SLSNet- Newsletter

Volume I (Issue 3) April 2005

Sri Lanka Studies Network

(Networking for Academic Excellence)



Tsunami Response Continues

[ * ] Sri Lankan academic community continued to be active in responding the post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction need of the nation. Activities undertaken were multi-faceted and involve collaboration with the civil society and with academic institutions in other countries. Studies using multi-disciplinary approaches as well as using tools available in specific disciplines were conducted.  Seminars and workshops facilitated learning from the experiences and sharing  the knowledge to establish the best practices in post-tsunami reconstruction. To mention a few; academics from the University of Peradeniya conducted a post-tsunami run-up height survey and related that with the policy implications of the proposed coastal buffer zone; Geo-informatics Society of Sri Lanka convened a meeting in February to learn about tsunami experience; EUSL continued to undertake studies on impact and appropriate measures for rehabilitation and reconstruction; IWMI conducted a livelihood impact assessment in Hambantota district and, the University of Ruhuna hosts a workshop " Impact of the Tsunami & Post-Tsunami Recovery in the Southern Region of Sri
Lanka" in April. 

Visit for More Information:
[ * Eastern University of Sri Lanka-Information Center on Tsunami Disaster Homepage:

[ * ] Ruhuna  University- Center for Relief Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Studies (CRRRS)
[ * ] University of Peradeniya Post-tsunami Run-up Height Survey

[ * ] Proceeding of Geo-informatics Society of Sri Lanka Sympoium " Tsunami in Sri Lanka: Genesis, Impact and Response "

[ * ] International Water Management Institute Report " Bringing Hambantota Back to Normal" (in PDF)

[ * ] 2004 Tsunami Disaster - Scholarly and Factual Analyses

Available at:

Edited by Dr T. Matthew Ciolek, this document is a part of the Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library that can be accessed at:

[ Back to Top ]

In Search of Excellence

  [ * ] Story of Vangari Maathai: Nobel Peace Price winner 2004

Professor Vangaari Maatahi of Kenya was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in December 2004. She was the first African woman to receive this honor.  Thirty years ago Maathai linked trees to the declining state of the environment and guided rural women in Kenya to grow trees as a solution for immediate nutritional needs, wood for energy and checking the environmental decline. Since then her Green Belt Movement has planted tens of millions of trees in Kenya and also inspired similar movements in other parts of Africa. Her movement empowered women and this in turn led to a larger mission to create a society that respects democracy, decency, and adherence to the rule of law, human rights and rights of women. Maatahi believes that this understanding made people to think that poor and irresponsible governance cause environmental degradation and gained their support to the pro-democracy movement within the Green Belt Movement that joined with the larger pro-democracy movement in Kenya.
(Extracted from IFPRI Forum, December 2004:

Read the press release from Nobel Foundation.

Nobel Foundation Website:

[ * Sri Lankan researcher tops in a nine-country competition

Ajith Samarajeewa, a researcher from Coconut Research Institute, Sri Lanka,  won the first place
as the team leader in a nine-country competition on innovative approaches in using coconut based farming systems for poverty alleviation.  The competition was a part of the research program implemented jointly by Asian Development Bank and the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR). The program included three sub themes as improving income, diversifying products and conserving farmers’ genetic resources. Samarajeewa and his team conducted the research in three locations in Sri Lanka and the site in Dodanduwa was adjudged as the best research site in all participating countries.

[ * ] Rohana Mahaliyanaarachchi appointed Vice Chancellor of Sabaragamuwa University

Dr. Rohana Mahaliynaarachchi was appointed the Vice Chancellor of the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka. Known for achievements in a relatively short period of time despite his non-conventional beginnings, Mahaliyanaarachchi had his initial university training in the Eastern Europe and began his career at Tea Small Holdings Development Authority. After earning his PhD from the University of Peradeniya in 1996 Mahaliyanaarachchi joined the newly established Sabaragamuwa University. He quickly rose from the head of agri-business management to the dean of agriculture and was instrumental in bringing the university to larger masses as the director external examinations. Mahaliyanaarachchi is a former secretary of the SLAAS/ Social Sciences Section. 

[ Back to Top ]

10th ICSLS Update

10th ICSLS organizers invite papers from a wide variety of fields such as; anthropology, archeology, architecture, culture and society, defense studies, demography, development studies, economics, education, ethnic studies, environmental studies, fine arts, gender studies, geography, history, information science, languages and literature studies, management studies, media studies, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies and sociology.

Deadline for submission of abstracts is 30th June 2005

10th ICSLS Conference Brochure is now available.  E-mail Dr. K. Karunatillake
indicating your postal address to request one.

