The event organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers to commemorate the World Tourist Guide Day was successfully held on the 21st of February, with the participation of more than a hundred members.
During the first half of the day, Professor Raj Somadeva delivered a very important lecture, entitled “Archaeology of the 21st Century”, and the lecture dealt with many significant findings of modern archaeology. The professor also elaborated on the need to use new techniques like “story telling” in presenting such knowledge to the tourist.
As the second half of the morning programme “The Traveller” magazine, the official printed publication of the Sri Lanka Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers, was launched. We hope that this magazine, which contains many important articles and colourful photographs in a very attractive format, is published in accordance with all international standards and will help to carry the name of the National Tourist Guide to the world. Mr. Upali Ratnayake and Mrs. Tharanga Rupasinghe representing the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, Mr. Nishad Wijetunga – President of SLAITO, Mrs. Anne Pitt – one of our sponsors, and former presidents of our institute Mr. Joe Livera and Mr. Bobby Senaweera were our guests of honour. Our Patrons Mrs. Yasmin Abeysuriya, Mr. Christopher Silva, Mr. Ravi Munasinghe and other pioneers of the institute also graced the occasion. The first copy of the magazine was presented to Mr. Bobby Senaweera by President Manoj Maddage.
After the lunch break, the Organiser Notebook for tour guides was launched. This notebook is to be issued from this year onwards instead of the annual diary of the institute. The introductory speech about this notebook was given by its chief editor Mr. Senaka Jayadeva.
As the final phase of the programme, the proposed free insurance scheme for the membership was introduced. Mr. Anura Hemachandra gave the inaugural speech and the representatives of Allianz Insurance Company explained the scheme to the audience.
The Sri Lanka Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers held an online lecture on Human Settlements in Sri Lanka on the 30th of October 2022. It was conducted by Mr. Don Anil Munasinghe, who is a member of our institute. Mr Munasinghe has completed his higher studies in the Russian Federation and bears Postgraduate Diplomas in Palaeobiodiversity as well as Archaeology and Cultural Tourism from the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR), University of Kelaniya.
The lecture was successfully conducted with the participation of more than 70 members. It enlightened the participants on many vital and unknown facts about the early human settlements of Sri Lanka. Based on the “Out of Africa” theory, the lecturer traced the trail of the humans’ odyssey from Africa to the other continents. He went on to elucidate the way our great ancestors built up their settlements in various locations in Sri Lanka.
As the Sri Lanka Institute of National Tourist Guide Lecturers, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Munasinghe for this valuable lecture and the time and effort he dedicated to it. No less thanks are due to all the members who participated in the event.
SLINTGL lecture on 14th October 2022 The Sri Lanka Institute of National Tour Guide Lecturers (SLINTGL) in collaboration with the Lions Club, Colombo held a lecture at the SLINTGL Auditorium on Friday 14th October, 2022. The lecture titled DISCOVERING SIGIRIYA, Visualizing the Ancient Sigiriya Complex through a Contemporary Architects Perspective ‘ was presented by Mr. Sanath Abeysekere- Lecturer and Researcher- Art and Architecture, ( MARCH- Moscow Architecture State Academy / BSc, MSc/Post Graduate Diploma in Conservation of Mural Paintings, University of ICROM, Italy.
Mr.Abeysekere provided precious less known insights while lecturing on the latest discoveries at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya. The final Q & A session was engaging and enlightening with over a hundred NTGL’S participating. SLINTGL will be conducting more lectures in the near future and hope to keep you all posted.
A number of National Tourist Guide Lecturers, and others involved in the tourism sector, are currently taking part in a free online Ramayana Yatra Training Program offered under the guidance of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA). Tours based on the Ramayana epic have been gaining popularity among Asian tourists in the past few decades, and the highest number of visitors to Sri Lanka now happen to be from India.
