ICOMOS Sri Lanka was born in 1981 as one member Committee, thanks to the pioneering efforts of five dedicated heritage conservation and management professionals with the inspiring leadership of late Dr. Roland Silva, the founding president of the national committee. In 1992, a formal Committee was established with 5 founding members Dr. Roland Silva, Prof. Senake Bandaranayake, Archt. Ashley de Vos, Prof. Nimal de Silva and Dr. Gamini Wijesuriya. The assistance provided by the Department of Archaeology and the newly created Central Cultural Fund was catalytic for the rapid growth and expansion of the organization. By the end of the decade, most professionals of those two institutions who were working in the field of heritage conservation and management became active members of the organization.
The early 1990s witnessed the efflorescence of the organization’s development. That was due to the increased awareness in heritage conservation and management brought about by the implementation of the UNESCO-Sri Lanka Project of the Cultural Triangle by the Central Cultural Fund, and to the untiring efforts of late Dr. Roland Silva who was determined to make the organization an influential advisory body in policy making and implementation. Indeed, Dr. Roland Silva was elected as a Vice President in 1987 and President of the world body in 1990 and hosted the 10th General Assembly in 1993.