For more details visit 10th ICSLS Homepage

[ Back to Top ]

Social Sciences in Sri Lanka

[ * ] Peradeniya honors Sanderatne’s contribution to Science in Sri Lanka

University of Peradeniya conferred Dr. Nimal Sanderatne the degree Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in December 2004.  Sanderatne’s involvement in social sciences in Sri Lanka is well beyond his substantive career as a researcher at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka..   In
mid sixties, he taught agricultural economics at the Vidyalankara University and was the Founder Secretary of the Ceylon Agricultural Economics Society. Sanderatne has chaired the NSF Working Committee on Social Sciences and was a member of the Standing Committee on Social Sciences of the UGC. He was also a president of the Sri Lanka Association of Economists and a president of SLAAS/Section-F.

[ * ] Gamini Samaranayake Appointed Vice Chancellor of Rajarata University
Professor Gamini Samaranayake was recently appointed as Vice Chancellor of the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. A well-known researcher with experience over thirty years, Samaranayake’s research concentrates on revolutionary movements in Sri Lanka. Admired by students on his approachability and empathy he was the Senior Treasurer of the Peradeniya University Students’ Union for several years including the period of resurrection of the student unions after the late 1980s disturbances. 

[ Back to Top ]

Conference Announcements

[ * ] SLAAS Call for Abstracts

61st Annual Session of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science will be held from 12th to 17th December 2005. Last date for submission of abstracts is 20th June 2005.  For more details refer the SLAAS Website:

[ * ] PGIA 17th Annual Congress

Seventeenth Annual Congress of the Post Graduate Institute of Agriculture will be held on 24th and 25th of November 2005. Over the years the event has gained recognition as an international forum for presenting post-graduate research findings in agricultural sciences. Research papers based on graduate level work on  agricultural social sciences and allied fields including,  agricultural economics, agriculture-environment interactions, rural sociology, poverty alleviation, marketing of agricultural products etc may be submitted before 31st June 2005.

For more details refer the PGIA Website:
[ Back to Top ]

Young Researchers’ Corner

[ * ]
SSRC-South Asia Fellowships

Social Science Research Council of the US has announced its 2005/06 competition for South Asia Fellowships. The theme for this year is” Long 50s”. Deadline for application: 20th May 2005.
Visit SSRC-SARN for more details:

[ * ] SLAAS Post Graduate Publications Award

Post Graduate Publications Award recognizes the quality of research conducted at Sri Lankan universities for post graduate degrees. SLAAS members who present their research work at the SLAAS Annual Sessions will be eligible  for application for the competition in the following year. Last date for submission of applications is 18th June 2005.  Contact Hony. General Secretaries/SLAAS for more information:

Telephone: 94-11-2688740

[ * ] South-South Exchange Program for Research on History Development

SEPHIS offers fellowships for researchers with not more than five years of experience from their doctoral degrees and employed by institutions in developing countries. Fellowships are tenable for periods from three months to two years. Eligibility criteria include publications in peer-reviewed international journals. 

Research students enrolled for PhDs in the universities in the south are eligible for grants from one to three years.

For more information visit:

[ * ] Richard Carley Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowships

Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research is a private non-profit organization with major goals in advancing basic research and to build an international community of anthropologists. The foundation offers Richard Carley Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowships to aid the write up of research findings. Scholars must be within ten years from the receipt of the doctorate. Application deadlines are 1st May and 1st November.

The foundation also offers dissertation fieldwork grants and post PhD research grants. Grants are offered on merit basis without considering the nationality or institutional affiliation.

For more details:

[ * ] Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowships

The scheme aims to provide highly qualified early career postdoctoral researchers to conduct research at a German host institution. Selection is based on internationally published previous research of the applicant and the quality and feasibility of the research proposal. Applications can be submitted any time directly after agreeing with a German host on research stay arrangements.

For More Details:

[ * ] British Chevening Scholarships

These awards are funded by the Foreign and the Commonwealth Office of the British Government and administered by the British Council. Scholarships are available for talented and young scholars from other countries for postgraduate studies or research at the higher education institutes in the UK.  It is expected that the skills gained would benefit the respective countries. More details on eligibility and application guidelines are available at:  or at the Chevening Webite:

[ * ] Queen’s University of Belfast: Post Graduate Research Scholarships

Faculty of Legal, Social and Educational Sciences of the Queen's University of Belfast  Northern Ireland has established new awards for research studentships leading to PhD studies in social sciences. Awards are expected to create opportunities for scholars from developing countries. Subject areas include, politics and international studies; law; sociology and social policy; education; social work and management and economics.

