The Army-renovated damaged Masjidun Noor Mosque alias Adikarigoda Mosque at Aluthgama was reopened and facilitated again for conduct of prayers during on Friday (Oct. 17), giving pride of place for religious observances.
In June this year, ethnic tensions that erupted in Beruwala - Aluthgama areas caused extensive damages to the mosque. On a directive from the President, the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake entrusted repairs, renovation and reconstruction work to the Security Force Headquarters-West, commanded by Major General U. A. B Medawela who was also appointed as the Chief Overall Coordinator for the project, in consultation with respective District and Divisional Secretariats and other state agencies.
Professionally qualified and skilled troops of the 1 Engineer Service Regiment (1 ESR) while attending to similar repairs elsewhere in the area for affected houses and shops, ensured the completion of the mosque project.
The ceremonial opening headed by Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development as the Chief Guest began with the raising of the National Flag after reading (tilawat) sections of the Holy Quran. Unveiling of a plaque to the effect and the warm welcome speech by a Moulavi led the gathering for a meeting inside it.
Furthermore, those Muslim religious leaders and intellectuals spoke high of the commitment of Security Force Headquarters- West and Army engineers, and lavishly praised them for their untiring efforts, being made to foster and further promote religious harmony among communities who have amicably lived in Aluthgama areas for generations. A special Salawath prayer session culminated the day's proceedings.
On the directions of Major General Medawela, all damaged homes, buildings and shops are being restored or repaired as per directions of the President who had initially set apart a sum of Rs.150 million. By Saturday (Oct. 18), more than two third of those affected buildings have received completion after the troops cleared all debris and conducted a full survey with civil sector authorities for proper assessment and correct identification.
The reconstruction coordinating office at Kaluwamodera, Aluthgama expects to complete the project before the end of the year or early 2015, the latest.