Sri Lanka Gets a New Lighthouse

June 19, 1999

A new lighthouse first went into service at the village of Oluvil on the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. Oluvil Lighthouse was officially inaugurated by M.H.M Ashraff, Sri Lanka’s minister for port development, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. A cylindrical concrete tower, the 79-foot (24-meter)-tall lighthouse was built as part of the planned development of a commercial and fishery harbor at Oluvil.

Oluvil Lighthouse was the first lighthouse constructed in Sri Lanka after that South Asian island-country became a republic in 1972. Prior to becoming a republic, present-day Sri Lanka as a whole existed as the British Crown colony of Ceylon between 1818 and 1948 and then as the independent parliamentary democracy of Ceylon in the Commonwealth of Nations (a political association of former territories of the British Empire) until 1972. When the republic was established, “Sri Lanka” was formally adopted to replace “Ceylon” as the island-country’s name. The republic has retained membership in the Commonwealth of Nations, though.

Oluvil Lighthouse, which is operated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, was damaged by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that significantly impacted the region. The lighthouse, however, has since been repaired.

Photo Credit: L Manju (licensed under Creative Commons)

For more information on Oluvil Lighthouse, please check out

Additional information on Sri Lanka’s lighthouses is available at


One thought on “Sri Lanka Gets a New Lighthouse

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  1. Above write up is correct. Lighthouse was built by the Ports Authority personnel and the lantern was imported. At the time of building the tower the beach was at least 50 meters away in front as I recollect but subsequently eroded.


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