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Monday, 4 February 2013

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President opens renovated Dutch Navy Commissionerís Housing Complex in Trincomalee

Refurbished building to be converted to Naval and Maritime Museum:

President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the renovated Dutch Navy Commissionerís Housing Complex in Trincomalee yesterday. This was once the Dutch Naval Commissionerís official bungalow. The opening was held as a part of the 65th Independence Day celebrations in Trincomalee.

The 300 - year - old building was renovated on an initiative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The total project cost Rs 75 million. The Dutch government provided financial assistance under the Sri Lanka - Netherlands Cultural Cooperation programme. The National Heritage Ministry, Sri Lanka Archaeological Department, Sri Lanka Navy and the Dutch government carried out the project as a joint venture.

The refurbished building will be converted to a Naval and Maritime Museum at a cost of Rs 45 million this year.

The Museum will provide information on flora and fauna species in the Trincomalee coastal area. It will also exhibit coral species collected from Trincomalee and seashells found around the island.

The Dutch Navy Commissionerís Housing Complex was used as the Dutch Naval Commanderís official residence from 1602 to 1796. It was transformed into the British Centre in Trincomalee. This later became the Eastern University in Sri Lanka.

The three storied building was neglected and it was handed over to the Navy by the Archaeological Department for renovation in 2007. The President planted an ebony sapling tree to mark the event.

Minister Jagath Balasuriya, Deputy Minister Susantha Punchi Nilame, Eastern Province governor Mohan Wijewickrama and Eastern Province Chief Minister Abdul Najeed Majeed were also present.

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