SLSNet- Newsletter

Volume II (Issue 2)  January 2006

SLSNet- Newsletter Index (
Sri Lanka Studies Network

(Networking for Academic Excellence)



From the Coordinator's Desk

Over the past  fifteen months Sri Lanka Studies Network has accomplished humble yet remarkable achievements. We circulated six issues of the SLSNET Newsletter. Many of our colleagues found the newsletter as informative and it as a facilitator for dissemination of news and valuable ideas. The network continued to support the 10th ICSLS organizers to make that event a success by hosting the 10th ICSLS homepage at the initial phase and later  functioning as a mirror site of the conference homepage at the University of Kelaniya website. In 2004, we organized Leonard Woolf Memorial International Conference at the University of Ruhuna which showed remarkable success. 

Network activities are currently steered by the National Advisory Committee for the two previous conferences and steps are being taken to establish the network as a formal institution. SLSNET will begin a new initiative for indexing all doctoral thesis/ dissertations done on social science disciplines on topics related to Sri Lanka.

I take this opportunity to thank you all and I promise that the future would be brighter and also solicit your invaluable corporation in carrying out and developing activities in the future. I reierate from my inaugural words  " our doors are always open".

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SLSNET Activities Update

[ * ]  SLSNET PhD Dissertations Project

SLSNET has initiated a new activity to document and index all PhD theses/dissertations based on social science related research on topics related to Sri Lanka. This exercise will bring together to a single place all related work and will facilitate further dissemination of results. More details will be available at the Sri Lanka Studies Network Homepage shortly.

[ * ]  SLSNET New Website Address

In December 2005, Sri Lanka Agricultural Economics Resources Homepage (SLAGECONR), the hosting website of SLSNET acquired a new domain name and also upgraded to an ad-free website.  This change will help quicker access and also avoid distractions making visits to the site more effective.  As a result website address of SLSNET has now changed  to

SLAGECONR was initially launched in 1999 to function as an information site for agricultural economists. In 2000, the website made an outstanding contribution to the science of Sri Lanka by making the Sri Lankan Journal of Agricultural Economics (SJAE), the first academic journal based in Sri Lanka to offer full-text access online.

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In Search of Excellence

  [ * ]  Top Asian Social Science Universities

According to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2005, twenty two Asian universities are among the top 100 social science universities in the world. Four of them, Indian Institute of Management, Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Malaya and Mumbai University moved to the top hundred list only last year. According to the list, National University of Singapore ranks  13 among top 100 social science universities and shows the highest rank among Asian universities.  Indian Institute of Management (rank  17 with a tie with Monash University)  leads the five South Asian universities and Jawaharlal Nehru University reports the rank 51.

[ * ]  Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka Homepage

The Coconut Research Institute of Sri Lanka (CRISL) is a part of Sri Lanka’s National Agricultural Research System.  It is the first ever research institute established in the world to conduct research on coconut.  CRISL recently launched a new homepage that places it in the lead among all other research institutes in Sri Lanka. The website is an example the use of appropriate web technology. The design is simple yet elegant  and provides information of the institute’s services and publications as well as a list of contacts of its staff.

CRI Homepage:

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10th ICSLS Update

The 10th ICSLS was held from 16th to 18th of December 2006. Dr. K. Karunatilake of the University of Kelaniya coordinated the conference with the support of local and national organizing committees and the international advisory committee.  The conference had three plenary sessions and thirty-eight contributed paper sessions. Organizers received 230 abstracts of which 183 were presented.  Hon Susil Prem Jayanth, Minister of Higher Education of Sri Lanka was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony.    At the plenary sessions, Jan Nederveen -Pieterse ,  Professor of sociology at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA spoke on  " Empire and Emancipation: power and liberation on a world scale";   Dr. Shrikant Y. Ramani  on "How Goa Resisted Culturally for 500 Years: Local Indian Culture in a Harsh Environment" , while Dr. Susantha Goonatilake, Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences,   on "Sri Lanka from 500 years of Western dependence to an Asian future". 

Scholars gathered at the 10th ICSLS business meeting reviewed the progress of the activities since the 9th ICSLS and also discussed in detail about the future activities. 10th ICSLS is a landmark achievement in social sciences in Sri Lanka as it was entirely sponsored by funds generated by sri Lankan sources. 10th ICSLS abstracts will be available through the Sri Lanka Studies Homepage shortly

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Social Sciences in Sri Lanka

[ * ]  Social Scientist becomes SLAAS General President

Dr. K. Lochana Gunaratne was elected as the 62nd General President of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science ( SLAAS) for the year 2006.  He is seventh SLAAS general president from social sciences section. Dr. Gunaratne, a geographer and a town planner by profession earned his PhD in geography from the University of Colombo. He was the president of the SLAAS/Section-F in 1996 and actively served in many SLAAS committees and also hold the office of the secretary international relations. He is a past president of the town planers association of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects.

