Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Colombo Branch Office

Colombo - News

Darshi Thoradeniya delivered a talk on February 21st, 2017
Darshi Thoradeniya delivered a talk on "The (his)story of the pill- how the contraceptive pill was introduced to Sri Lanka" at the Medical Faculty on February 21st, 2017.  It was the Fifth in Lecture Series on Exploring the Role of Humanities in Health, organized by the Behavioural Sciences Stream of the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo.
Find the poster here.

New Publications by Dr. Darshi Thoradeniya

Volume 26, No. 4, November 2016

Dr. Darshi Thoradeniya’s review of the book Abortion in Asia: Local dilemmas, global politics, edited by Andrea Wittaker is published in the Journal of Feminism & Psychology, Vol. 26, No. 4, November 2016.

Population Control and Reproductive Politics in Cold War Asia

Volume 10, No. 4, December 2016

Darshi Thoradeniya’s article titled ‘Altruism, Welfare or Development Aid? Swedish Aid for Family Planning in Ceylon, 1958 to 1983’ is published in the Journal of East Asian Science, Technology and Society, Volume 10, No. 4, December 2016.

Dr. Darshi Thoradeniya will deliver lecture on 29 September 2016
Dr. Darshi Thoradeniya; Colombo branch office manager of the SAI was invited  to deliver a public lecture on 'Women's Health within a welfare state using archival material' on the 29th of September 2016 at 3.30pm at the National Archives of Sri Lanka
Workshop on academic writing for junior lecturers of Faculty of Arts
Colombo Branch Office of the South Asia Institute in collaboration with Social Policy Analysis and Research Centre (SPARC) organised a workshop on academic writing for junior lecturers of Faculty of Arts.  
The main objective of the workshop was to encourage junior academics to publish their research in international refereed journals by facilitating them with necessary skills for the same. Workshop consisted of three sessions.

1) First session was on Conceptualizing the paper - Research problem, Research questions. It was conducted by Jeanne Marecek Kenan Professor Emerita Swarthmore College, USA

2) Second session was titled Joining the Academic Conversation I. It was on Reading Journal Articles conducted by Asha L. Abeyasekera PhD Coordinator/Visiting Lecturer Faculty of Graduate Studies University of Colombo

3) Third Session was titled Joining the Academic Conversation II. It was on Locating and Managing references conducted by Kaushalya Perera PhD Senior Lecturer English Language Training Unit, University of Kelaniya

This was the first step of a grand plan of getting junior academics of Sri Lanka to publish their research in international refereed journals. Colombo Branch Office has already initiated discussions with the American Institute for Lankan Studies (AILS) on taking this workshop to other universities in Sri Lanka in order to facilitate junior academics who are marginalized in many ways.

Through this project Colombo Branch Office of SAI will gain visibility in other state universities in Sri Lanka and also will develop mutual trust to work on larger projects with SAI Heidelberg.

Workshop holder:  Kenan Professor Emerita Jeanne Marecek from Swarthmore College, USA

Pre SAARC Summit Dialogue 2016

Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) Colombo organized a Pre SAARC Summit Dialogue on the 3rd of August 2016 in view of the upcoming 19th SAARC Summit. Representatives from High Commissions/Embassies of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, and Pakistan attended the event. Following are the initiatives proposed to take up at the upcoming SAARC Summit.

  • SAARC countries should achieve 100% literacy in the aim of creating a responsible and accountable civil society in the region
  • Revisit SAARC Charter - Unanimity in decision making should be changed to majority (Unanimity Clause)
  • Regional campuses - should be established to promote regional identity as opposed to nationalistic identity.
  • SAARC satellite - should focus on education and consolidating of South Asian libraries and other sources of knowledge.
  • Mobile South Asian Museum - should be established so that South Asian artifacts that are deposited in the British Museum could be brought down and traversed through South Asian countries. This will make space for a population of 1.5 billion to see the artifacts that belong to the region.
  • SAARC Ministry - a regional body of that nature should be established.


Talk on ‘Life course influences on suicidal behaviour in low and middle income countries - a study based in Sri Lanka’
Ms. Dee Knipe presented her PhD research on suicidal behaviour in low and middle income countries on the 20th July 2016 as part of a seminar series organised by the Colombo Branch Office of the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University. She is a Wellcome Trust Doctoral fellow at the University of Bristol in the UK. She is also affiliated with the South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration at the Medical Faculty at the University of Peradeniya. Her social medicine PhD is focused on investigating life course risk factors for suicidal behaviour in low and middle income countries in South and South East Asia. In addition to her PhD research she is actively involved in a large randomised control trial being conducted in the North Central province of Sri Lanka.

5th Sri Lanka Roundtable on Contemporary Sri Lanka

The Colombo Branch Office Manager of the SAI Heidelberg - Dr. Darshi Thoradeniya presented a paper titled ‘Women Citizens in Welfare State of Sri Lanka’ at the Sri Lanka Roundtable organized by the School of Social and Political Science at University of Edinburg, UK on the 26th May 2016. Her visit which was sponsored by SAI Heidelberg, did not limit to her presentation but also to publicize the branch office and to network with new and upcoming academics in the aim of future collaboration. Urban planning, beautification of cities, disaster reduction strategies, Diaspora community, post war women/labour mobility and development related relocation are some of the themes discussed in and outside of the conference hall.

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