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Our Vision

An excellent people friendly public service for the Puttalam Divisional Secretariat Division.

Our Mission

Providing exellent service within the government policy framework, to ensure better living standard of the people live in the Puttalam Divisional secretariat Division, through well organized resources co - ordination and people participation for effective and sustainable development.

History of Puttalam Divisional Secretariat


The origination of the name ‘Puttalam’ has two different schools of thoughts. One says as it was originated from the words Uppu (salt) + thalam (plain) = Upputhalam later came to be known as Puthalam. The other opinion was Puthu (new) + alam (lake) = Puthalam. Above those well known thoughts there are other opinions too. Whatever opinion with regards the name of Puttalam it is proved that Puttalam is a salt producing area. Today it is addressed as ‘The Salt City of Sri Lanka’ which produces 30 - 45% of the national production of salt.

Geographical position

The administrative area of Puttalam divisional secretariat amounts to 150.4 Sq. Kilo Meters which situated in the North Western coast in the dry zone of North Western province.

Administrative boundaries

The boundaries of the administrative area as follows:

  • North – Southern border of Wanathivillu D.S. division
  • South – Northern border of Mundel D.S. division
  • East – West borders of Mahakumbukkawala and Anamaduwa D.S. divisions
  • West – Puttalam lagoon. And a thin strip of Kalpitiya D.S. division borders the Puttalam D.S.

Local authorities of Puttalam Urban Council and Puttalam Pradeshiya Sabha and electorates of Puttalam and a small portion of Anamaduwa are included into the administrative area of Puttalam divisional secretariat.

Puttalam D.S. has 86 villages within 22 Grama Niladari divisions. 16 out of 22 G.N. divisions are situated in Puttalam electorate and the rest located in Anamaduwa electorate.

Type of soil

Two kinds of soils found in this D.S. area. In the Southern part of the D.S. division is containing Brown colored gravel based soil and in the Northern part contains latasol soil.

Latasol is known as the oldest soil of it kind. It was developed in an entirely different climate situation than present days. It permits easy seepage of water. It is not sticky type. It is not very nutritious except for the cultivation of Citrus family, cashew and Ipil Ipil plantation.

Water resources

Drinking water problem is heavy in this division. There are 15 G.N. divisions which don’t have enough sources for drinking water and some doesn’t have any means to obtain within the vicinity of their abode.

Deep wells: About 5,448 deep wells are seen in the D.S. area to provide water in the G.N. divisions which have less water.

Tube wells: 62 tube wells were built under this project, which were implemented by UNICEF and the respective Pradeshiya Sabhas and all these tube wells are maintained by Pradeshiya Sabhas.

Pipe Water supplying: The Water Resources and Drainage Board in Puttalam supplies water within the limit of Puttalam urban council. This was constructed with the help of the government of China in 1995. Apart to this some water supplying projects were activating in rural areas with assistance of Asian Development Bank.

People (Religious and Ethnical)

Ethnically Muslims, Sinhalese, Tamils and Kafer, Malays and in little numbers of Nomads and Mathew (Dutch), who follow Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism as their religions. Places of religious worship and educational institutions follow their own respective religious and cultural identity.

Internally Displaced Persons:

The D.S. division of Puttalam and three other neighboring D.S. divisions within the Puttalam electorate and partly Anamaduwa electorate provided refuge to the evicted Muslims from Northern Province around October 1990. The settling of these people in the said D.S. divisions created umpteen problems to the people referred to as Host community in the area. Competitions and sharing the resources available, water, land and problems in the economic activities of the Host community propped up. Even after the end of the war the vast majority of the IDPs have opted to stay in Puttalam which create more problems to the Host community.

Education (formal and informal)

Formal educational institutions: From pre-schools to Maha Vidyalaya (secondary colleges) including two National schools are functioning in this D.S. division. Among these formal educational institutions, ‘President’s Science College’ which is the first in Sri Lanka also situated in this division.

Informal (tertiary): A study center of Open University of Sri Lanka and the vocational training institute which provides tertiary education with many private owned academic institutions provide somewhat educational facilities to the people in this division. Yet the regrettable fact is there are many who are not interested even in formal education or academic development of their children.


