The History of Jaffna Clock Tower
In many towns of the world Clock Towers can be seen as main features and
landmarks. In those days watches were not worn by everyone and it was useful for
the people of the town to know the correct time. In a period when almost all
wear wristwatches and a centrally located clock lost its main purpose, still
clock towers are being built.
The Jaffna Clock Tower is about 130 years old and situated near the old
sector of Jaffna Town. This is part of Jaffna's colonial history under British.
In 1875, the son of the then British Queen Victoria, His Highness The Prince of
Wales who later became the King with the name Edward VII, visited Sri Lanka.
Jaffna citizen collected money to celebrate this occasion and to give a present
to him. After the occasion they were left with some balance and a decision was
made to build a clock tower to commemorate the visit of The Prince.
The government architect Mr.Smither designed the tower. It seems that a
further amount was collected among the citizen towards the extra expenses.
then British governor Sir.James Longdon donated the clocks. This is a well
proportioned, good looking building and stood there for several decades
After 1983 the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka entered into more
aggressive situation and Jaffna became the hot bed of related activities.
police head quarters and the Jaffna fort with a heavy military presence,
situated in the vicinity of this clock tower.
Several fights took place in this
area. The clock tower also had been damaged.
During the ceasefire period of two years starting from 2002, the Jaffna Clock
Tower had been renovated.
The British High Commissioner in Colombo reopened it
on June 19.
The Prince of Wales donated one million Sri Lankan rupees for the