound system and a high-tech lighting system.  

The theatre which faces the Diyawanna Lake is completely air conditioned and has been constructed with many echo friendly features. The entire facility had been constructed on landscaped grounds connected by scenic walkways in a bid to provide maximum comfort to the tourists.  

As per the first initiative, cultural dancing events will be held by Kalasuri, Vishwakala Keerthi Rajini Selvanayagam dancing groups. Green Leaves Entertainment (Pvt) Ltd Chairman Harindra Rodrigo said that it was intended to exhibit the majestic Sri Lankan culture as there were not many locations that showcase the cultural heritage of Colombo.  

According to Rodrigo, at present tourists have to travel outstation to experience the true colours of the local culture and have to spend more money and time on their holiday. This had to lead to Colombo as a destination losing its income in the tourism sector.  

Therefore he said the theatre would become a valuable asset to the city carrying the Sri Lankan cultural heritage around the globe, while making an opportunity to increase the revenue received to the country via the sector.  


  • Colombo’s first tourism aimed performing arts theatre would showcase the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka

Seats were priced at USD 25 for each show which would be roughly an hour and 15 minutes and were scheduled to be held twice a day, in the evening and afternoon. The company is expected to hold special morning shows which will be aimed specially for cruise liner passengers.  

With the newest development to be initiated based on Diyawanna Lake, the company believes that the theatre would eventually become a tourist attraction in the city.  

Apart from the traditional dancing shows, the company is expecting to add a variety of other performances such as ‘Angampora’ (traditional fighting art), ‘Ves’ dance and traditional 
percussion events.   

It was also planning to introduce new events and elite social festivals with select foreign participation, which has never been staged in Sri Lanka earlier.  




The theatre management is hoping to make a comprehensive show which is to be something the tourists would like to remember of the country.  

As a part of the Water’s Edge expansion project, several cafeterias and shopping arcades would also be constructed to add value as a tourist destination. The theatre management has already conducted promotions in leading tourist hotels, travel destinations, airlines and in-bound operators.  

“Sri Lanka thus gets a new dimension, redefining tourism to higher echelons as very often mentioned by the Prime Minister and the President,  to uplift tourism,” Mr. Rodrigo said.  

The ‘Sri Dharanee’s opening ceremony is scheduled to be held tomorrow (9) at 6.30 pm at the newly built facility, under the patronage of Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka and Tourism Minister John Amaratunga.