New museum to showcase ancient hydraulic civilization

The Government plans to set up an Irrigation Museum to depict ancient hydraulic civilization in Anuradhapura, the Water Supply and Drainage Ministry said.

The Museum will depict the ancient hydraulic civilization of Sri Lanka which dates back 2,500 years, as there is a need to preserve the memories of this civilization to learn lessons from it.

Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said the proposed Irrigation and Water Resources Museum would display models of ancient irrigation systems, archaeological artifacts and informative data regarding the ancient irrigation technology of Sri Lanka.

Minister Gunawardena said Anuradhapura was selected as the site for the Museum because it was the capital of Sri Lanka from the 4th century BC to 11th century AD when the ancient hydraulic culture was believed to have commenced in Sri Lanka. The people of that era marked their presence in history with a network of reservoirs and canals that provided water for rice cultivation in the ancient kingdom of Rajarata.

He said that the traditional reservoir that is called ‘Weva’ is a unique creation of ancient Sinhala people and it had an advanced irrigation technology that amazed even the modern engineers.

The UNESCO has pledged to provide technical assistance for establishing the Museum.

Irrigation and Water Resources Ministry sources said a delegation of UNESCO, New Delhi, recently held talks with Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva on matters of bilateral interest and they pledged support for establishing the Museum.

This was in response to the Minister’s proposal that an Irrigation and Water Resources Museum be established in Sri Lanka.

The delegation comprised UNESCO Office Director Armoogum Parsuramen in New Delhi and UNESCO Representative for Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, Secretary-General, Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO Prithi Perera, South Asia Regional Programme Specialist for Dr. B.R. Neupane, UNDAF Consultant for UNCESCO in Sri Lanka Sehan Ratnawale and Director UNESCO office, Executive Secretary in New Delhi and UNESCO Representative for Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka M. Vaz. The Minister was accompanied by Irrigation & Water Resources Management Ministry Secretary Ivan de Silva.

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