Thousands of people who travel daily down the parliament road and head for the city for their work, pass thru the picturesque suburbs of Kotte & Athul Kotte.
Little do they realize that this tranquil place bordering the Diyawanna Oya was once a walled citadel, the one-time seat of power of the whole country, the throne of the last ever king who managed to rule a unified Lanka, and also home to the most sacred tooth relic.
Sadly, the remains of this once great city’s remains lie today at the ends of unknown lanes, inside temple premises and on the homes and back yards of many people, often inundated by periodical flash floods.
According to Zeena Marikkar, a Architect by profession and the former Editor of the ‘The Architect’- journal published by the Sri Lanka Institute of the Architects, Kotte’s historic precinct and it’s remains of archaeological value are under serious threat owing to rapid expansion and urbanization, coupled with the general ignorance of the authorities and the masses alike.
First fortified by Nissankamalla Alagakkonara as a battle encampment in the 14th century, the sovereignty of Kotte over the entire island was established by King Parakramabahu VI.
In her article titled FORWARD DEFENSE, UNDER ATTACK; The Systematic Adulteration of Kotte’s Fort Marikkar argues that Kotte needs to be restored to a state worthy of its past, and preserved for the benefit of the generations to follow with proper policy, planning & awareness a responsibility which should be shared equally by the powers that be, and the country’s citizenry.