Puttalam is a business center catering to other D.S. divisions as well. Through the production of solar salt approximately 10,000 persons are employed in salt related activities. The coastal population is involved in fishing in the lagoon. Although the division is not considered as a major agricultural area coconut plantation in the South, cashew and paddy are cultivated in Northern part of the division.

There are no major industries specific to Puttalam. Some home based products from coconut kernel are active within the division. Micro and small level industries are found in the division. Especially a soft drink producing plant, garment factories and snack (mixture) production are well known small industries. Meanwhile as for large level industries are cement, salt and gravel brick/ tile factories exist.

Historical details and places

Somewhere around 3 – 4 Century B.C. the legend of Prince Vijaya and Princes Kuveni begins in the shore of Thambapanni in the Northern part of Puttalam. A myth on the size of the people who lived in these areas were well built therefore they called as ‘Yak’ (devil). When Vijaya met Kuveni she was spinning cotton yarn to make dress according to Maha Vamsa, which indicates the civilization and the culture of the ‘Yak’ people. Further a poem ‘Samatha Koota Varnana’ speaks about the visit of Lord Buddha days back to 2600 years to this island to resolve the conflict on a golden throne between two crown prince clearly views of the highly developed industrial technology and the administration of the era. In the poem verse 517 a name of a place mentioned as ‘Sikatha Thalawa’ means sandy plain which refers the Northern part of Puttalam. Archeological findings of burial ground where dead bodies were buried in clay urns in ‘Ponparappi’ area in the above part of Puttalam district speaks silently on the great civilization of the people who lived in this area.

The coast along Chilaw – Puttalam up to Mannar and it is closer to South Indian shore and the trade winds the above areas became as famous ports. Chilaw, Kalpiti, Silavathurai, Manthai, Arippu and Kudiramalay became well known places to Arabian, Greek, Persian and Indian merchants and travelers.

Among the world traveler’s writings, Ibin Batuta of Morocco who came to Puttalam in September 21, 1345 A.D. on his way to visit Adam’s peak gains a vital importance. He has landed on the shore of ‘Battala’ and he met the ruler in his wooden castle who spoke in Persian language with him. He was keen to know about other countries and rulers. He arranged everything for the pilgrimage. They traveled towards South they met a city named ‘Bandar Salawath’ (present Chilaw). Then they got into the hill country. They stayed at the peak for three days. They returned to Puttalam on October 17, 1345. He further speaks about Puttalam as a beautiful small city and the merchandising of cinnamon for clothes in the shores of Puttalam. The road runs along the lagoon beach was named as ‘Ibin Batuta Road’ in 1991 to pay respect to him for publishing the name of Puttalam to outer world.

Places of archeological importance

  • The district secretary’s administrative office which is known as ‘kachcheri’ was constructed during the period of Dutch administration of the maritime province. This building which was a two story building with timber and the rafters and beams were without join to their full length of the construction. This building is been used even today.
  • Presentation of a trumpet and two Royal insignias of the Kandyan king Sri Veera Parakrama Narendrasinhe to the Mohideen Jumma (Grand Mosque) Masjid of Puttalam when he visited in 1720 A.D. and was very warmly received by the people of Puttalam.
  • St. Clement Catholic Church situated in Puttalam – Colombo main road.
  • A Catholic burial ground situated in front of the urban council administrative building.
  • The house belongs to E.S.M. Cassim Marikkar family in the North road.

Although the most of the historic monuments of Puttalam have eroded in the passage of time the simple way of life of the people of Puttalam, their hospitality, tolerance and compromise with all the communities living in this area announces the potential development of this area as a most desirable destination for people within the country and outside.

Role performed at DS

Name From To
M.B. Disanayaka 1993 1994
W.M.Premarathna 1995 2001
Mr. A.C.M. Nafeel 2002 2012
Mr. M.R.M. Malik 2012 2016
Mr. W.M.C.K Wanninayaka 2016.04.04  2018.03.19
Mrs. H.M.S. Herath  2018.03.20  2020.09.02
Mrs. S.A.Y.R.Jayathilaka  2021.01.25  

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