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.
Professor Gunawardana was speaking at the media briefing organized by Department of Government Information to inform the general public of the preparedness by the Central Cultural Fund for the tourists expected to visit the country after the pandemic diminishes and the lockdown is lifted. .
The Central Cultural Fund earned an income between Rs.10 million to 22 million daily before the Easter Sunday attack. The income reduced drastically after the Easter Sunday attack and the COVID-19 outbreak.
Several places of tourist interest are controlled by the Central Cultural Fund. 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. The Secretary said the development of Magulmadu Viharaya in the Ampara District, and the Diving Project along the Eastern and Southern sea belt will be of innence interest to enable tourists to visit the heritage of Sri Lanka are specific among the projects.
Director-General of the Central Cultural Fund Professor Gamini Ranasinghe joining the discussion 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 Fredrick in Trincomalee and enjoy its beauty inside. Civil Defence Force and Sri Lanka Army will assist in implementing this project. At the same time, conservation of pre-historic sites at Alawala has also been started, Professor Ranasinghe said.
The Director-General 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. Historical Ritigala is situated between World Heritage cities Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
Addressing the media briefing, Media Director of the Central Cultural Fund 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.
In addition, replicas manufactured by National Replica Center at Bataleeya and various artful creations could be bought online. They can be ordered through the official website of the Central Cultural Fund or dialing 0774874081 and 0710581723 or Whatsapp. Arrangements have been made to deliver the items to the doorstep within four weekdays. (GovtInfo)