“Slave Island” is no more….

The Secretary to the Prime Minister has instructed to issue a gazette notification regarding the name of the area which has been known as Slave Island in English until now, as Kompagngna Veediya in the three main languages used in the country.

The Secretary to the Prime Minister Mr. Anura Dissanayake has informed the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Local Government and Provincial Councils, the Postmaster General and the Commissioner of Colombo Municipal Council regarding this decision which has been taken on the advice of Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in line with the 75th commemoration of Independence.

Accordingly, road signs, postal usage, assessment and names of voters and voters’ registers associated with, Kompagngna Veediya , Colombo 2, will be renamed as Kompagngna Veediya in Sinhala, Tamil and English since the nomenclature of “Slave Island” used during the colonial period signifies a different meaning. The name "Slave Island" was coined during the period of British colonial rule and was a reference to the usage of the island under Portuguese rule as a holding area for African slaves, most of them from the Swahili coast and Portuguese East Africa.