Colombo, Sri Lanka has announced that it is moving its centuries-old folk medicine system for protection under the international intellectual property system.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishard Bathiudeen said the government was working with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for the last five years to introduce intellectual property support to Sri Lanka's traditional, indigenous medicine system, reports Xinhua news agency.

Sri Lanka's very own indigenous medical practice is centuries old and co-exists with the country's Ayurveda practice.

Ayurveda practice

"Ayurveda practice is a long-standing tradition in Sri Lanka existing with our indigenous medicine system. Similar to our local medicine system, it supports our wellness and medical tourism development as well," Bathiudeen said.

Traditional medicine system

"We are expanding our intellectual property system to protect our traditional medicine system as well. For example, our historic local medicine system which is part of our Ayurveda can be placed under global traditional knowledge support." 

The minister also noted that the government's efforts would protect the valuable indigenous medicine practiced in Sri Lanka across many other countries and competitors. It would also ensure the government's continued efforts to develop medical tourism.