The small neighbourhood between the Beira Lake and Dharmapala Mawatha is called Polwatta, which is a part of Kollupithiya. It is the richest neighbourhood in Sri Lanka regarding community sense.

Inland from the seaside of Galle Face Green, where the land slopes down to the Beira Lake, there once lived a small community of dhobis, who were involved in the washing of clothes. These people used to wash clothes for the rich colonizers in Fort. When the government claimed their land to build an army hospital, these people were relocated at a piece of land in Kollupitiya, south of Beira Lake, what is now called Polwatta. The name Polwatta comes from ‘coconut tree’ and refers to the extended coconut plantations on that spot at that time. The neighbourhood consists of a variety of people, Buddhists, Hindu’s, Muslims and Christians, while places of worship of these religions are all to be found within this small community. The inhabitants of this small community form a strong bond, helping each other in difficult times and celebrating each other’s festivals. They protect each other when religious tensions elsewhere in the country arise. Then the leaders of the four religions in the community gather and go house to house to keep tensions outside and not to allow trouble makers in their neighbourhood. Peace is for them a precious good to be protected carefully. This neighbourhood sets a countrywide example regarding unity and peace.

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