SLSNet- Newsletter

Volume I Issue 1 October 2004

Sri Lanka Studies Network

(Networking for Academic Excellence)



Note from the Coordinator

We are now at the tail end of the direct activities of the 9th ICSLS. The founding of the Sri Lanka Studies Network is an important event. In keeping with ICSLS tradition, the 9th ICSLS became a forum for scholars from many countries for a healthy exchange of views on each other's work. The 9th ICSLS also recorded several steps forward over the previous conferences. The conference venue being in Sri Lanka provided many young academics from Sri Lanka to interact with and initiate new academic relationships in a truly international environment. For the first time in ICSLS history, all conference abstracts were made available online (via the 9th ICSLS homepage). More importantly, the new initiative on Sri Lanka Studies Network was mooted at the 9th ICSLS.

Organizing the event brought me personally, important challenges. I enjoyed and learned from it. I deeply appreciate the support of my colleagues in Ruhuna and by the members of the International Organizing Committee and the National Advisory Committee.

The Sri Lanka Studies Network builds on the experiences gained over the last 17 years and I am indeed happy to serve as the coordinator of the Network during its founding years. Please give your cooperation and participate in our activities. We welcome your suggestions. Our doors are always open.

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9th ICSLS Abstracts and Full Papers Now Online

Abstracts and Full Papers of the 9th ICSLS are available online via the 9th ICSLS Homepage (

All files are in pdf format. To download files, right-click the link and select save target as in the menu. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to open files. This software can be downloaded for free from 

Printed copies of the abstract book are available through university libraries in Sri Lanka.

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Introduction to Sri Lanka Studies Network ( Networking Towards Academic Excellence)

9th ICSLS Business Meeting emphasized the need for increased interactions among researchers, a clearer focus on the studies conducted and fast dissemination of findings. Although the ICSLS served the purpose of a formal academic venue for such interactions, lack of activities in between conferences was a hindrance to achieve these goals. The aim of the Sri Lanka Studies Network is to facilitate frequent interactions among scholars studying Sri Lanka.  The network membership is open to participants of the past ICSLSs.

The mission of the Sri Lanka Studies Network is knowledge networking for academic excellence. The network will harness the strengths of an international, multi disciplinary, and experienced membership to make Sri Lankan studies community more interactive and open.. The rich diversity and resourcefulness of members and closer interactions will increase the  impact of research through a clearer focus and better policy relevance.    Network activities will include knowledge dissemination, promoting identifying and undertaking of thematic research, and facilitating dialogue leading to
a sustained social science research capacity. The steering committee of the SLSNetwork would depict adequate diversity in academic disciplines, institutions and gender.

Challenges to the growth and sustainability of similar initiatives often emerge from inadequate institutional and personal commitment. The steering committee recognizes the need for a nodal point to coordinate the network activities.  
University of Ruhuna will function as the Sri Lanka Studies Network Nodal Point during the initial years. The experience gained by University of Ruhuna in organizing the 9th ICSLS will bring momentum to the SLSNET activities to bring it a success.

SLSNetwok Newsletter will be published quarterly and available electronically for free distribution.

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10th ICSLS

The 10th Conference on Sri Lankan Studies (10th ICSLS) will be held in December 2005 in Kelaniya University, Sri Lanka. Both the year 2005 and the 10th ICSLS are historic events. The former as it marks the 500th Anniversary of the arrival of the  Portuguese and marked the beginnings of an era of unequal interactions with the West.  The ICSLS to be held in 2005 is the 10th in a chain of academic conferences on Sri Lankan studies.  Holding the conference in Sri Lanka at this important year is expected to bring wider participation of
scholars from Sri Lanka and elsewhere makes the gathering more diverse and representative.

The theme “Sri Lanka after 500 Years of Western Colonization and Future Perspectives” will explore various facets of the past and the future of Sri Lanka in the global context.  Kelaniya University, the direct successor to the Vidyalankara Pririvena, the seat of higher learning and the cradle of the contemporary nationalist political thought is an ideal venue for the event.  Conference announcement will follow shortly. 

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Social Sciences in Sri Lanka

Sociological Association of Sri Lanka Resurrected

The professional body of sociologists, the Sociological Association of Sri Lanka was founded in early 1980s. After a period of inactivity, it has been now resurrected in the last year. The association now holds regular meetings and hopes to organize events relevant to the sociology profession. 

