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Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Historic Dutch ship in Sri Lanka
A ceremony has taken place commemorating the arrival of the first Dutch ship in Sri Lanka nearly four hundred years ago.

Government officials watched as a replica of the ship, the Duyfken, arrived at the southern port of Galle.

The replica, which was made of wood, with wide sails and hemp rope rigging, has been retracing its original voyage from Australia to Indonesia and then to Sri Lanka.

Galle was captured by the Dutch in 1604 and became a key point on the route of the spice trade.

The Dutch held most of the coastal areas of Sri Lanka until they were defeated by the British in 1796.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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