The International Relations Division of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies serves as the pivot upon which the Centre carries out its multifaceted functions. The promotion of the field of International Relations and its affiliated areas through the creation of a platform for analysis and study has ensured the BCIS serves as a flagship in this sphere. Given the scope of the field of International Relations, the Division has ventured to capture the essence of the subject, augment its comprehension and contribute towards its growth and development in Sri Lanka and in the Asian region.
Since its inception in 1974, under the guidance of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the International Relations Division of the BCIS has been continuously strengthened, chiefly through the guidance she herself provided and owing to the scholars who actively contributed and students who participated in the programmes of study and research organized by the Division.
The primary mandate has been based on the conducting of courses at the Certificate, Diploma, Higher Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma levels. Whilst increasing the growth of a wealth of knowledge in Sri Lankan society, it has contributed towards capacity development of foreign graduates from the Asian and other regions of the world. The plurality of scholar and student has ensured a distinctly unique composition in the pursuit of achieving the vision and mission mapped out at its inception by no less a visionary than Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, herself a diplomat par excellence who was instrumental in carving a niche for Sri Lanka in the international arena and flying the flag on the world stage.
Secondly the Division has been instrumental in organizing a series of public lectures, commemorative events, brainstorming sessions and conferences over the last four decades. These seminars on contemporary, challenging issues as well as traditional, historical aspects, relevant to Sri Lanka in particular and the realm of International Relations in general, have spurred dialogue, guaranteed diversity, enriched knowledge and widened horizons. Drawing together Sri Lankan intellectuals, visiting academics and persons of eminence in their chosen fields, the resulting discourse has enabled resource personnel, researchers and students to gain immensely.
Aimed at a diverse audience ranging from academics and scholars, to practitioners and those possessing a genuine interest in international affairs, the programmes facilitated by the Division have provided an impetus and ensured stimulation in contributing towards the creation of an informed, knowledgeable and mature society.