Jaffna Dutch Fort restoration 95 per cent complete


By Dasun Edirisinghe

Ninety five per cent of the conservation work at the Jaffna Fort carried out by the experts of Department of Archaeology had been completed, Director General of Archaeology, Dr Senarath Dissanayake said yesterday.

Dr. Dissanayake told The Island that the fort was attracting ever increasing number of local and foreign tourists as it was one of the two Dutch Forts in the world where the settlements had been constructed outside the fort. The other such Dutch Fort is in South Africa; Dr Dissanayake said adding that in all other Dutch forts including those in other parts of Sri Lanka the settlements had been built inside them.

Both the Jaffna Fort and its equivalent in South Africa had been used solely for military purposes by their builders, where other buildings of Dutch settlements were constructed outside it. In Jaffna there were more than 100 such buildings constructed outside by the Dutch and later used by the British, he said.

The DG said conservation activities on the Jaffna Fort commenced in 2010 and over 95 per cent of the renovation of the ramparts and the bastions had been completed. Seventy five per cent of the work of reconstructing the other sections inside the rampart had been finished, while the renovation of the main entrance at the outer wall too had been completed.

"Around 134 million rupees have been spent on the conservation activities so far. The conservation project is overseen by the Head of the Department of Archaeology and History of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof. Prashantha Mandawala," Dr. Dissanayake said.

He said that Rs. 28 million has been allocated for the conservation work of the Fort scheduled for the year 2015 and that would be spent on reconstructing the moat and peripheral walls of the fort.


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