Proposing Parakrama Samudraya as a World Heritage Site
The International Tourist Guide Day was celebrated at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourist Guide Lecturers (SLINTGL) with an event centred around the proposal to have Parakrama Samudraya declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ingenious reservoir, considered the apex of Sri Lanka’s ancient irrigation system, was built in the 12th century CE in the then capital city of Polonnaruwa, located in north-central Sri Lanka.
Invitees to the Head Table:
President of SLINTGL – Dr. Mahesh Priyadarshana
President of Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO) – Mr. Maheen Kariyawasan
Asst. Secretary General of UNA – Dr. Kamal Abeywardane
Director HR, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) – Mr. Mihira Liyanarachchi
Board Director, SLTDA – Mr.Thilak Weerasinghe
Director General, Central Cultural Fund (CCF) – Prof. Gamini Adikari
Students from University college Anuradhapura, Hiking and Trekking team, Officers from the Department of Archaeology, President of the Chauffeur Guide Association and 46 NTGLs.
Moment of Appreciation.
Theme Song of the SLINTGL.
Lighting the Oil Lamp.
Mr. Dodangoda invited the President of SLINTGL Dr. Mahesh Priyadarshana for welcome Speech and introduction of WTGD.
Speech by Treasurer of SLINTGL, Mr. Priyalal Malevirachchi.
Message of Chairperson of SLTDA by Director HR, Mr.Mihira Liyanarachchi.
Speech by President of SLAITO, Mr. Maheen Kariyawasam.
“Evolution of Water Management System from “Wapi” to “Samudra”, Mr. Indika Manawadu.
“Why Parakrama Samudra has to be declared as a World Heritage Site” by Mr. Sunil Gunathilake.
“Socio economic benefits of declaring Parakrama Samudraya as a World Heritage Site” Ms. Sasankaa Gunathilke.
Conclusion speech by Director General of CCF, Prof. Gamini Adikari.
Vote of Thanks by Treasurer of SLINTGL, Mr. Priyalal Maleviarachchi.
The Director General of the Central Cultural Fund promised to organize meetings at SLINTGL with the officials of the World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka for building up the mutual understanding between both parties.
The program ended successfully, commemorating the ITGD 2020 and proposing Parakrama Samudraya as a World Heritage Site. The request was handed over to the Director General of CCF and to the Asst. Secretary General of UNA, who are on the accreditation board of UNESCO.
Parakrama Samudra and its unique water management system as a solution for impacts of global warming. Let’s make it a World Heritage Site.
Theme for ITGD
2020- Tourist Guides: Contributors to Sustainable Tourism & Jobs
History of water management in Sri Lanka goes back to
8th century BC where primitive micro irrigation system appeared for the first
time. The first technically feasible tank was built by king Pandukaabhaya in
4th century BC and it is called as Abhaya wewa or Basawakkulama.
Building large sized
reservoirs had been started in the 1st century B.C. during the reign of King
Wasabha (67 – 111 BC). He has built 11 large reservoirs and two irrigation
canals. It was followed by many small and medium size tanks that built all over
the island. By the 3rd century, King Mahasen built 16 large reservoirs
including Minneriya,Kaudulla ,Kanthale, Nachchiduwa and Mahakanadharawewa in Anuradhapura. These huge reservoirs were
supported with a complex network of river diversions and miles long man-made
Kalawewa was built during the reign of king Dhathusena
in 5th century and the tradition of building lakes and water management
continued to the Polonnaruwa period where it reached to its climax.
During the Anuradhapura period, the lakes were built
based on the concept of “wapi” where the sole purpose of the lakes were to
provide water for the agriculture. The lakes became more sophisticated in
technology in the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great and the concept of
“Samudra” s evolved. A “Samudra” was versatile in contributing to the
protection of the capital of the kingdom, and most importantly to maintain the
water table at a higher level which enable the development of a self-sufficient
economy in ancient Sri Lanka. Simply, the Samudra concept was the unseen
foundation of the “granary and greenery of East”.