COLOMBO is the commercial capital as well as the largest city in Sri Lanka. As the most populous city with a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural community, the role of local government in ensuring the well being of people in Colombo is absolutely essential. Current Mayor of Colombo, Rosy Senanayake has a record of achievements prior to becoming the city’s leader.

Once a Sri Lankan beauty queen (a former Miss World), Mayor Rosy Senanayake managed to put herself in Sri Lanka’s political map as leader of the Opposition in the Western Provincial Council and as the chief organiser for the United National Party’s (UNP) Colombo West Electorate. She was also an activist and hosted a popular daytime television programme focusing on women’s issue in Sri Lanka.

Commenting on difficulties for women to contest elections in Sri Lanka, she mentioned, “I firmly believe that while men may be able to win seats with money and muscle power, women can stand up to them with transparency, hard work and by building a relationship with the people.” As the city leader, Mayor Rosy has shown that her work indeed reflects hard work and focuses on the needs of the people.

Distribution of Free Food to Low Income Families Hit by COVID-19

Nearly 60% of approximately 800.000 people living in the municipality are daily wage earners. These people are the hardest impacted by the COVID-19 policy which requires reduction of economic activities to contain the virus. In response to the dire situation, under the leadership of Mayor Rosy, Colombo has distributed 50.000 parcels of dry rations to families whose livelihood are hugely affected by the COVID-19.

Efforts to Ensure a Safe Urban Environment

Colombo, under the leadership of Mayor Rosy, has been working with the World Bank to gather data, identify higher risk areas, and apply evidence-based solutions to enhance safety within the city. Colombo City has also built their cooperation with the UN for creating public awareness of women’s safety in public spaces.

Colombo Tourism Development Plan

Mayor Rosy Senanayake has been actively discussing the future of Colombo Tourism, including revitalisation of tourism related sector with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) as a part of her larger plan for Colombo city development. Mayor Rosy Senanayake said that the municipal authorities will encourage future prospective project for Colombo tourism and its related sector and facilitate the implementation. The Municipal Council and SLTDA has mentioned about the plan to work with various mutual stakeholders on tourism development in Colombo and will continue the dialogues.

Building Air Quality Monitoring Station

Colombo City joined forces with National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) and the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council to install Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) to monitor and gather data on a regular basis. This gathered data will be utilised to carry out various activities and development projects in Colombo. Mayor Rosy Senanayake said that Colombo Municipal Council is responsible for making Colombo City a liveable city and therefore an Air Quality Monitoring System is a highly important factor. On top of this, according to Mayor Senanayake, the municipal council will also introduce a proper public transportation system as a remedy to the issue of air quality. She also said that this is parallel with the issue of garbage collection and disposal wherein the people need education on proper garbage management.