Measures have been taken to conserve and develop several places of tourist interest with the intention of promoting tourism in the country, Secretary of the Buddhasasana, Religion and Cultural Affairs Ministry Professor Kapila Gunawardana said during a media briefing last Friday (24).
The Central Cultural Fund (CCF) had secured a daily income between Rs.10 million – Rs. 22 million before the Easter Sunday attack which had drastically dwindled after the bombings and the Covid-19 outbreak.
Plans are afoot to conserve and develop such places so as to attract more tourism after the pandemic dies down and the country returns to normal. Prof. Gunawardena said the development of Magulmadu Viharaya in the Ampara District, and the Diving Project along the Eastern and Southern sea belt will be of immense interest to enable tourists to visit the heritage of Sri Lanka are specific among the projects.
Addressing the briefing, Director-General of the CCF – Prof. Gamini Ranasinghe said a two-way road has been built for local and foreign visitors to the historical statue at Buduruwagala. He said that a development project will be launched to reach the Buduruwagala Sacred site by boat across the Buduruwagala tank. This will facilitate the visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings.
In addition, plans are afoot to begin another project to enable visitors to pass through the Secret Door of the Fort Frederick in Trincomalee and enjoy its beauty inside. The Civil Defence Force and Sri Lanka Army will assist in implementing this project. At the same time, conservation of prehistoric sites at Alawala has also been started, Professor Ranasinghe said.
The CCF DG further stated that the required documents to obtain World Heritage status for the Ritigala Archaeological site are now being prepared, and they will be submitted to the relevant authorities very soon.
Adding his voice, Media Director of the CCF – Lalith Udesha Madhubahnu said a program to sell books at discount prices has been launched on the sidelines of the Literature Month of September. Under this program, a number of books written on the subjects of history, archaeology and architecture are sold online at concessionary prices. Simultaneously, a galore of books on research, children’s books, translations, guidebooks, maps, pictures, postcards, posters, and books written in Sinhala and English on history and archaeology are among them.