GALLE HERITAGE FOUNDATION- LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Granting Permission for Still and Video Photography Within the World Heritage Galle Fort

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.

Course of Action to Be Followed in Obtaining Permission for Still/Video Photography

  • If any person or institution wishes to obtain permission for still or video photography within Galle Fort, first permission should be obtained from the Department of Archaeology and the Galle Police.
  • Together with the above permission documents, an application should be obtained from the Galle Heritage Foundation, duly completed and returned.
  • The Board of Management of the Galle Heritage Foundation has determined the charges applicable according to the nature of photography. Once the completed application is submitted to the Galle Heritage Foundation, the applicant will be informed of the amount to be paid.  On payment of this sum, a receipt and permission document will be issued.
  • The applicants should ensure that the information provided by them in the applications are full and accurate, as the Galle Heritage Foundation takes the responsibility for the permits issued.

Conditions to Be Followed by Applicants

  1. Once permission is granted, the photography will be supervised by an authorized officer of the Galle Heritage Foundation. This officer has to carry out the responsibilities of the Galle Heritage Foundation, and the permit holders should give him their fullest co-operation.
  2. If it is intended to photograph a building which has been declared as an archaeological monument, prior permission should be obtained from the relevant institutions.
  3. The permit holder should ensure that no harm of any nature will be done to any building, archaeological artefact, the rampart walls or the environment within the Galle Fort, in the course of executing photography.
  4. The permit holder should ensure that no harm of any nature will be done to any cultural, racial or religious traditions or identities, in the course of executing photography.
  5. The natural environment within Galle Fort should not be harmed in any way in the course of executing photography and the permit holder should ensure proper management and disposal of waste generated by them.
  6. The vehicles used for the transport of persons and equipment and material should not in any way damage the underground sewer system in Galle Fort, and the regulations and conditions pertaining to traffic management in Galle Fort should be adhered to.
  7. In using loudspeakers or other amplified sound equipment, there should not be any harmful impact on the old monument or on the residents of Galle Fort.
  8. If aerial photography is done, photography should be done from a height of not less than 500 meters from the top of the highest construction in Galle Fort.
  9. If photography is done on the beach, adjacent to the fort, no harm whatever should be caused to the rampart walls, the natural environment on the beach or sea and any marine life.
  10. The permit holder should ensure that no harm whatever is caused to the environment of the World Heritage Galle Fort or the beach and sea by the waste matter discharged or collected by any machinery or equipment used.
  11. No photography should be carried out or the Galle Harbour area or Navy Camp area or any other area, if such areas are declared as areas where photography is prohibited for security reasons.

Matters On Which Special Attention Should Be Paid

  • If any of the above conditions are violated, legal action could be taken. If due to violation of any of these conditions, photography is stopped, the Galle Heritage Foundation will not be liable for any loss suffered by the permit holder.
  • Adhering to the above conditions will not exempt the permit holder’s liability in regard to any other laws and regulations which are in force.
  • After completion of photography, an edited copy of the photography should be submitted to the Galle Heritage Foundation. Also, if the photography is telecast or broadcast, specific mention should be made that photography has been done with the permission of the Galle Heritage Foundation and under conditions laid down by the Foundation.
  • The permit holder should also ensure that in displaying the final edited version, there should be no distortion to the photography of Galle Fort monument or environmental zone.

Charges Levied for Still/Video Photography

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

General Criteria and Laws & Regulations for Activities Within Galle Fort

I. Conditions for Still Photography and Video Photography

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: –

  1. Still and video photography of the archaeological monument of Galle Fort should be carried out only in the presence of an authorized officer of the Department of Archaeology, and in keeping with the conditions placed by him for public interest.
  2. No images of persons in indecent postures should be included in your photographs or videos.
  3. By your actions in carrying out photography, no harm whatever should be caused to any old monument, place, ground or environment, and you should ensure that no such harm is caused.
  4. No still or video photography should be carried out within an archaeological museum.
  5. No photography should be carried out in places where the Department is conducting conservation or excavation work.
  6. These conditions are laid down in terms of Regulation No. 47 of Regulations, imposed by Gazette No. 8698 dated 23.12.1940, in accordance with Section 47 of the Antiquities Ordinance No. 9 of 1940. Violating these conditions or regulations would be a punishable offence under Section 44 of the Ordinance.  Further, violation of these conditions or regulations or any harm done in any way to antiquities, would constitute a punishable offence under Sub Section 15 (b) of the Antiquities (Amendment) Act No. 24 of 1998.
  7. If the output of such photography is used for any commercial purpose, included in any publication, telecast or broadcast, or used for advertisement or exhibition, the final copy should be submitted to the Department of Archaeology and prior approval obtained.
  8. Photography should be for the specific for which permission has been obtained, and if it is to be used for any other purpose, prior written permission should be obtained from the Department of Archaeology.
  9. If photography is to be done inside an archaeological monument, prior permission should be obtained from the caretaker of such monument.
  10. If aerial photography is to be carried out over Galle Fort, the aircraft should not fly below a height of 500 meters.
  11. If drone cameras are used, prior permission should be obtained from the Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority, the office of the Head of Joint Defence Staff and other relevant authorities. In operating drone cameras, the drone should not fly directly above a monument or archaeological site, and the drone should fly at a vertical distance of 100 feet or more.
  12. The Director General of Archaeology could at any time cancel the permission granted and the Department of Archaeology is not liable for any compensation in such event.
  13. This permission is valid only for the period mentioned.
  14. In photography carried out for films, tele-dramas or other similar purposes, no constructions, excavations or lighting of fires should be carried out. In erecting temporary enclosures, the permit holder should ensure that it is done without digging the earth. Also, temporary enclosures should not be connected to any monument or part of monument.
  15. In carrying out photography for films, tele-dramas and commercials, a full report containing the script, a summary of the story and the manner in which photography will be done in the location of the monument, should be submitted to the Department of Archaeology, together with the request for permission for photography.
  16. At the conclusion of the programme, the location should be properly cleaned and handed over to the Department of Archaeology.
  17. Due to this filming, photography or video filming, no nuisance should be caused to the residents, visitors and others in Galle Fort.

