The first LQA for 2017 was held at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) on Tuesday, 31st January 2017 marking the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Sri Lanka. Hailed as a milestone in bilateral relations, the LQA focused on the prospects and opportunities for the future. Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson and the Director General of East Asia and the Pacific at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ameer Ajwad discussed the contribution the two countries have made in a variety of fields, the achievements to date and the potential for further collaboration.
The Australian High Commissioner provided an overview of diplomatic relations from the time Australia sent Charles Frost to Colombo in 1947, through to the current phase of cooperation. He outlined commonalities between the two countries, noting that parliamentary democracy, commonwealth heritage and cricket were some of the strongest bonds. While the fields of education and skills development had seen greater cooperation, the Australian High Commissioner stressed that people-to-people contacts remained the bedrock of relations between the two countries. Sri Lankans continue to contribute immensely to Australian society in varying capacities enhancing the links with Sri Lanka.
Mr Ameer Ajwad highlighted the first contacts between the two countries as dating back to the 1800s when Ceylonese had made their first foray into Australia. This grew in the ensuing decades leading to the establishment of diplomatic relations and has been strengthened by consecutive governments in both countries. The Director General pointed out that the first Senior Official Talks between Australia and Sri Lanka in December 2015 had paved the way for further expanding areas of cooperation and ensuring a comprehensive outlook for the future.
Local and foreign participants from an array of fields of study and professions joined the LQA, with the dialogue generated at the session focused on Australia’s role in the pacific region, bilateral connectivity and regional cooperation as well as Australia’s continued support to Sri Lanka on national reconciliation and other fields.
Geared towards building awareness of issues in the field of International Relations, the LQA series of the BCIS creates a platform for dialogue in society for those interested in the sphere.
Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies
02 February 2017
Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) will be organizing a seminar under the title; “Future of Economic Cooperation; Sri Lanka at a Crossroads,” on Thursday, 17th November 2016 from 8.30 am to 1.00 pm at the BCIS Auditorium, BMICH premises, Colombo 07.
Please email your interest on or before 13th November 2016 by email to the following:
OR call (+94) 11 266 9056
The Lecture, Question and Answer (LQA) session to mark World Food Day at the BCIS, focused on the dynamics of Food Security and preparations being made for the future.Laksiri Nanayakkara, Food Security Analyst at UN World Food Programme (UNWFP) and DilaniHirimuthugodage, Research Officer at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPA) were the panelists at the LQA.
Providing an overview of food security from a Sri Lankan perspective, Ms Hirimuthugodage raised concern over the provision of quality food amidst improving economic conditions. She noted that food insecurity was challenging and highly complex, with adequate measures required in fulfilling the growing demands.
Speaking on behalf of the UNWFP, Mr Nanayakkara discussed the consequences of climate change on food security in Sri Lanka. He articulated the need for change to be incorporated at every level from the farmers onwards in order to overcome the challenge posed by the climatic conditions. Drawing on historic examples of weather fluctuations in the country, Mr Nanayakkara opined that while drought-flooding patterns were becoming frequent, it was time to adapt rather than try to mitigate the impact.
The LQA brought together professionals and students from the field of international relations law, engineering as well as the media, experts from think tanks and scholars. During the discussion component of the LQA, the emphasis was focused heavily on the need to implement collaborative mechanisms, include change at every level and ensure the use of a comprehensive system of information dissemination. Members of the audience raised queries on whether adequate measures were being taken in the usage of land, the conditions of poverty being experienced by the initiators of the food chain, trends towards organic farming and self-sufficiency in the food production in an open economy.
The Lecture, Question and Answer (LQA) series of the BCIS while geared towards building awareness of issues in the field of International Relations creates a platform for dialogue in society for those interested in the sphere.
The LQA series continues on Tuesday, 25October 2016 with the emphasis on reconciliation as a path to peace in marking UN Day.
The ‘70/60 Travelling Exhibition’ of the United Nations was inaugurated at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) on 19 October 2016.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harinda Vidanage welcomed the collaboration between the BCIS and the UN Team in Sri Lanka in presenting the Exhibition at the BCIS premises. The opportunity of showcasing the Exhibition which had travelled to distant parts of the island and was now in Colombo, came on the eve of UN Day which will be celebrated on 24 October. Dr Vidanage stressed that the Exhibition was part of the commemoration of UN Day at the BCIS, as the Exhibition would be complimented by a special Lecture, Question and Answer (LQA) session, next week, as part of the LQA series launched at the BCIS.
Alain Sibenalar, Chair of the United Nations Communication Group and Representative of UNFPA inaugurating the exhibition on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator, highlighted the significance of the story being conveyed through the panels. He recalled that the UN Secretary General, during his recent visit to Sri Lanka had viewed the Exhibition at the UN Compound and had been impressed by the contribution that Sri Lanka had made over the years to the UN system as a whole.
The pictorial-trilingual exhibit panels cover significant milestones in the UN-Sri Lanka partnership and provide the viewer with a comprehensive synopsis of the the unique role Sri Lanka has played in the UN system.
The Exhibits, which will be on display for public viewing in the courtyard of the BCIS, will remain open till 02 November 2016.
The Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) will held its annual seminar on Thursday 31st March 2016 at the BCIS Auditorium from 9.00 am – 3.30 pm. The title of the seminar for the current year is “Contemporary Sri Lanka-China Relations: Challenges & Way Forward.”
01. Professor Terrence Hopmann
Professor of International Relations
Conflict Management Programme
School of Advanced International Studies
John Hopkins University, Washington D.C.
02. Professor Daniel Serwer
Senior Research Professor of Conflict Management
The BCIS to organize a Half Day Programme inclusive of a Working Lunch for the Visiting Delegation during the period 12th to 15th January 2016