[ * ]  Sri Lanka National Library and Documentation Center Thesis and Dissertations  Acquisition Project

Sri Lanka National Library and Documentation Center  has started a new initiative to acquire theses/dissertations by Sri Lankan scholars for PhD/M.Phil or MLS (Master of Library Science) degrees. The program covers all academic disciplines including social sciences. Work should be authored by a Sri Lankan based on research at any university in Sri Lanka or abroad. The subject should be relevant to Sri Lanka. Only work after 1980 will be accepted..

The NLDC will make a payment of 5,000.00 SLR to cover costs of reproduction.

For more details please contact:

Head/Acquisitions Division,
National Library and Documentation Centre
14, Independence Avenue
Colombo 7
Sri Lanka.

Tel. 094 11 2685200, 2698847
E-mail :

Website Address:

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Young Researchers’ Corner

[ * ]  New Route PhD

The NewRoutePhD™ is a national initiative within the United Kingdom to equip PhD students with the skills they need to pursue successful careers as leaders in universities, companies, government or the public services. The program aims to provide doctoral students with the highest quality of taught materials and practical experience alongside advanced research. This integrated approach offers students a learning environment to broaden and deepen subject knowledge and professional skills while providing the opportunity for interdisciplinary study to extend their expertise in new directions.

NewRoutePhD™  has the full support of the UK government and many other key supporting bodies. The program meets academic quality standards and the principles laid down by the Quality Assurance Agency of the UK, including normal quality assurance mechanisms such as assessment hurdles and the provision of external examiners. Many research students find this program as a landmark in the provision of education excellence.

Find more at:

[ * ]  Christian-Albrechts  University of Keil in Germany: International Doctoral Program in Quantitative Economics

This three-year full-time program offers high level post graduate education with an aim to prepare for academic careers or leading positions in government or business. The program offers a comprehensive set of courses in core areas of economics in the first year followed by a project leading to the dissertation under the guidance of renowned scholars in the second and third years.  

Language of Instructions is English. There are no tuition fees. A limited number of scholarships to cover living expenses is also available.

Application Deadline: 30th April 2006

Application forms and more details at:

[ * ]  Association of Commonwealth Universities: Course Finder

Association of Commonwealth Universities is a network of academic institutions in the member countries of the Commonwealth. These institutions come together voluntarily under the umbrella of the ACU to build on their historical links, shared traditions and common purposes in order to further international understanding and collaboration.

ACU Course Finder provides the links to help students identify courses and areas of study at its member universities. Nearly 500 universities in 30 separate countries are included in this release of ACU's Course Finder. 

ACU Homepage:

[ * ]  National University of Ireland Galway Scholarship Program for Sri Lanka

The National University of Ireland at Galway International Scholarship Programme provides a number of postgraduate scholarships for outstanding students from South Africa and Sri Lanka, who would otherwise be unable to finance their studies in Ireland. Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate that the knowledge they acquire from their studies will be utilised subsequently to support development in the students’ home countries.

The scholarship amount will be up to €15,000 for one academic year towards the cost of travel and accommodation. In addition, relevant tuition fees will be awarded by NUI Galway. Selection criteria will be based on academic merit and financial need.

Applicants should complete a postgraduate application form, downloadable from the web-site;

Applications should be received on or before April 30th.

For more details visit:

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Resources for Researchers

[ * ] Sociological Research Online

Sociological Research Online is a peer reviewed journal with a focus on theoretical, empirical and methodological discussions which engage with current political, cultural and intellectual topics and debates. Articles in the journal apply sociological analysis to a wide range of topics in order to demonstrate the value and relevance of sociology today.

Beginning in march 1996, the journal functions as an electronic journal  and also contains an on-line debating forum that encourage the rapid exchange of arguments following publication.

Issues are published quarterly, on the last day of the respective quarter.  It is available through institutional subscriptions or free of charge to those who are unable to subscribe.

[ * ]  South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies

South Asia is a refereed journal with the mission to provide a forum for scholarly research, comment and discussion on the history, society, economy, culture and international relations of the South Asian region from the earliest times to the present day.

he journal is published three times a year by Ruthledge for the South Asian Studies Association of Australia. There are two general issues and  one thematic issue per year. The journal is currently edited by Ian Copland of the Monash University. It is available in print as well as online.

For more information visit the journal homepage:

[ * ]  Sri Lanka  Country Study by the US Library of Congress

SRI LANKA: A COUNTRY STUDY is an online versions of a book from a series previously published (1988-98) by the Federal Research Division of the United states Library of Congress under the Country Studies/Area Handbook Program.

The publication attempts to treat in a concise and objective manner the dominant social, political, economic, and military aspects of Sri Lankan society. Sources of information included books, scholarly journals, foreign and domestic newspapers, and numerous periodicals. Chapter bibliographies appear at the end of the book, and brief comments on some of the more valuable sources recommended for further reading appear at the end of each chapter.

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Teaching and Learning Resources

[ * ]  Webbook of Regional Science

Based on the Regional Research Institute of the West Virginia University, the web book of regional sciences consists of seventeen online books on various social science subjects.

Authored by leading professionals from universities and research centers across the world, this is a valuable resource for both teachers and practitioners. Aimed primarily at upper level undergraduates, graduate students or practitioners, publications are categorized based on the relevance to methodological and empirical studies or policy and practice oriented contributions. Topics range from analysis of land use changes o spatial econometrics.