For membership information, contact:  Dr. K. Karunatilake /Secretary, SASL
Telephone: 94-11-2914490

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Conference Announcements

Leonard Woolf Memorial International Conference
17th and 18th December 2004 - University of Ruhuna

2004 marks the year of arrival of Leonard Woolf, the administrator and well known writer to Sri Lanka. The Cultural Center of the University of Ruhuna and the Sri Lanka Studies Network will jointly organize a conference to promote scholarly exchange of views on colonialism and related issues in the context of culture and society.  Abstracts less than 300 words can be submitted before 30th October 2004.

Further details are available at

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Young Researchers’ Corner

  [ * ] Graduate Studies Opportunities Abroad

One way to promote a healthy academic culture is to learn from others. Graduate study opportunities abroad are an important means of learning the academic practices of other countries and making networks.

[ ** ]   Information on studying in the United States of America

[ ** ]   Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program

The program supports postgraduate studies in economics, management, science and technology, and other development-related fields at participating academic institutions in the Asian and Pacific Region.


[ ** ]  
Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program

[ * ] International Foundation of Science (IFS)

Research Grants for Young Researchers from the South

Researchers below 40 years are eligible to apply. Closing date for submission for the next round of the competition is 31 December 2004. Details are available at:

[ * ] Social Science Research Council (United States of America) South Asia Fellowship Program

The South Asia Program of Social Science Research Council (the United States) in collaboration with its partner institutions in South Asia offers competitive fellowships for university and college teachers based in Sooth Asia.  Annual competitions are based on a selected theme. Past themes include, Resources and Society (2002-03), Migration (2003-04) and Boundaries of Bodies States and Societies (2004-05). Applications are usually available beginning early March. SSRC’s partner institution in Sri Lanka is the Social Scientists' Association.

For more program details visit:

[ * ] Information on South Asia Imprints of two useful books from Sage-India

[ ** ]   Writing Your Thesis

PAUL OLIVER( University of Huddersfield School of Education and Professional Development)
June 2004 Sage India/Vistar Imprint
This book uses simple language and easy-to-read style to advice students on how to write a thesis. It is an essential reading for students working on their MPhil and PhD thesis.

ISBN 81-7829-392-7

[ ** ]   Designing and Managing a Research Project: A Business Student’s Guide

MICHAEL JAY POLONSKY Victoria University, Melbourne
DAVID S WALLER University of Technology
October 2004, Sage India/Response Imprint

Designing and Managing a Research Project is a concise, easy-to-read text designed to guide business students through the various aspects of designing and managing research projects. The focus is on research projects that have a solid academic basis, although some implications for some applied projects are also highlighted

ISBN 81-7829-459-1

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Resources for Researchers

[ * SANEI Secretariat Relocates

South Asia Network of Economic Research Institutions (SANEI) secretariat is now hosted by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics. SANEI is a regional partner of the Global Development Network (GDN). SANEI membership is open to institutions in south Asia. Joining to SANEI will open valuable opportunities for capacity building in reseach.

Internet address:

[ * ] Directory of Open Access Journals

This service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. There are now 847 journals in the directory.

[ * Publish your Research

Peer reviewed publications are an essential addition to the portfolio of an academic. Peer reviewed journals published in Sri Lanka would be a first step in publishing your work. We provide links to two journals in social sciences.

[ ** ]   Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences

Published by the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Journal of Social Sciences is a bi-annual journal. Papers from all disciplines of social sciences are accepted. More information can be found at:

Or Contact:
Ms. Subadra Tillekeratne
Scientific Officer/National Science Foundation

[ ** ]   Sri Lankan Journal of Agricultural Economics

This journal is published by the Sri Lankan Agricultural Economics Association

Full Text articles are available online at the journal website

For submissions, contact,
Sri Lankan Journal of Agricultural Economics,
Department of Agricultural Economics and Business Management,
Faculty of Agriculture,
University of Peradeniya,
Sri Lanka

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Organizational Profiles

[ * ] Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS )

Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science is the largest learned society in Sri Lanka. Established in 1944, its membership consists of scientists from all institutions and academic disciplines across the nation. SLAAS promotes its objectives of fellowship, science situation and science education. SLAAS operates under seven sections of which social sciences section (section F) covers areas of economics, sociology, anthropology, archeology, political science, management studies, history, defense studies, education, and geography. The most important contribution by SLAAS is its annual scientific sessions. Sessions are usually held in December.  Social sciences section of the SLAAS has pioneered in assisting the growth of young social scientists and expects to continue its mission in the future. Become a member of SLAAS section F and be a part of the social science community and explore the multi-faceted nature of science.

