Sri Lanka historic fort to be conserved with Dutch aid

Feb 06, 2010 (LBO) – A Dutch fortress in Sri Lanka built to withstand solid shot artillery in colonial times but which was damaged by Tamil Tiger guns in a modern insurgency is to be conserved with aid from The Netherlands. Originally built by Portuguese colonial rulers in 1619, the fort was rebuilt and expanded by the Dutch who succeeded them during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Built in the shape of a pentagon, the fort’s defence works consist of thick and high ramparts and bastions surrounded by a wide, deep moat.

A project concept paper said the Jaffna fort conservation work would also help generate employment in the former war zone.

Nineteen conservation projects are being done with financial aid amounting to 702 million rupees from the Netherlands government under the Sri Lanka – Netherlands Cultural Cooperation Programme, in force since May 2006. The Dutch government has pledged 62.1 million rupees as a grant from the Shared Heritage Fund to conserve the 300-year-old fort in northern Jaffna, media minister Anura Yapa told a news conference.

The project total cost has been estimated at 104.5 million rupees, with the balance funds coming from the Sri Lankan government.

The first phase of the