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The seat of power in Sri Lanka and historically famous Lankan President Palace has now come to be occupied by its people. It is fully under the control of protesters as a pawn on the negotiating table. People have barged into that palace which was once touted to be under maximum security cover and impregnable.  The complex that houses the secrets of the government has now come under the control of people and is being used as a thoroughfare. Anyone can enter and exit on their free will without any check. Even foreigners are walking in and out with absolute disdain and in a carefree manner.

The Lankan President Palace in Colombo Fort is one of the high points of its democracy. The history of this palace dates back to the days of colonization of Lanka starting from the Europeans. This very same place was a cathedral under the rule of Portugal.  The Portuguese came in 1505.  At that time, they constructed the Francis Cathedral at this very spot as the place was an elevated surface. One portion of the complex acted as a cemetery and most of the mortal remains of important Portuguese were cremated here.

(Photo credit: @Mngxitama2- twitter)

At this very spot, a two-tier building was constructed based on Dutch architecture. The then Governor Angelbeek constructed it.  Over the years, it underwent repairs and was reconstructed as a palace.

British troops invaded Colombo Fort in 1782 and captured it.  Then on the 17th January 1804, the palace was taken over by the British Crown. From then on, nearly 29 Governors and Presidents have occupied it.

After Maithripala Sirisena took over as the Lankan president, Colombo Fort and the area around the palace were thrown open to public access

The area of the palace and its surroundings were declared as high security area and proclaimed as such. After Maithripala Sirisena took over as the Lankan president, Colombo Fort and the area around the palace were thrown open to public access. For the first time ever, some portions of the Lankan President palace were opened for public view for a week in June of 2016. Sirisena, the Lankan President, did not reside in the palace but used it to receive foreign dignitaries and on very special occasions.

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After Gotabaya Rajapakshe took over as the Lankan president, this palace became his official seat of power for carrying out his duties.  The very chair used by Gotabaya for carrying out his duties has now become an object of ridicule by lakhs of people.  Even the undergarments worn by Gotabaya Rajapakse are being made fun of and become an object of public display.

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