Organization - Panel for Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Arts Council of Sri Lanka

Panel for Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Arts Council of Sri Lanka
Basic Information
English Panel for Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Arts Council of Sri Lanka
Local language
Country Sri Lanka
Category Government Agency
Domain Oral Traditions and Expressions
Performing Arts
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Policy and System
Established year 2016

The objectives of the PICH are to design and implement projects to safeguard the Intangible cultural heritage of Sri Lanka in accordance with the measures recommended in the parts III and IV of the UNESCO Convention of 2003 (Articles 12-18). Those measures include; the preparation of inventories; use of formal and non-formal education for dissemination of knowledge on ICH; conducting programs for awareness raising and capacity building; design and implement activities for community participation; develop safeguarding programs at international-level; and to provide advice to any state or non-state organizations that are involved in similar safeguarding programs.


The Panel for Intangible Cultural Heritage (PICH) is one of the six panels of the Arts Council of Sri Lanka, which was established by an Act of Parliament in 1952 (and amended in 1987). The PICH is the youngest of the six panels that was established in mid-2016 by re-constituting its former Panel for Traditional Arts and Crafts. The Panel is made of a Chairman and seven members; all non-remunerated positions that meets once a month. The panels have a greater freedom to operate independently, while its program proposals need to be approved by the Executive Committee of the Arts Council at its bi-monthly meetings, to which the Panel Chair reports the progress of the panel’s work.

Major Activities

Since its establishment in mid-2016, the PICH has developed ten proposals to achieve its objectives to safeguard the ICH of Sri Lanka for the three-year program from 2017-20120. The ten proposals are aimed at; 1) establishing a national center for ICH; 2) preparing a national ICH inventory; 3) preparing supplementary reading materials on ICH for school children; 4) introducing ICH-related programs to involve university students; 5) disseminating knowledge on Sri Lanka’s ICH in foreign countries; 6) developing a program to protect IP rights of TK and TE of practitioners; 7) holding monthly ICH festivals; 8) re-telecasting of old TV programs on ICH practices in the possession of the state television institutions; 9) establishing a grant program to support ICH safeguarding projects; and 10) preparing an index of practicing traditional crafts people. Most of the proposals are intended to be implemented in collaboration with one or several other organizations and institutions.

In August 2016, the Panel held a festival of traditional martial art form (Angampora) that was repeated in August 2017 as well. In March 2017, the National Television Corporation held in collaboration with the PICH an all-night festival of the traditional Kandyan dance ritual known as Kohombakankariya that was broadcasted and photo-documented.

In 2017, the PICH actively involved in the preparation of the revised proposal on the traditional string puppet drama (nool rookada) for inscription on the UNESCO’s Representative List which will be considered by the world body for the forthcoming cycle in 2018.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Arts Council of Sri Lanka, “B” Wing, 4th Floor, Sethsiripaya II Stage, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka.
Tel +94-11-287-8002

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