Sunday, November 26, 2006

FCE Religious Sites Project

Foundation for Co-Existence (FCE) has undertaken a project to rebuild eleven Religious Institutions in Ampara District that were destroyed by the tsunami. This is part of an FCE project funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reconstruct one hundred religious sites on the east coast of Sri Lanka.

Currently under construction for Ampara District project are four Hindu Temples, four Mosques, two Churches, and one Buddhist Temple. A sum of Rs. 2 million has been set aside by FCE for each institution.

Last week a ceremony was held to open the first finished site, an ancient Hindu Temple in the east at Thirukkovil Sri Sithra velauthaswamy Kovil. FCE'’s Religious Committee Chairman Moulavi Kaleelur Rahuman, Coordinator ACN Saloofeen, and Kovil'’s Chief Vannakkar Neethinathakkurukkal oversaw ceremonies with religious observances and special poojas. Also in attendance were FCE Project Manager Ian Johnson, Project Coordinator IM Ibrahim, Eng. MJ Akeel, as well as religious dignitaries, members of the Predheshiya Saba, and other guests.

The chief trustee of the temple, Ragunathamoorthy, who presided over the opening ceremony, thanked the FCE and Norwegian Foreign Ministry for their invaluable contributions and generosity in rebuilding this religious institute. This reconstruction will enable him to proceed with the site's normal religious activities without any inconvenience.Project Coordinator Ibrahim said in his speech that he was very happy to declare the first religious Institute in Thirukkovil open, and that he was now even happier that the second religious institute is to soon be opened at the Christian Church in Thirukkovil.

Ibrahim went on to say how he hoped everyone will have peace and security to live without fear and to continue with their everyday lives. In this way, he said, the FCE has concentrated on rebuilding religious institutions where people can purify their minds, find a spiritual way of wiping out unwanted activity, and live peacefully.