Sri Lanka to turn war-time fort into tourist attraction

July 04, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka plans to convert a colonial-era fort in the north that was also fought over during the recent ethnic war into a tourist attraction, the economic development ministry said in a statement. “Since the end of the war large numbers of local and foreign tourists flock to Jaffna daily. The government will make this Fort a tourist centre with facilities for tourists,” the statement said. “The Fort of Jaffna is to be converted into a tourist centre soon when the phase one of the ongoing renovation projects costing 104 million rupees is completed shortly.”

Jaffna Fort was built as a small garrison by the Portuguese in 1618 when the Portuguese invaded the north.

Later, in 1658 the Dutch captured it from the Portuguese and expanded it further. It was taken over by the British in 1795.

The fort’s ramparts were damaged and eventually destroyed during the ethnic war by Tamil separatists that ended in 2009, sparking a tourism boom.