Annual Conference on ‘International Relations & the Bystander Effect”
The First Annual Conference of the Department of International Relations (INCOIRe) was held during 21st -22nd November 2020. This year’s theme was ‘International Relations & the Bystander Effect’. The Conference began with the Department of International Relations’ a capella group ‘19-65 Chorus’ rendering of the national anthem. Dr. Maneesha Wanasinghe-Pasqual welcomed all to the Conference by noting that 2020 celebrated 40 years since the founding ‘fathers’, Prof. Shelton U. Kodikara, Prof. Emeritus Amal Jayawardene, and Prof. George Cooray began teaching International Relations to undergraduates at the Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo. It is also the 35th anniversary of the start of the Masters in International Relations, designed under a collaboration with the American University, USA; the 20th anniversary since the Special Degree in International Relations was started and the 5th Anniversary since the three-year undergraduate degree, Study Stream in Conflict Resolution and Peace was started. It is also the 10th anniversary since the Department of International Relations was created and she acknowledged the yeomen’s service of Senior Professor Nayani Melegoda, the founder of the Department.
The Conference Inauguration was graced by the presence of the Vice-Chancellor, Senior Professor Chandrika N Wijeyaratne who delivered the Keynote Speech. The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Senior Professor Premakumara de Silva provided remarks on the achievements of the Department. The Guest of Honor Speech was delivered by Professor Atsuko Kanehara, President of the Japanese Society of International Law. Moreover, the Plenary Speech was made by Professor Emeritus Amal Jayawardane, remarks by Professor George Cooray and Mr. Peshan Gunaratne presented remarks on opportunities as an International Relations graduate. The Conference had 10 concurrent sessions, with Chairpersons representing the Faculties of Arts and Science along with numerous former Ambassadors and Think-Tank Directors/Deputy Directors. There were 33 paper presentations, all conducted via Zoom. The seven books complied under the International Relations Books Series was launched on the second day of the conference. Ms. Wakkumbura presented the book on Security, Human Security, Regionalism, Peace Negotiation, Citizenship, Diplomacy, and Human Rights to the audience. The Sri Lanka Journal of International Relations was also launched, with Mr. Kandaudahewa providing information on the double-blind-reviewed articles. A book on the History of the Department of International Relations was also launched during the Conference.