Last date for application is Friday 29th April 2005.
 For more details visit:
Faculty of Legal, Social and Educational Sciences Homepage :
[ Back to Top ]

Resources for Researchers

[ * ] International Network for Access of Scientific Publications/ Program for the Enhancement of Research Information

Program for Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) is a program implemented by INSAP. PERI aims to support capacity building in developing and transitional countries by strengthening the production, access and dissemination of knowledge. PERI is a part of International Network for Access of Scientific Publications (INSAP) INSAP’s vision is that all people must have access to and to contribute to information, ideas and knowledge necessary to drive sustainable and equitable development.   Its programs provide people who are otherwise deprived of access to information.  INASP supports information creation, sharing and access through networking and capacity building of individuals and organizations. PERI provides nation-wide access to online information resources including full-text access to scientific journals.  Your institution might be already a part of PERI or would be eligible. Discuss with your librarian.

For more information: PERI Home Page:
and browse for PERI Country Page Sri Lanka
INASP Home Page:

[ * ] SLAAS GRC Award for Research Excellence

This objective of this annual award is to recognize long tem contribution by an individual researcher to the science in Sri Lanka. Nominations or applications  from potential individuals should reach SLAAS on or before 15th June 2005.

[ * The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities

The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities is a bi-annual issue of the University of Peradeniya. It is devoted to the publication of articles based on original research in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, which pertain mainly, though not exclusively, to Sri Lanka.  SLJH is one of the successors to the University of Ceylon Review (1943-67) and was known as the Ceylon Journal of the Humanities (1970-71) before assuming its present title. All submissions are scrutinized by at least two referees. Potential contributors should send two copies of their manuscripts to the editor with their names appearing on the title page only. Since it publishes articles from several disciplines, SLJH does not prescribe a single style—excepting the use of footnotes, rather than endnotes. Any major style is allowed but the MLA format is recommended. Articles and other communications submitted for publication and all correspondence relating to editorial matters should be addressed to:

The Editor,
The Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities,
c/o the Department of English,
University of Peradeniya,
Sri Lanka

[ Back to Top ]

Teaching and Learning Resources

[ * ] Public Library of Science

Open Access Publishing ensures free flow of scientific information to the beneficiaries.  This practice has gained increasing popularity in the fields such as medicine and is yet to be popular in social sciences.  Public Library of Science (PLoS) aims to make world’s scientific and medical literature a public resource.  Run as a non-profit organization the venture provides scientists with high-quality, high-profile journals while ensuring standard peer review procedures and high quality editorial and production standards. Under the open access model PLoS makes all published works immediately available online. Full content is freely available and can be redistributed without restriction. 

Learn more about the initiative:

[ * WWW Virtual Library

WWW Virtual Library is guide to scholarly resources on the
internet . Variou internet site are indexed by broad subject categories and are netwoked.  Entrie are quality controlled by editor of respective subjects. Resource are hosted by institution across the globe.

Main site of the WWW Virtual Library is at:

Virtual Library: Asian  Studies

[ Back to Top ]

SLSNET Technology Corner

[ * ] Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) is an international organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic analogues to the traditional paper-based theses and dissertations.  The organization has 30 effective (active) members, 144 associated members. Members include universities, university consortia, national libraries and university departments.  Full theses and dissertations from several participating institutions are available through Open Public Access Catalogues (OPAC).

National Library of Australia Preserving Access to Digital Information :

 Digital Library and E-Scholarship Portal (
Indian Electronic Dissertations Project )

[ * ] Itrainonline:  Online sharing of Internet Knowledge

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is increasingly becoming an integral part of teaching and learning, Itrain is a joint venture by seven partners to pool each others expertise to efficiently addresses the needs of ICT learners and trainers.  The initiative aims to assist users in the South to confront the challenges posed by new information and communication technologies. Itrain believes that while there is abundant information on IT on the web, locating high quality and appropriate resources that best suits the needs of the organizations in the South is difficult.  Itrainonline is committed to free and fair sharing of development information.

Visit Itrainonline:

[ Back to Top ]

Organizational Profile

[ * ] Univerity of Kelaniya

The direct successor to the Vidyalankara Pirivena, one of the leading center of traditional higher learning in Sri Lanka (established in 1875),
Kelaniya University has five faculties; humanities; commerce and management studies; science; medicine; and social sciences that  involve in undergraduate level teaching and in research. The Faculty of Graduate Studies, Post Graduate Institute of Archeology; and Post Graduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies involve in graduate level research and training. Institute of Aesthetic Studies and Gampaha Wickramarachchi Ayurvedic Institute are also affiliated to the University. Today, University of Kelaniya is the home for 7000 undergraduate and 500 postgraduate students. The university reaches a large segment of the society through its external degree program in which there are 25000 registered students.

