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Report outlines problems facing sustainability of Sigiriya Rock Fortress

A new report published online yesterday, outlined the problems facing the sustainability of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO world heritage site and a popular tourist attraction in the Central Province.

According to a report prepared for the Prime Minister’s Office by a team appointed to examine the over-crowding at the Sigiriya World Heritage site, these problems include the overcrowding and tourism, lack of affordable overnight options for local visitors, wasp attacks and degradation and weathering of the rock itself and the paintings on it.

In suggesting potential solutions, the report included proposals for renovating the land extent to the east of the Sigiriya Rock, prior to entry into the Water Garden Precinct; an implementation of a crowd management policy, with appropriate visitor facilities which would function as crowd-holding areas; better hotel accommodations within the designated tourist zones which do not hinder the Rock’s landscape, as well as affordable accommodations for the local tourist population and the adoption of measures to limit access to the fresco rock pocket only for serious researchers, in order to save the original paintings from destruction.

Though there had been suggestions to attempt to eliminate the wasps, due to the possibility of attack on the Rock, the report has stressed that this would not be smart. “This would be a disaster as they (the wasps) would return as their generations have done for centuries to build hives on the cooler under surface of the rock the next season. But this time following the theory of evolution, they would be prepared for any human intervention.”