RE: Cost of housing
As for room: reasonable guesthouses charge around Rs 1000 (USD 10) per night for room-only. So for similar apartment-style acco, count for USD 300 per month but bargaining might be needed and well possible; after all USD 300 (Rs 30,000) is far above the normal montly salary in Lanka so boarding houses charge a LOT less for also lower quality, say Rs 3000-6000 a month (with shared washrooms).
Internet connection is a lot more difficult. Room/apartment with a phone landline is a bit rare; like in many developing countries there are waitlists for landlines, and fewer and fewer guests need them because of the rise of mobiles. Then inside Colombo DSL is available, but only in the centre and 'inner ring' (up to Nugegoda in south and parliament district in east). It has to be added to the landline; monthly cost is about USD 25.
Hope this gives _a bit of_ an impression...
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