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Historical Dutch Fort to be Handed Over to Future Generation in Its Former Glory
[Updated :: 2010-07-15 23:40:07 Hours]

It will not be so long to see the world heritage historical Jaffna Fort, one among the handful of landmarks to Jaffna, in its former majestic appearance as a consequence of the government’s stand to make the peninsula a centre of tourism.

Instructions to arrange preliminary ground preparations for reconstruction were given to officials of Department of Archaeology by Hon. Minister of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Mrs. Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi during her inspection tour to the site on Tuesday (13) morning. A special meeting was also held at the District Secretariat on the reconstruction project.

Total cost for renovation of this historical Dutch Fort is estimated approximately to be Rs. 100 million and the project is funded by Netherlands.

Maintenance were neglected of the Fort when it fell out of the government administration after a pitched battle between the government forces and the LTTE who used it as a terrorist strong point until it was regained by the Security Forces in Operation Riviresa in 1996. Terrorists paying no heed to the historic value of this world heritage blasted parts of the construction and caused extensive damages to it.

Troops had to toil round the clock to de-mine the Fort before it was opened for public. However, the moat around the Fort still remains a risky area due to LTTE mines buried hazardously.

At request of the Archaeological authorities, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya had assigned the task of de-mining the moat to Commander Security Forces-Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe.

Engineer troops of Sri Lanka Army, on instructions and guidance of Commander SF-J, are presently working on the de-mining before the renovation project commences.

Rev. Padderiye Gnanaloka Thero who is in charge of the Archaeological Zone, Commissioner General Archaeology Dr. Senarath Dissanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Mr. Nimal Rubasinghe, new Government Agent Jaffna Mrs. Imelda Sukumar and General Officer Commanding 51 Division Brigadier Sarath Wijesinghe joined the Minister in the inspection tour.


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