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* Reconstruction work in violence-hit Sri Lankan towns progressing, Military Spokesman says
Wed, Aug 13, 2014, 08:11 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 13, Colombo: Reconstruction and rebuilding of properties damaged during the recent religious riots in Sri Lanka's southern coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala are progressing fast, the Military Spokesman, Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said.

Speaking at the weekly press briefing at the Media Centre Wednesday, the Spokesman said that 82 shops were identified and assessed for renovation under two categories.

According to Brigadier Wanigasooriya, 28 shops needed minor repairs costing up to Rs. 50,000.00 and major repairs of over Rs. 50,000.00 were needed on 56 shops.

Work on 13 shops have already been completed and handed back to the owners, he revealed. Eight of these shops were repaired by the Sri Lanka Air Force, while the Army and Navy carried work on four and one shop respectively.

Of the 211 houses damaged, 139 houses were identified as those in need of minor repairs while 72 houses needed major repairs. Up to now 55 houses have been handed over to the owners after renovation work and work on 114 houses are in progress at present. The Army is handling work on 90 houses and the Navy is involved in renovating 24 houses.

Violent clashes erupted between the Sinhalese and Muslim people in the coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala following a demonstration by the hardline Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena in June this year resulted in extensive damage to properties owned by both communities.

Security Force Headquarters, West (SFHQ-West) of the Sri Lanka Army has been assigned to rebuild and renovate all damaged properties in the two towns.

The government has allocated Rs 200 million for reconstruction work, out of which Rs 150 million has been earmarked exclusively for use in Army renovation roles.

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