The Republic Building, that houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet Office, is situated in the Colombo Fort area, next to the President’s House. It was known as the Senate Building until 1972.
The building was constructed during the British colonial era to house the Legislative Council of Ceylon, until 1930; when a new building was opened for use by the Legislative Council. During the colonial period, the building housed several government departments.
Following independence in 1948, the building has been home to the Senate of Ceylon, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of External Affairs and Defence. The building was renamed as the Republic Building following Sri Lanka becoming a Republic in 1972.
From 1977 the building has been used as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after the Ministry of External Affairs and Defence was split and the Ministry of Defence moved to a separate Ministry. The Building currently houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Some drawings of the Republic Building
(Below Line Drawing & entry titled ‘The Foreign Ministry’ is from “Colombo Heritage” Written by Jan Baldwin. Illustrated by Nicki McHarg, Sarah Baldwin and the Author. Stamford Lake Publication, 2003)