Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sikkim Univ team studies peace building process in Sri Lanka

GANGTOK, 04 Jan: A six-member team of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies and Management (PCSM), Sikkim University, completed a successful study tour (16 to 31 December 2014) of conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka. The undertaking was sponsored by the India-Sri Lanka Foundation and was supported by the Sikkim University, Gangtok.
The objective of the study tour was to explore potential institutions in Sri Lanka for research collaborations and faculty and student exchange programmes which is a part of conflict ridden area study series identified by the Department.
Before proceeding to Colombo, Prof. Sudharshan Senaviratne, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in India, and Kapila Fonseka, the Minister at High Commission, hosted a lunch for the team at Sri Lankan High Commission, New Delhi [on 18 December 2014].
The team was jointly hosted by General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) and Hector Kobberkaduwa Agrarian Research Training Institute (HARTI), and University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Team was received by Major Hemantha Dayaratne, a Research Officer in the Department of Strategic Studies at KDU, at the Colombo airport and who accompanied the team for the entire tour of Sri Lanka. The Vice Chancellor of KDU Major General Milinda Peiris welcomed the team and extended all support and cooperation in conducting study tour / field visit in Sri Lanka.
During the first week, the team interacted with various personalities, dignitaries and institutions (both Government and Non-governmental) working in the conflict areas and engaged in the peace building process. Brigadier Gunasekara, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of KDU, Col. Chandana Wickramsinghe, Dean of Defence & Strategic Studies, KDU, Brigadier Ruwan Guntilaka of Sri Lankan Army officer, Dr. Dharamaratne and Mr. Priyankara, research Officers at Hector Kobberkaduwa Agrarian Research Training Institute (HARTI), Prof. Nayani Melegoda, HoD and Professor of International Relations, Prof. Sirimal Aberatne and Prof. Wimalaratana, HoD and Professor of Economics, University of Colombo were among the personalities with whom team had interacted over the issues and challenges in conflict ridden areas in Sri Lanka.
During the second week, the team visited Kandy, Battikaloa, Vavunia, Jaffna and Anuradhapura and interacted and interviewed govt and non-govt agencies as well as natives of the areas to understand the socioeconomic and cultural aspects in post-conflict development period in Sri Lanka. The team also examined the various programmes and schemes (aid & assistance) of India in promoting peace process in Sri Lanka.
The SU study team was headed by Dr. Nawal K. Paswan, Head of the Department of PCSM and Dean of School of Social Sciences, Sikkim University. Dr. Paswan is going to submit a comprehensive report of the study tour very soon as desired by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka for further necessary action. After successfully completing a two week of interactive and informative academic tour programme on conflict and peace process in Sri Lanka, the team returned to the department on 01 January, 2015.
[TENZIN KUNGPHEL, PhD Research Scholar, Sikkim University]

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