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Reading: Significance and Issues of Developing Heritage Tourism at Godawaya for Peace in Sri Lanka


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Significance and Issues of Developing Heritage Tourism at Godawaya for Peace in Sri Lanka


D. L. A. H. Shammika

University of Ruhuna, LK
About D. L. A. H.
Department of Public Policy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Heritage is considered to be anything that someone wishes to conserve or to collect, and to pass on to future generations. Heritage tourism can contribute to reducing stereotypical attitudes in society and it may lead to a behavioural change and then reduce social contradictions. At present, the use of heritage in tourism is a sensitive and dynamic area of development, particularly where communities which were involved in violent conflicts have moved from war to non-war. Sri Lanka in its post-war peace building process is yet to harness heritage tourism as an avenue for peace and to discover its developmental potential and novel perspectives for peace building process. Godawaya in Hambanthota district in the Southern province of Sri Lanka retain archaeological evidence of a prehistoric civilization. The objectives of this research are to explore the archaeological significance of this site, its cultural value, the interconnections between community and to find possibilities of promoting peace through tourism in Sri Lanka. The methodological approach taken to answer the research question was based on grounded theory. This theory had been constructed based on the meaningfulness or understanding of conversations, observations and interpretations made at the research field. Systematic coding, data analysis and theoretical sampling procedures were carried out during the research process that enables the researcher to deduce from diverse patterns of data description into a higher level of abstraction. The main qualitative methods incorporated to the grounded theory were participant observation, unstructured interviewing, observation and documentary materials. The study finds the failure to construct a cohesive identity suffers a major drawback in Sri Lanka’s nation-state building process. This research has explored the potential of this site which can channel the conscientization process to rediscover a common inheritance and identity between the two ethnic groups of Sinhalese and Tamils which can foster peace. This article also discusses how different ideological representations would like to perceive the history, the land and the heritage of Sri Lanka as well as how primordial sentiments are developed leading to the ethnic segregation. This study has identified the potential that heritage tourism has to reduce structural violence by empowering local communities to reduce inter-ethnic, religious and other prejudices.

How to Cite: Shammika, D. L. A. H. (2019). Significance and Issues of Developing Heritage Tourism at Godawaya for Peace in Sri Lanka. Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Review, 4(4), 157–173. DOI:
Published on 29 Dec 2019.
Peer Reviewed


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