University of Kelaniya Homepage:

[ * ] American Association for the Advancement of Science

Established in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest scientific society.  AAAS history over the last 150 years is interwoven with the growth of science in the United States. Working towards the mission  “ seeking to advance science and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people” the Association’s activities are organized around 24 sections that represents all branches of science. It has 120,000 individual and institutional members and has 262 affiliated societies and academies of science.  AAAS publishes weekly, “ Science” the peer-reviewed general science journal that records the largest paid circulation and with an estimated readership of one million people.

Visit AAAS Website:

[ * ] East-West Center

The East-West Center located in Hawaii, United
States, conducts programs of cooperative study, training and research. The center provides opportunities for professionals and students from Asian region and the US to study and work together on research to better understand the issues of common and critical concern and to explore mutually beneficial ways of addressing them.  The center offers, interdisciplinary research programs, dialogues and professional enhancement programs and educational programs to develop human resources needed in a new era of increased interdependence.
Internet Addre

[ Back to Top ]

New Books on Sri Lanka Studies

[ * ] Caste, Class and Social Conflict in Sri Lanka
Kulaya, Panthiya Ha Lankawe Samaja Getum (Publication in Sinhala)
Kalinga Tudor Silva (University of Peradeniya)

The book points out to caste and class factors underlying the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

Published: 2005
Publisher: Visidunu Publishers
Lake Road, Boralesgamuwa, Sri Lanka
Telephone: 94-11-2518682

ISBN: 955-9170-76-7

viii + 197 PP

Author: Prof. Kalinga Tudor Silva is Professor of Sociology at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

[ * ] Kingship, Kingdom and Religion: C 3BCE to C 3AD
Rajyathvaya, Rajyaya ha Agama (Publication in Sinhala)
Ven. Hanguranketa Dheerananda (University of Peradeniya)

The book is based on literary and archeological research on the relationship between the religion and the kingship in Sri Lanka during the period, C 3BCE to C 3AD.  Adopting a multifaceted approach the book offers a detailed and scholarly review of the interwoven and indissoluble relationship between the religion and the kingship and its effects on the contemporary Sri Lanka society. It describes the origins of kingship, and kingdom, its developments and the relationship with the religion.
Published: 2004
Publisher: Ariya Publishers
Budhhist College Mawatha. Warakapola, Sri Lanka
Telephone: 94-35-2267769

ISBN: 955-553-388-1

xx + 534 PP

[ * ]  Economics and Politics of Water Resource Development: Udawalawe Irrigation Project Sri Lanka
F Molle and M Renwick
IWMI Research Report 87

The report describes the progressive development of the Walawe River Basin in southern Sri Lanka and evaluates using economic methods the costs and benefits of water resource development. Attempts are made to integrate values generated by fisheries, homegardens and other non-agricultural uses to those of agriculture. 

Published: 2005
vi + 68 PP
ISBN: 92-9090-584-0
Publisher: International Water Management Institute
Available on the WWW as PDF:

[ * ]  Two New additions to the Regional Heritage Series of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

The series offers an indispensable guide to visitors and also useful to serious scholars on the culture and the present status of important religious, cultural and natural attractions in regions of Sri Lanka.

Heritage of Rajarata: Major Natural, Cultural and Historic Sites
Chandra Wickramagamage

Published: 2004
Publisher: Central Bank of Sri Lanka
ISBN: 955-575-095-7
xxx + 324 PP

Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural and Historic Sites

Published: 2004
Publisher: Central Bank of Sri Lanka
ISBN: 955-575-093-0
xxxii + 397 PP

[ * ]  The Evolution of an Ethnic Identity : The Tamils in Sri Lanka C 300BCE To C 1200 CE
K. Indrapala

The book is  an attempt to describe the process of evolution of Tamils in Sri Lanka as a group with separate ethnic identity. The book argues that the process has completed by the time of 12th Century AD. 

Published: 2005
Publisher: MV Publications for The South Asian Studies Center, Sydney
ISBN: 0-646-42546-3
xiv + 400 PP

Author: Dr. Karthigesu Indrapala taught history at the University of Peradeniya (1960-1975) and was the Foundation Professor of History in Jaffna University, Sri Lanka

[ * ]  Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka’s Civil Wars

The study- carried out over nearly twenty years - employs rigorous political and economic analysis and a multi-disciplinary engagement of the systemic linkages between development, governance, and civil conflict. The author traces ten development failures that spawned conflict and terrorism in Sri Lanka, and he proposes a comprehensive prevention strategy summarized in ten key imperatives.

Dr. John Richardson is Professor of International Development in American University's School of International Service and Director of the University's Center for Teaching Excellence.

Published: 2005
Publisher: International Centre for Ethnic Studies
ISBN: 955-580-094-4
764 pages

[ Back to Top ]

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 June 2005.
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]
SLSNnet Newsletter compiled by : Dushmanthi Silva/ Sri Lanka Studies Network Secretariat

[ Back to Top ]