New American Center Opens Its Doors In Colombo

Shakila Ifham

September 30, 2022


The American Center in Colombo has relocated to the new U.S. Embassy building and opened its doors to program participants once again yesterday. 

At a colorful opening ceremony, the new and revamped American Center in Colombo hosted library patrons, Youth Forum members, and past and present program participants as well as program implementing partners. With an eye on providing Sri Lankan youth the tools they need to seize the future, the new American Center in Colombo shifted primary focus from being a library and program venue to a space for collaborative learning and digital engagement, as well as a state-of-the-art location for technology such as virtual reality and 3D printing. 

The American Center will continue to host programs such as English language training, public speaking, entrepreneurship development, coding, web development, media literacy, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) and, much more, all at no cost to participants. It will also continue to offer a space for Sri Lanka’s youth, university students, and friends of the United States where information is accessible, freedom of expression is celebrated, and the freedom to assemble is supported. 

U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung joined the celebration and engaged with the patrons of the American Center, remarking, “After three years of mostly virtual programming, my team and I are grateful to be able to continue the tradition of freedom of expression and exchange in this beautiful, modern space. I hope that over the coming weeks, months, and years we’ll see new and old friends coming together in this space to co-create dreams, programs, and fulfilling futures. 

“I often say that the United States and Sri Lanka are both friends and partners, with many shared values and so much shared history,” Ambassador Chung continued. “This is a challenging time for all Sri Lankans, but the United States continues to invest in the people of Sri Lanka, the importance of the bilateral relationship, and the future we share. This library is a great example of that partnership, that friendship, and that investment in the future!” 

Over the course of its 73-year history, the American Center has welcomed thousands of Sri Lankans seeking information about the United States of America and beyond. The American Center was first located at the Galle Face Court on Flower Road before shifting to the historic Sri Ramya at 44 Galle Road. With the passage of time and the expansion of the programs and activities being conducted by the American Center in Colombo, the center was moved to its current location: the new U.S. Embassy compound.