June 24, Colombo: The Government of India has signed an agreement with an architect to construct a Cultural Centre at Jaffna in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.
The agreement to appoint Madhura Premathilake as the Consultant Architect for the construction of the Jaffna Cultural Centre was signed on 19 June 2014, in the presence of High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Y.K. Sinha.
The Government of India will be constructing the Cultural Centre at Jaffna at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.2 billion in the next 36 months on a plot of land adjacent to the Jaffna Public Library, made available by the Jaffna Municipal Council.
The Centre and the adjoining water body - the Pullukulam will be transformed into an integrated cultural space that can also accommodate open-air performances with the help of a floating stage.
A Memorandum of Understanding for this purpose was signed on 9 June 2014 between the Government of India and the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the Project.
The Cultural Centre will provide suitable social infrastructure for the people of the Northern Province, especially for the people of Jaffna, to help them to reconnect with their cultural roots as well as to the rest of the country and to rejuvenate and nurture the ancient cultural heritage of Jaffna.
The Centre, while enabling the people of Jaffna to enjoy various local and international cultural products, would also serve as a delivery center for training, instruction and education in a variety of cultural disciplines.
The Centre is being developed as an iconic building that will emerge as a cultural forum that embodies coexistence and cooperation amongst the various communities on the island.
The facilities at the Centre include a theatre-style auditorium (with projection facilities) with a capacity of up to 600 people, a multimedia library with on-line research facilities, exhibition and gallery space and a museum. It would also have an instructional wing, which would have facilities to conduct classes in vocal and instrumental music, dance and languages, including a language lab. It would also be able to serve as a hub of socio-cultural activities, for which a conference hall-cum-seminar room is included.