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Moratuwa is a large suburb of Colombo city, on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, near Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia. It is situated on the Galle–Colombo (Galle road) main highway, 18 km south of Colombo city centre. Moratuwa is surrounded on three sides by water, except in the north of the city, by the Indian Ocean on the west, the Bolgoda lake on the east and the Moratu river on the south. According to the 2001 census, the suburb had a population of 177,190.[1]

Moratuwa is also the birthplace of Veera Puran Appu, a hero who rose against oppression by the British in Kandy and the legendary philanthropist Sir Charles Henry de Soysa.

Suburb structure

Moratuwa consists of 23 main areas: Angulana, Borupana, Dahampura, Egoda Uyana, Idama, Indibedda, Kadalana, Kaduwamulla, Kaldemulla, Katubedda, Katukurunda, Koralawella, Lakshapathiya, Lunawa, Molpe, Moratumulla, Puwakaramba, Rawathawatta, Soysapura, Thelawala, Uswatta, Uyana and Willorawatta.[2]


Both Moratuwa and Lakshapathiya are mentioned in the 15th century poem Kokila Sandesha, written by a monk poet of Devundara to celebrate Prince Sapumal during the reign of king Parakramabahu VI.[3][4] Lunawa, Uyana and Rawathawatte are mentioned in 16th century chronicles and church records of martyrs, the latter commemorates Revatha Thera, the chief incumbent of a temple built by king Vijayabahu I.[5][6] Lakshapathiya, meaning commanding a hundred-thousand, was once the land awarded to Lak Vijaya Singu, a Commander of king Nissanka Malla.[6][7] Subsequent to the Wijayaba Kollaya and the division of the Kotte Kingdom, the hamlet of Korala-Wella was created as part of Raigam Korale. It was reunited with Moratuwa in 1735, however losing Ratmalana and parts of Borupane to Dehiwala.[6] The name Moratuwa is derived from ""Mura Atuwa"" meaning sentry turret in Sinhalese which once existed at Kaldamulla.[6]


Industries in Moratuwa include the manufacture of furniture, rubber products, batteries, transformers, and wood handicrafts. This suburb is also a fishing and trading center. Of these, Moratuwa is most well known for its furniture.[8]


The University of Moratuwa, a leading technological university in South Asia is situated on the banks of the Bolgoda Lake in Katubedda, Moratuwa. Popular high schools in the area include Prince of Wales` College, Our Lady of Victories Convent, St. Sebastian`s College, Moratu Maha Vidyalaya and Methodist High School.


The Bolgoda lake situated in Moratuwa is the largest natural lake of Sri Lanka. It is a tributary of the Kalu Ganga which originates at Adams Peak and is a popular resort for swimming, angling and boating. Blogoda lake spreads, twisting from Ratmalana via Moratuwa and Panadura till it meets the sea at Wadduwa and Moratuwa via the Moratu ganga.[8] Moratuwa is home to the oldest church dedicated to St. Sebastian and the Holy Emanuel Church, which was once the tallest building in Sri Lanka.[9] A monument to Puran Appu stands in the premises of the Moratuwa Municipal Council and a museum is housed at the Weera Puran Appu Vidyalaya.[10][11]


Moratuwa is famous for its music and is home to some well-known musicians such as W. D. Amaradeva, C.T. Fernando, M. S. Fernando, Nihal Nelson, Golden Chimes Band, Los Flamingos, Christopher Paul, Priya Peiris (La Bambas), Sunil Perera (The Gypsies), Paul Fernando, Saman De Silva, Chandimal Fernando, Chandra Devadithiya, Punsiri Soysa, Derik De Silva (Cambrian), John Derek De Silva (Sebastianite), Danapala Udawaththa, Rajiv Sebastian, Lankika Perera, Lucky Deva, Malkanthi Nandhasiri, Ivan De Silva, Merril Fernando, Lincon De Silva, Niranjala Sarojini, Hemasiri Fernando, Chandral Fonseka, Asanka Priyamantha Peiris and Wheels Combo (First Band in Sri Lanka)and also Surenie de Mel.

The town also has a famous theme song, Punsada paaya Moratuwa dillenna[1] (meaning ""Moratuwa in the splendour of the full moon""), which is a staple at most musical events held in Moratuwa. Clarence Wijewardena also composed Moratuwa in tribute to the town.


Moratuwa is famous for its cricket stars such as Duleep Mendis, Ajantha Mendis, Amal Silva, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Prasanna Jayawardene, Susil Fernando, Roger Wejesuriya, Hemal Mendis & Granville De Silva (Double International - Basketball & Cricket). Sriyan Samararathna and Lloyd Patternot were selected to play for Sri-Lanka Schools Under 19 Team along with Duleep Mendis and Flavian Aponso. Gratian Karunarathne, Priyalal Rodrigo, Angelo Perera and many others.

An international cricket stadium, De Soysa Stadium (Tyronne Fernando Stadium) is situated in Moratuwa.

Capt. Elmo Jayawardena, Duncan Jayawardena, Climarcus Fernando, Granville De Silva, Theja Cooray, Priya Cooray, Sriya Cooray, Asha Cooray, Anuradha Cooray, Charmaine Caldera, Srikalal Fernando and Samson De Mel had represented the nation in Basketball.


Moratuwa consisting of all ethnic and religious groups seen in Sri Lanka. This suburb has a percentage Christian population after Negombo city, significantly higher than the national average.