The latest addition to the Web Book is  Poverty, Inequality and Social Justice in Nonmetropolitan America, by Don Albrecht, Professor of Natural resource and environmental sociology at the Texas A&M University.

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Organizational Profile

[ * ] Sri Jayawardena Pura University of Sri Lanka

University of Sri Jayawardenapura is the successor to the Vidyodaya Pirivena, one of the two leading higher education institutes of the pre-independent Sri Lanka.  The university has since expanded into new areas and introduced new nationally relevant subjects as criminology and  estate valuation and management among others into the curricula.  It is now considered as the leading center of excellence in management studies in the country. 

At present there are around 7,000 students.  Faculties of Applied Sciences, Arts, Management Studies and Commerce,  and Medical Sciences concentrates on undergraduate studies. Faculty of Graduate Studies and Post Graduate Institute of Management concentrates on graduate education.

 [ * ] British Association of South Asian Studies

South Asia Institute at University of Texas at Austin is one of the eleven National Resource Centers for South Asia funded by the US Department of Education.  Formerly known as the  Center for Asian Studies, the mission of the SAI is to foster understanding and exchange with South Asia which is becoming increasingly influential in the global affairs in terms of culture, economics and politics. The Institute is currently headed by Professor James Brow , Professor of social anthropology who is specializing on Sri Lanka.

SAGAR is an annual journal sponsored by the SAI. The journal includes faculty and graduate research methodology, reports from the field, and book reviews.

South Asia Institute Homepage:

SAGAR (South Asia Graduate Research) Website:

[ * ]  European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS)

The European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS) is a professional, non-profit organization of scholars engaged in research and teaching concerning South Asia with regard to all periods and fields of study. The objectives of EASAS are to support and promote South Asian Studies in all countries of Europe.  The activities of the association are governed by a board consisting mainly of elected members. The board is expected to  represent the diversity of subject areas and regional specialization. EASAS secretariat is located in the Netherlands.

EASAS organizes bi-annually the European Conference of Modern South Asian Studies.

EASAS Homepage:

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Conference Announcements

[ * ]  9th Biennial Conference of the  International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE)

The Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) will be held in New Delhi, India from the 15th to the 18th of December 2006. The main theme of the conference will be 'Ecological Sustainability & Human Well-Being’. The conference is held in collaboration with The Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE)

The conference is being organized in the South Asia for the first time and expects to discuss pertinent ecological issues faced by the South Asian nations and wil also be an occasion for young researchers from South Asia to meet colleagues from other parts of the world.

Last date for abstract submission: July 31, 2006

Further details can be found at the conference website

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New Publications on Sri Lanka

[ * ]   The Institutions of Ancient Ceylon from Inscriptions Volume II, Part II Economic and Religious Institutions (from 831 to 1016 AD)

Author: Lakshman S Perera
Prepared for Publication by Sirima Kiribamune and  Piyatissa Senanayake

xlix + 348pp
Published: December, 2005
Publisher: International Center for Ethnic Studies

The final part of the three-volume work of an exhaustive study of the gradual evolution of the island's institutions (political, economic and religious) beginning from the 3rd century BC to 1016 AD, i.e., the Anuradhapura period of Sri Lankan history. This path-breaking dissertation on which it is based was the first to use epigraphical sources in writing the history of ancient Sri Lanka. Equally important, the author's interpretations of the institutional structure in his dissertation on early Sri Lanka continue to be part of the current historical debate in the country and many of his insights have still not been challenged.

Details at:

[ * ]    Woolf  in Ceylon:  An Imperial Journey in the shadow of Leonard Woolf 1904-1911

Author: Sir Christopher Ondaatje

328 pages
Published: November , 2005
Publisher: HarperCollins (Canada) Ltd
ISBN: 0002007185 (HB)  0006395252 (PB, in Press)

This book opens up a new space for re-evaluating the career of Leonard Woolf. Ondaatje pays rare attention to Woolf as a narrator and a master craftsman who turned his own experience as a colonial bureaucrat into one of the most compelling works of fiction ever to be produced about the British Empire. (From author’s website)

Book homepage:

Amazon UK :

[ * ]    Attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Sri Lanka

Published by the World Bank, this  report finds that, the success of the country in achieving millennium development targets is based on five key criteria. They are maintaining strong growth, ensuring education to all, health and nutrition, infrastructure.  The report draws the need for addressing the inter-regional disparities of development. 

The report has six chapters and related data appendixes. Can be downloadable at:

 Can Be downloadable at:

[ * ]    Pollution Control in Industrial Estates in Sri Lanka: Private Sector Participation for Sustained Environmental Performance

Authors: H.M.B.S. Herath and R.P.L.C. Randeni
Publisher: International Development Research Center

This report is an attempt to incorporate the methods of private sector participation in environmental pollution control activities. Based on a research supported by Environment Economics Program for South East Asia, and conducted by practicing environmental economists.

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

( 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 01st April 2006.
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

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