According to Professor Kapila Gunawardana, Secretary of the Buddhasasana, Religion, and Cultural Affairs Ministry, steps have been done to conserve and develop many tourist attractions in order to promote tourism in the country.
Professor Gunawardana was speaking during a media conference hosted by the Department of Government Information to update the general public about the Central Cultural Fund’s preparedness for visitors expecting to visit the nation once the pandemic has subsided and the lockdown has been lifted.
Before the Easter Sunday attack, the Central Cultural Fund generated between Rs.10 million and Rs.22 million every day. Following the Easter Sunday attack and the COVID-19 epidemic, income dropped dramatically.
The Central Cultural Fund is in charge of a number of tourist attractions. Plans are being developed to conserve and improve such areas in order to attract more visitors once the pandemic has passed and the country has returned to normalcy. According to the Secretary, the development of Magulmadu Viharaya in the Ampara District, as well as the Diving Project in the Eastern and Southern sea belts, will be especially important in allowing tourists to observe Sri Lanka’s history.
Professor Gamini Ranasinghe, Director-General of the Central Cultural Fund, who joined the debate, stated that a two-way road has been erected for local and foreign tourists to the historical statue at Buduruwagala. He stated that a development project will be initiated to cross the Buduruwagala tank by boat to the Buduruwagala Sacred Site. This will make it easier for people to appreciate the natural beauty of their surroundings.
In addition, plans are in the works to start another project that would allow visitors to pass through the Secret Door of Fort Fredrick in Trincomalee and admire its magnificence on the inside. This project will be implemented with the assistance of the Civil Defence Force and the Sri Lanka Army. At the same time, conservation of prehistoric sites in Alawala has begun, according to Professor Ranasinghe.
The Director-General further noted that the necessary documentation for obtaining World Heritage designation for the Ritigala Archaeological site is being completed and would be presented to the appropriate authorities very soon. Ritigala is located between the World Heritage cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
Lalith Udesha Madhubahnu, Media Director of the Central Cultural Fund, stated during a press conference that a scheme to sell books at reduced prices has been launched on the eve of September Literature Month.
A number of books on history, archaeology, and architecture are being sold at reduced prices online as part of this campaign. Among them are a plethora of publications on research, children’s books, translations, guidebooks, maps, photos, postcards, posters, and books on history and archaeology written in Sinhala and English.