Survey on protection status of cultural heritage in Sri Lanka

Abhayagiri Dagoba being restored (Anuradhapura Sites)
Ritigala Monastery ruins just after restoration restarted
Rows of houses at Kandy subject to urban development

 From April 4 to 13, we were dispatched to Sri Lanka by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and conducted a field survey on the approach status of protection of cultural heritage such as archaeological sites, along with external specialists. In Sri Lanka, the civil war which lasted for a quarter of century just ended last year, and new development is expected in the field of protecting cultural heritage, a field that has been neglected because of the country’s financial difficulties. The major purpose of our survey was to collect basic information so that Japan can examine what cooperative assistance is possible via UNESCO and other bodies in the future.
 In this survey, we visited local sites and interviewed the relevant organizations about the current status of conservation in world heritage registration places and the future outlook. We also conducted a field survey on multiple sites which will likely be registered in the future. The results made us realize that in many cases various plans exist but there is no prospect of them materializing and there are many serious problems in terms of the structure for protecting cultural heritage including insufficient specialized human resources. We would like to positively participate in investigating how to proceed with concrete cooperation.

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