The renovated ‘Sirimathipaya,’ the Prime Minister’s Office at Flower Road, Colombo, was declared open by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday (20).
After unveiling the plaque, the President placed flowers at the Buddha statue at the office premises symbolizing the commencement of duties, the PMD reported.
President Rajapaksa inspected the photographs displayed in the renovated office and inspected the office premises as well. A first day cover and a commemorative postage stamp was also released marking the inauguration of the duties of the new office under the aegis of the President.
The Sri Lanka Navy renovated the building under the supervision of former Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath as per the vision of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, it said.
This two-storeyed mansion was built by Albert Emmanuel de Silva in 1916 for his son Sir Albert Ernest de Silva. The mansion was handed over to the State by family members in 1960 following the demise of Sir Ernest de Silva.
The Ministry of Education and Broadcasting, and the Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Construction were then established in Sirimathipaya. In 1978, the then Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa established the Prime Minister’s Office in Sirimathipaya.
Sirimathipaya, which is more than a hundred years old, has undergone a complete overhaul after 44 years. A book consisting of the history and photographs of Sirimathipaya was presented to the President by the President’s Secretary Gamini Senarath.
The President posed for a photograph with the former Secretaries to the Prime Ministers, marking the inauguration of the renovated Prime Minister’s Office. The President also left a note in the book for special guests.
Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, State Minister Vidura Wickremanayake, Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake, former Prime Ministers’ Secretaries, government officials and relatives of Albert Ernest de Silva were also present. – ada derana