SLAAS Website Address:

[ * ] Jawaharlal Nehru University

Based in New Delhi, India, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is a center of academic excellence in South Asia.  Programs are organized around nine schools and four special centers and span from aesthetics and languages to computer science and biotechnology. JNU resembles a microcosm of India. Its student body is diverse in all aspects. Overseas students’ share is about 10 percent.  

The aims of social science training vary from ensuring proficiency of students in the basic knowledge and analytical methods at the taught masters’ degrees level to more inter-disciplinary and pragmatic approaches at the research degree level.  Organized around eight centers, JNU’s school of social sciences proved its innovativeness by introducing programs such as science policy and social medicine. JNU recently initiated a partnership with Bandaranaike Center of International Studies to promote its presence in Sri Lanka.

Internet Address:

[ * ] Sri Lankan University websites

[ ** ]   University of Jaffna Website

[ ** ]   South Eastern University Website

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Other Research Networks

SASNET is a Swedish national network for research, education, and information about South Asia. SASNET’s nodal point is based at Lund University. The aim of SASNET is to encourage and promote an open and dynamic networking process, in which Swedish researchers co-operate with researchers in South Asia and globally.  The network is open to all sciences. Priority is given to co-operation between disciplines and across faculties, as well as institutions in the Nordic countries and in South Asia. The basic idea is that South Asian studies will be most fruitfully pursued in co-operation between researchers, working in different institutions with a solid base in their mother disciplines.  SASNET hosted the European Conference on South Asia Studies in July 2004.
For more information:

[ * ] American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS)

The American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS) was established in 1995 to foster excellence in American research and teaching on Sri Lanka, and to promote the exchange of scholars and scholarly information between the United States and Sri Lanka. The Institute serves as the professional association for US-based scholars and other professionals who are interested in Sri Lanka.

AISLS Sri Lanka Office is located at,
5/22, Sulaiman Terrace,
Colombo 5, SRI LANKA
Tel: 94-11- 4-308716 Fax: 94-11-2508512
For more information visit:

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New Books

[ * ] Professor Siri Hettige’s latest collection of essays on contemporary social issues is Sri Lanka “ Varthamana Samaja Arbudaya ( The Present Social Crisis)”  (in Sinhala) was published by S. Godage Brothers.  The book has 19 essays. Issues and relevant policy concerns addressed include poverty, unemployment, education, agriculture, public transport and health. 

ISBN: 955-20-7041-4

[ * ] Sinhala Consciousness in the Kandyan Period 1590s to 1815
Michael Roberts ( the University of Adelaide, Australia)

This book constitutes an important challenge to those who have attributed the emergence of distinct ethnic identities in Sri Lanka to the impact of colonial rule and consequent modernization. Arguing that such a claim has been overly reliant on written sources, Roberts turns to verbal compositions, poetry, visual-iconic, kinesic and dramatic communications to establish the existence of a Sinhala consciousness, which predates British rule and which was implanted not simply amongst the political elite. (Review by Dick Geary, Professor of History at Nottingham University, extracted from the publisher’s website)

ISBN:    955-8095-31-1
Publisher:    Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2004
Read on the author at:
The book can be purchased online at:

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SLSNET Newsletter is a quarterly publication of the Sri Lanka Studies Network.

( c)
Sri Lanka Studies Network Secretariat
Department of Sociology,
University of Ruhuna,
Matara – 81000
Sri Lanka

[ * ] Contribute to the SLSNet Newsletter

Please send contributions for the next issue by 15th December.
Comments on the contents of this newsletter and suggestions for further improvements are welcome. 

Compilation and editing of this newsletter was done with best possible care to present readers updated and relevant information. Responsibilities on the content of the indicated websites remain with respective website managers. 

[Production Credits]
SLSNret Newletter compiled by : Dushmanthi Silva/ Sri Lanka Studies Network Secretariat

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