II. Conditions for various other Programmes

  1. All types of programmes conducted within the archaeological site of Galle Fort should be carried out in the presence of an authorized officer of the Department of Archaeology, and in conformity with the conditions laid down by him in the public interest.
  2. Disrespectful postures, indecent behaviour or programmes which are unsuitable to the culture of Sri Lanka are prohibited.
  3. These conditions are laid down in terms Section 47 (e) of the Antiquities Ordinance No. 9 of 1940, and any person who violates these conditions or regulations will be committing a punishable offence under Section 44 of this Ordinance. Violation of these conditions or regulations or any harm done in any way to antiquities, would constitute a punishable offence under Sub Section 15 (b) of the Antiquities (Amendment) Act No. 24 of 1998.
  4. If drone cameras are used, prior permission should be obtained from the Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority, the office of the Head of Joint Defence Staff and other relevant authorities. In operating drone cameras, the drone should not fly directly above a monument or archaeological site, and the drone should fly at a vertical distance of 100 feet or more.
  5. Permission shall not be granted for any programme to be conducted using the rampart walls.
  6. In conducting programmes, no constructions, excavations or lighting of fires should be carried out. In erecting temporary enclosures, no constructions, excavations or lighting of fires should be done.  Also, temporary enclosures should not be connected to any monument or part of monument.
  7. In conducting the programme, no damage or disrespect should be caused to any ancient site, and also the permission holder should ensure that no damage is caused to any ground or the environment.
  8. The Director General of Archaeology could at any time cancel the permission granted and the Department of Archaeology is not liable for any compensation in such event
  9. Permission should also be obtained from other relevant institutions.
  10. At the conclusion of the programme, the location should be properly cleaned and handed over to the Department of Archaeology.
  11. When programmes are conducted during week-ends and outside working hours, the relevant party should undertake to pay the archaeological officers engaged in supervision, overtime or any other approved allowances.

III. Conditions for the Display of Banners, Cut-outs and Boards within Galle Fort

  1. No permission shall be given for the display of banners or cut-outs within Galle Fort.
  2. Name boards of businesses should not exceed 10’ x 2’ feet in size and no colours other than black and white should be used.
  3. In installing name boards, no damage whatever should be caused to the monument or any part of it and archaeological features of the monument should not be covered in any way.
  4. No brand sponsorship boards of any type should be displayed.
  5. If posters are displayed opposite business premises, they should not exceed 2 ½ ‘x 1 ½ ‘feet in size and they should be fixed to frames and be removable.
  6. No poster, banner or cut-out should be fixed on the rampart walls.

IV. Rules and Regulations imposed by the Divisional Secretary’s Office, Galle Four Gravets in regard to Registration of Business Names, Renting of Grounds and Constructions and Development Activities within Galle Fort

  1. When applications are received for registration of business names within Galle Fort, such applications are referred for approval to the Galle Heritage Planning Sub-Committee by the Divisional Secretary.
  2. If the land to be rented is either state land or land, the possession of which has been handed over by State for some purpose, the Divisional Secretary should be informed and he will take further action in terms of relevant circulars and due process.
  3. If it is intended to carry out construction or development on a state land, it should be land the possession of which has been handed over according to due process. If it is land which has not been handed over according to due process, action will be taken under Repossession of State Lands Act No. 07 of 1979, to take back possession of such land.
  4. In regard to development proposals within Galle Fort, such proposals should be submitted to the Divisional Secretary after obtaining the approval of the Galle Heritage Planning Sub Committee.

GALLE HERITAGE FOUNDATION- Act

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