Colombo, November 29: Sri Lanka has 22,988 confirmed cases of COVID-19 of which 5,877 are under medical care. But since the spread of the infection has been mapped out and controlled, the government has relaxed the curfew which was clamped on many areas in the island, including large parts of the capital city of Colombo.
Hugely relieved to be let off the hook, citizens, old and young, the rich and the poor, men and women, make their way to Galle Face Green, the city’s lungs, to breathe fresh air and stretch their limbs in the evenings.
Situated between the up and coming Chinese-built Colombo Port City on the northern end, and the historic Galle Face Hotel at the southern end, Galle Face Green is a place to walk, jog or simply sit and take in the cool and gentle breeze wafting from the Arabian Sea.
Laid out for citizens during British Colonial rule by Governor Henry Ward in 1850, a concrete pathway at the waters’ edge is used by walkers and joggers. Young couples sit at the edge watching the sun go down in a blaze of orange as lights go up in the many posh buildings on Galle Road skirting the Green. A drab site construction site during the day, Colombo Port City dazzles at night, lighting up Galle Face Green as it never was earlier.
The scores of small shops or “boutiques” as the local them, do brisk business selling packed snacks, freshly fried Sri Lankan snacks, cool drinks and tea. Itinerant vendors selling knick-knacks and children’s playthings accost walkers to make a quick sale.
If the weather is right, the kite sellers arrive with both locally made and giant Chinese kites which are a delight to watch as they soar, dance and dip in the sky.
(Pictures by Xinhua/Tang Lu. Text by NewsIn.Asia)