The Galle Fort enjoys a special place among the fortifications built during the colonial era. It is the largest Fort in Sri Lanka and it still remains in an excellent state of preservation. It was first built during the Portuguese period, mainly as a defence fortification. During the British period, Galle Fort developed to be one of the main centres of administration in the island. It has also earned importance during a period of nearly five decades as a living fortified city, where people are living and carry out all their day to day activities.
In 1971 Galle Fort earned further recognition when it was declared by the Department of Archaeology as a protected archaeological monument.
Due to its unique nature, containing a mix of architectural features belonging to both European as well as Oriental styles, making it a monument of outstanding universal value, the Sri Lankan Government made an application to UNESCO to inscribe it in the list of World Heritage Sites, in 1986. Accordingly, the Galle Fort was inscribed by UNESCO in the list of World Heritages in 1988, under criterion No. 4 pertaining to World Cultural Heritages.
Galle Fort also functioned as Ward No. 1 of the Galle Municipality and therefore comes under the purview of the Galle Municipal Council for local administrative purposes. There are also a number of other institutions which are directly or indirectly involved in the management of Galle Fort as a World Heritage Site. Some of the more important among them are listed below: –
Due to this reason, there arose the need to properly co-ordinate the activities of all these different institutions, to ensure proper and efficient management and conservation of the site. For this purpose, initially a Committee named the Galle Heritage Conservation Committee was established under the chairmanship of Cabinet Minister Hon. Rupa Karunatilleka. The main responsibility of this Committee was to co-ordinate the activities of all these institutions to ensure proper management of the site. This Committee also embarked on various fund-raising events, even motor races.
A significant event which followed was the establishment of the Galle Heritage Foundation by Act of Parliament No. 07 of 1994, which replaced the Committee. The declared objectives of the Galle Heritage Foundation were to promote, conserve, protect and develop Galle Fort and its historic hinterland as a historic city centre and an area of archaeological importance.
A Board of Management, comprising 26 members, is responsible for the administration, management and control of the Galle Heritage Foundation.
|Serial No||Name||Year/date of Appointment||Year/date of termination|
|01||Hon. Neville Kanakaratna, Governor of the Southern Province||1994||2000|
|02||Hon. Richard Pathirana, Minister of Education and Higher Education||2000||2002|
|03||Mr. Rienzie Wijetilleka, former Chairman of the Hatton National Bank||2002||2003|
|04||Hon. Wajira Abeywardena, Minister of Public Administration||2003||2004|
|05||Hon. G.H. Ajith Kumara, Member of Parliament||2004||2007|
|06||Mr. Parakrama Dahanayake,Member of the Galle Municipal Council||2007||2015|
|07||Mr. Ramya Siriwansa, Retired District Secretary||19.02.2015||29.02.2016|
|08||Mr. Channa Menaka Gehan Daswatte, Chartered Architect||07.04.2016||26.10.2018|
|09||Mr. Parakrama Dahanayake, Member of the Galle Municipal Council||07.12.2018||26.12.2018|
|10||Mr. Channa Menaka Gehan Daswatte, Chartered Architect||01.03.2019||18.11.2019|
|11||Mr. Parakrama Dahanayake, Member of the Galle Municipal Council||24.01.2020||Up to Now|
|Serial No||Name||Date of Appointment||Date of Termination|
|01||Mr. P. Hewawasam, former Government Agent, Galle||15.12.2001||01.04.2004|
|02||Mr. P. Wijeratna, former Additional Government Agent, Galle||28.06.2004||31.12.2005|
|03||Mr. S.O.N. de Silva, former Regional Manager, Bank of Ceylon||12.01.2006||28.02.2007|
|04||Mr. H.L. Gunawardena, former Divisional Secretary, Galle Four Gravets||11.04.2007||20.04.2018|
|05||Mrs. D.K.S. Jayalakshmi , Divisional Secretary,Baddegama Four Gravets||29.04.2019||Up to Now|