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Sri Sangaraja Mawatha

Skinners Road (south) in Maradana (Colombo 10) was renamed Sri Sangaraja Mawatha in the 1940’s.
This road connects Olcott Mawatha and Armour Street. During British colonial times, the road was named after Thomas Skinner who was one of the main engineers of the Colombo – Kandy highway. He is also the author of the famous book: “Fifty Years of Ceylon” which was later translated into Sinhala with the adapted title: “ලංකාවේ පනස් වසරක්” (Kankawe Panas Wasara). According to the book, he was an elephant hunter and killed nearly 700 elephants in Sri Lanka during his lifetime.

Want to know more about Thomas Skinner?

Thomas Skinner was born in Canada, on 22nd May 1804. He arrived in Ceylon in 1818 when
he was only 14 years of age. In 1820, he was instrumental in the constructions of the Colombo – Kandy highway.
He was appointed the head of the Colombo Defence Guard in 1825, Lieutenant Quartermaster General and
Surveyor General in 1833, and commissioner of highways in 1841. Major Thomas Skinner is known as the
“greatest road maker of Ceylon”. He left an account of his work in his autobiography published in1891:
Fifty Years in Ceylon.

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