Colombo, Dec 12 (NIA) – Sri Lanka, on Monday, said it would resume construction on the ‘World’s Tallest Christmas Tree’ at the Galle Face Green in Colombo, after it was suspended last week.
The Port’s and Shipping Ministry which is responsible for the construction of the tree said that construction would resume immediately by Monday.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told NIA that the tree was being solely constructed on private funds and dismissed rumours that government funds were being used for the project.
Karunanayake said that he and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who visited the Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith on Sunday had clarified this matter and informed him that no government funds were being used to construct the Christmas Tree.
“The Archbishop had been misquoted. What he meant was that if government funds are being used for this project then it can be put to better use. However the Prime Minister cleared the misunderstanding and informed him that this was clearly a project being constructed with private funds,” Karunanayake said.
The construction of the Christmas Tree was halted last week followings objections raised by the Archbishop of Colombo, who stated that the construction was a ‘sheer waste of money’.
The Archbishop said that funds allocated for the tree should instead be used to construct houses for the poor people or provide scholarships to the poor children.
The tree reportedly is being funded by the Arjuna Ranatunga Welfare Fund and is being constructed using iron, old wood material, chicken wire mesh and vinyl flowers.
The 325 ft tree was scheduled to be completed by December 22 and displayed for 10 days beginning on Christmas Day.
Mexico currently holds the record for creating the world’s tallest Christmas tree. The tree is 295 feet in height.
Ports and Shipping Minister, Arjuna Ranatunga, in August said the fundamental expectation of the Arjuna Ranathunga Social Welfare Society was to break this record and build the world’s tallest Christmas tree at the Galle Face Green.