The Mangnokka Hena cemetery gets a face-lift
The Mangnokka Hena cemetery at Periyamulla in Negombo is maintained by the Negombo Municipal Council. It is the largest cemetery in the area and is a common burial grounds for persons of all religions.
At his time of the year (November) Christians flock to this cemetery as it is a month set apart to pay respects to departed souls.
This year authorities have maintained the cemetery well. Unlike in the past, the cemetery looks clean and well kept. Large trees line paths between graves and providing shade to mourners in addition to providing them with a space away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
A cemetery- worker who did not want to be identified said visitors to the cemetery often despoil the surroundings. He added that some basic facilities were not available, as for example no seating facilities were available to relatives who arrive to make funeral arrangements.
He added staff are at pains not to exploit grieving families who come to finalise arrangements. He mentioned an occassion when a particularly poor family who were in a state of depression had left behind a purse containing Rs. 5,000/-. We returned it immediately he said.
The worker mentioned that the Municipal Commissioner of the Negombo Municipal Council Ms. N.B.R.V. Fernando, was particularly helpful.
Ms. Fernando told the Sunday Times ‘I am actually happy about the media. It is their duty to raise issues the public face.We are taking all the measures to improve these public services’.
N.M.T.B. Wickrematilaka the crematorium officer said he has to work single-handed. He mentioned he has to make do without without a protective suitor tinted glasses.
He added it was problematic working single-handed especially when there were more than one body which needed to be attended to as it took around two-and-ahalf hours for acorpse to be fully cremated.
This led to delays and inconvenience to the public he added.
Mr. Wickrematilaka said additional staff were necessary if they were to operate effectively.
The crematorium is operated by a single individual
Municipal Commissioner Ms Fernando