Colombo, the Business Hub of Sri Lanka
Colombo is the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island. Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. Colombo had a population of 647,100 in 2001 census. The greater Colombo Metropolitan Region, defined by the districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara, has an estimated population of 5,648,000 as of 2006.
The name "Colombo", first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhalese name Kolon thota, meaning "port on the river Kelani".
Due to its large harbor and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. However it was only made the capital of the island when Sri Lanka was ceded to the British Empire in 1815, and its status as capital was retained when the nation became independent in 1948. In 1978, when administrative functions were moved to Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (nearby), Colombo was designated as the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.
Like many cities, Colombo's urban area extends well beyond the boundaries of a single local authority, encompassing other Municipal and Urban Councils. The main city is home to a majority of the Sri Lanka's corporate offices, restaurants and entertainment venues. Famous landmarks in Colombo include the Galle Face Green, the Viharamahadevi Park and the National Museum.
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