The Central Cultural Fund was the implementing agency for the UNESCO- Sri Lanka cultural Triangle from 1980 to 1997, covering World Heritage Sites of Anuradhapura including Abhayagiriya and Jetavana Monasteries, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy. This is the largest ever heritage conservation programme carried out in Sri Lanka and one of the most successful UNESCO sponsored programme. A campaign was launched through the UNESCO to obtain initial funds from the international community and agencies to commence the work. Following are the major activities covered by Central Cultural Fund.
- Archaeological investigations
- Conservation (built heritage, artifact, murals and other decorative work) scientific research related to heritage preservation
- Provision of heritage information
- Development of visitor infrastructure facilities at heritage sites
- Site and museum presentation
To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria. These criteria are explained in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.