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Contribution at National Level

The senior members led by late Dr. Roland Silva were instrumental in successfully inscribing all six Cultural Heritage Sites (Sacred City of Anuradhapuara [ 1982], Ancient City of Polonnaruva [1982], Ancient City of Sigiriya [1982], Sacred City of Kandy [1988], Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications [1988] and Golden Temple of Dambulla [1991]) on UNESCO World Heritage List, by preparing the nomination dossiers. Due to such efforts, Sri Lanka still ranks as one of the top countries where the World Heritage Site density is very high in terms of the country’s land area.

UNESCO World Heritage in Sri Lanka

ICOMOS Sri Lanka was instrumental in successfully inscribing all six Cultural Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka

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It has also played a pivotal role in safeguarding the monuments and sites by actively involved by raising the voice and convincing the authorities of Government of Sri Lanka. Some of the examples in this regard are:

  • 17th century Dutch period hospital building in Colombo from destruction
  • 5th century World Heritage Site of Sigiriya by preventing the establishment of a military air base close to the site
  • 16th to 19th century World Heritage Site of Galle by preventing the construction of incompatible sports pavilions of the International Cricket stadium within the buffer zone

The documentation and condition recording of the heritage monuments within Sri Lanka’s entire coastal belt that were affected by Tsunami 1n 2004 was one of the other project successfully completed by ICOMOS Sri Lanka. The institution has also actively involved in the conservation of monuments and sites. The rescue conservation of the old Dutch period hospital building within World Heritage Site of Galle was a major undertaking by securing funds from the American Express Bank through the facilitation of the World Monument Fund.

A number of international/national events have contributed to place Sri Lanka’s heritage on the World Map and towards the professional development of the practitioners both nationally and globally and to contribute to global heritage discourse. Some examples:

  1. 1993-10th General Assembly (With prominence given to Asian Heritage at the Scientific Symposium).
  2. 1995-Meeting of the Risk Preparedness (birth of the Blue Shield)
  3. 1995- First ever WH joint monitoring mission with national and international team (www.)
  4. 1995- Conference on European Architecture outside Europe (Dutch Period) (led to the ICOMOS Committee on Shared Heritage)
  5. 2001- Sponsorship of World Monuments Fund (international conference)
  6. 2019- HeritAP Annual Conference