Sri Lanka will soon get its first kosher mikve, or Jewish ritual bath.
The initiative behind the mikve, which will be located in the capital city of Colombo, belongs to local Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries Talia and Rabbi Mendi Crombie.
The Crombies have been living in Sri Lanka since November 2005, when they opened a Chabad house there to serve both visiting Jewish tourists and local businessmen.
"There are a number of Jewish families living in the capital of Colombo, most of whom are either businessmen or the employees of foreign embassies," Crombie told The Jerusalem Post.
"In the past, women who observe the laws of Jewish family purity had to travel more than three hours by plane to Bangkok, Thailand in order to use a mikve," he said. The construction work is being carried out by a local Sri Lankan contractor under the close supervision of an Israeli rabbi to ensure that the mikve meets the requirements of Jewish law.
"On the same day that we began the work, the civil war in the country ended," Crombie noted.
The second stage of the project calls for the construction of a building to house the mikve which will also contain dressing rooms, bathrooms and showers.
Crombie said he believed the mikve would begin to operate once the monsoon season is over, when it will be possible to fill it with fresh rainwater.
"Judaism attributes great value to the building of a mikve," he noted, adding that, "it ensures the continued existence in purity of the Jewish people."