Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga yesterday advised officials to re-open the Dondra lighthouse to the public on May 4, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Media Secretary MP Thameera Manju said. He said the minister informed the officials to complete the renovations and re-open the lighthouse for public viewing. The opening ceremony would take place under the patronage of Minister Ranatunga, Deputy Minister Nishantha Muttuhettigama, SLPA Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga and several other distinguished guests, Manju said.
He said the lighthouse was renovated by the SLPA in 2000 and it was not open to the public thereafter as the route to the area was unapproachable and also due to security based issues. After the lighthouse re-opens on Thursday (4) several special programmes would be implemented to upgrade the present facilities available to the public while a set of programmes for foreigners had also been planned, Manju said.
The Dondra Lighthouse was constructed in 1887 and was being monitored by the SLPA. James Nicholas Douglas has been credited with the construction of this eye-catching masterpiece. Approximately 30000 sterling pounds was spent on the construction of the lighthouse which has a height of 49 metres and comprises of seven floors. It has 196 steps to reach the top and is considered one of the four leading lighthouses in Sri Lanka that have earned international recognition.
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