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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

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Novel definition for heritage

The book is described as a valiant attempt to capture archaeological monuments, historical places and collection of artefacts. The work highlights not only sites of archaeological value but also geographical culture and climate diversities of Sri Lanka which could greatly appeal to tourists, while portraying the civilization and culture of this country over the years.

Sri Lanka Heritages Foundation Chairman Neil Kiriella’s book ‘Sri Lanka Heritages’ was launched recently. The first copy of the book was presented to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

“The book is indeed salutary and it endeavors to bring in value to our hallowed heritage. Sri Lanka’s records of rich heritage runs more than 2500 years while oral history runs to millenniums. Remnants of this glorious past are still evident in the form of artifacts, monuments and heritage sites.

This book defines what heritage is. Heritage is not only archaeological monuments, historical places and collection of artifacts. Heritage includes traditions inherited from our ancestors. These cultural expressions have evolved in response to their environment and contributed in giving us a sense of identity to those societies. Added to the monumental heritage we possess a very rich intangible heritage and natural in the form of oral expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, traditions continuing from generation to generation.

Natural heritage is also an important segment of a society’s heritage and encompasses natural environment including the fauna and flora,” Department of Archaeology Director General Dr. Senerath Dissanayaka said at the launching ceremony in Colombo.

Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Galle and the nature’s heritage Sinharaja and Peak Widerness are named as World Heritage sites by UNESCO. This book details these various cultural heritages and wide ranging nature reserves and it has immense potential to create a new value added product to cater to the up market tourists, he said.

Sri Lanka is a relatively a small island of magic and mystery of pride, heritage, ancient history and tradition, a land where smiling faces surrounds you no matter where you go.

- SJ

 

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