India, Sri Lanka back Jaffna Cultural Center project

Updated 24 June 2014
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India, Sri Lanka back Jaffna Cultural Center project

The agreement to appoint Madhura Premathilake as the consultant architect for construction of the Jaffna Cultural Center was signed recently in the presence of Y. K. Sinha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka.
The government of India will build the Cultural Center 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, according to the Indian High Commission in Colombo.
The center 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 June 9 between the governments of India and Sri Lanka to implement the project.
The Cultural Center 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 center, 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 center 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 center include a theater-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. 


Pakistani mob demolishes mosque belonging to minority sect

Updated 24 May 2018
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Pakistani mob demolishes mosque belonging to minority sect

  • This is the latest in a spree of attacks against minorities in the country
  • Video footage shows men on the roof of the mosque using hammers to smash up the building

ISLAMABAD: Sunni extremists have demolished a mosque belonging to Pakistan’s minority Ahmadi sect in the eastern city of Sialkot, the latest mob attack on minorities in the country.
No one was inside the Ahmadiya Mosque and there were no casualties in the pre-dawn assault on Thursday. The mosque had been shut years ago by authorities to avoid violence.
A video of the attack surfaced on social media, showing a mob demolishing the mosque, which is said to have been visited by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the Ahmadi faith in the Indian subcontinent in the 19th century. His followers believe he was a prophet.
Pakistan declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974.
Ahmadis make a tiny minority of the Muslim-majority Pakistan and are often targeted by Sunni militants who consider them heretics.
In the video footage which has not been varified by Arab News men are seen on top of what is thought to be the mosque, using hammers to demolish the building as others stand in the street below to watch.