Thursday, 23 March 2023

‘National and Students Conferences on Historical Studies’ held at the University of Kelaniya

The “National and Students Research Conferences on Historical Studies” were held on the 2nd and 3rd of February 2023 at the University of Kelaniya, in commemoration of the 75th Independence Day Celebration of Sri Lanka.

It was organized by the Department of History, Faculty of Social Sciences. The conferences were initiated under the patronage of Senior Professor Nilanthi De Silva, the Vice–Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya.

The Inaugural Ceremony of the National Research Conference was held on the 2nd of March at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The keynote address of this ceremony was delivered by Senior Professor Mahinda Somathilaka, attached to the Department of History, of the University of Peradeniya. He discussed the risk of erroneous historiography pertaining to Sri Lankan history by both historians and non-historians. Dr. John Rogers, the Director of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and the guest speaker of the ceremony, spoke on Legal issues in colonial Sri Lanka. Professor M. M. Gunathilake, Dean, of the Faculty of Social Sciences and several other deans, the registrar of the university, and heads of departments were among the invitees. At this conference, 51 papers were presented in 4 venues in English and Sinhala, and 12 papers were presented virtually in Tamil.

The Inaugural Ceremony of the Students Research Conference was held on the following day (3rd), at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Humanities. The keynote speaker of this ceremony was Emeritus Professor K. M. P. Kulasekara. The guest speaker Mr. Tyler Lehere, a Ph.D. candidate at Wisconsin University and a Fulbright Scholar, who worked with the Department of History for a short period joined the plenary session virtually. He talked about the unsuccessful attempt to enthrone Prince Thep Phipet of Siam in Kandy in the 18th century. Forty-two student researchers from different universities presented their research findings at this conference.


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