The Foundation of the Centre marked the conjunction of a need with an opportunity. The need was for an institution where international affairs could be studied as thoroughly as they are studies in universities elsewhere. The opportunity came when the S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation was established under an Act of parliament
The Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies was inaugurated modestly on 9th December 1974 in a section of the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall complex, where the historic Fifth Conference of Heads of States and Government of the Non Aligned Nations was held in August 1976.
The Centre is both a teaching and a research institute geared towards graduate teaching, research and advanced study of International Relations with particular emphasis on South and South East Asia and the Third World. The courses offered at the Centre are structured with a three – fold objective,first to educate and train both public and private sector personnel and others to enable them to serve national institutions as well as international organizations of the area and Sri Lanka’s diplomatic missions abroad,second to provide a purely academic and general education in the field of International Relations and third, to enter upon activities, including the organization of special programmes, courses, public lectures and seminars and the provision of consultative assistance for the Government of Sri Lanka and regional organization which are dedicated to strengthening international relations and preserving world peace.
The affairs of the Centre are managed by a Council of management appointed by the Board of Management of the S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike National Memorial Foundation. The Board consisted of the following-;
1)the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka
2)the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament
3)the Chef Justice of the Supreme Court
4)the Auditor –General
5)Mrs. Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike
6)Mr. W. T. Jayasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
7)Miss Sunethra Bandaranaike
8)Mr. E.C.G. Wickremasinghe (Secretary)
The Council of Management of the Centre Consisted of the Following
1)Mrs. Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike, M.P. (Chairman),
2)Professes or P.P.G.L. Siriwardena (University of Colombo),
3)Professor T. Nadaraja (University of Colombo),
4)Dr. K. H. Jayasinghe (University of Peradeniya),
5)Mr. W.B. Dorakumbura (University of Sri Jayawardhana Pura),
6)Mr. A. S. Jayawardena (Central Bank of Ceylon),
7)Dr. P. Disanayake (Secretary).