Galle Fort is a cultural site, the heritage of which goes back in time to several centuries. There is recorded evidence of Galle Fort being an important international trading post, even before the advent of the Portuguese in 1505. After arriving in Sri Lanka, the Portuguese spread their rule to most of the coastal areas of the island and this strategy was adopted by the Dutch too who followed the Portuguese. Wherever they found Portuguese fortifications, they entrenched themselves and used them for defence purposes. While the British took control of the entire country, the colonial powers who preceded them, limited their activities to selected coastal areas. The presence of the Portuguese and the Dutch is evidenced by the buildings leftover by them, carrying their unique architectural features in coastal outposts all-round the island, such as Kalpitiya, Chilaw, Negombo, Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Tangalle, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Delft, Mannar and Elephant Pass.
Out of all these centres, Galle earns a special place due to the existence of buildings containing architectural features belonging to all three colonial powers, viz., the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, in a good state of preservation, and because it continues to be a living heritage city, where the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays and others, with a variety of cultural identities, co-exist in harmony.
Due to these reasons, Galle Fort was inscribed in the List of World Heritages by UNESCO in 1988 so that its outstanding universal value could be protected and preserved.
It is our duty and responsibility to protect and preserve the historic cultural value of this monument, dating back to nearly 500 years, and endow it to future generations. To give practical effect to this responsibility, it is necessary to constantly create awareness among the people and also to impose laws and regulations. Such laws and regulations have been enacted not with the intention of placing difficulties on the people, but because it is the bounden duty of us all to protect our priceless cultural heritage.
When the tsunami waves struck the coast of Galle on 26th December 2004, thousands of lives were saved by the massive fortification which acted as a buffer. However, it is most regrettable that some unscrupulous persons have established various dubious institutions and are selling the cherished cultural heritage of this site for money.
All this places immense responsibility on the Galle Heritage Foundation which is the dedicated institution, established by Act of Parliament No. 07 of 1994, to protect the outstanding universal value of this site. It is our responsibility, not merely to conserve and protect the old buildings located within this site, but also to save it from the clutches of unscrupulous local and foreign cultural thieves.
Taking into consideration the above facts, the Board of Management of the Galle Heritage Foundation, with the approval of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage, took a decision on 13.09.2005 to exercise the responsibility of granting permission and supervising still and video photography of a commercial nature within the World Heritage site of Galle Fort.
|Serial No.||Programme||Minimum Charge (for a day)||Charges for each additional day||Supervision Charges (per day)|
|01||Films (foreign)||Rs.150000.00||Rs. 25000.00||Rs. 2000.00|
|02||Tele-dramas (foreign)||Rs.100000.00||Rs. 10000.00||Rs. 2000.00|
|03||Documentaries (foreign)||Rs.100000.00||Rs. 10000.00||Rs. 2000.00|
|04||Educational Programmes (foreign)||Rs.100000.00||Rs. 10000.00||Rs. 2000.00|
|05||Commercials (foreign)||Rs.150000.00||Rs. 25000.00||Rs. 2000.00|
|06||Still Photography (foreign)||Rs. 10000.00||Rs. 5000.00||Rs. 2000.00|
|07||Films (local)||Rs. 40000.00||—||Rs. 1000.00|
|08||Tele-dramas (local)||Rs. 25000.00||—||Rs. 1000.00|
|09||Documentaries (local)||Rs. 25000.00||—||Rs. 1000.00|
|10||Educational Programmes (local)||Rs. 10000.00||—||Rs. 1000.00|
|11||Commercials (local)||Rs. 50000.00||—||Rs. 1000.00|
|12||Still Photography (local)||Rs. 5000.00||—||Rs. 1000.00|
|13||Musical Videos (local)||Rs. 15000.00||—||Rs. 1000.00|
|14||Reality Shows (local)||Rs. 25000.00||—||Rs. 1000.00|
The Fort in Galle is a declared archaeological monument. The area surrounded by the rampart walls and its buffer zone are a living heritage site where people live and carry out their day to day activities. Therefore, it is necessary to regulate still and video photography and other activities within this area, so that it would not cause a nuisance to the residents, visitors and others. Therefore, only such permitted activities will be allowed, subject to the following conditions: –