Feb 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today declared open the Naval and Maritime Museum in Trincomalee ahead of the country's 65th Independence Day celebrations aand planted an Ebony tree to mark the occasion.
A 17th century building used as the Dutch Navy Commissioner's House in Trincomalee was renovated with the assistance of Government of the Netherlands at a cost of 75 million rupees to establish the Naval and Maritime Museum.
The Ministry of National Heritage, Archaeological Department and the Sri Lanka Navy jointly carried out the restoration of the historic building under the Sri Lanka-Netherlands cultural cooperation programme.
The museum, located near Fort Frederick in Trincomalee where the colonial Dutch first landed in the 16th century, displays maritime history and marine biodiversity in a special section.
During the Dutch rule from 1602 to 1795 the building was used as the official residence of the Dutch Naval Commissioner and from 1795 to 1948 it was used as the official residence of the Urban Commissioner. In recent times the building was used as the South Eastern University.
Minister Dr. Jagath Balasuriya, Deputy Minister Susantha Punchinilame, Governor of the Eastern Province Mohan Wijewickrama, Chief Minister Najeeb A. Majeed, Ambassador of the Netherlands Louis W.M. Piët and Navy Commander Jayanath Colombage also participated in the occasion.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)