August 24, 2023 Reading Time: 2 minutes
Reading Time: 2 min read
The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) conducted an expert consultation on 24 August 2023, to review the proposed ‘LKI Research Programme’. Senior academics and practitioners covering areas of research that fall within the scope of the ‘LKI Research Programme’ were invited to provide observations – in person during a collective session, and also through written inputs.
Opening the discussion, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Executive Director of LKI stated that in addition to the LKI flagship events, such as ‘the LKI Foreign Policy Forum’ inaugurated earlier this month, a structured ‘Research Programme’ is being developed to establish a strong framework at LKI for research on contemporary issues of relevance to Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy. Highlighting the need for a multidisciplinary approach to address some of these issues, he said that LKI was keen to engage with Foreign Policy scholars and practitioners, as well as to draw within its expert network those with relevant knowledge in the legal, socio-economic, sustainable development, science and innovation, communication, and cultural dimensions of modern diplomacy.
The attendees highlighted the need for LKI to produce independent, timely and evidence-based research that aims primarily to address contemporary issues relevant in shaping Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy postures. Noting that identifying clear research areas with focus topics will enable LKI to continuously contribute to Foreign Policy discussions, they encouraged that LKI find a balance between depth and breadth in its research. They also noted that LKI should bring together experts that could create an interdisciplinary network, and that it must serve as a bridge connecting academics, practitioners and civil society as well as providing a forum for an open discussion and pre-stage research.
Among those who contributed to the consultation were Mr. H. M. G. S. Palihakkara, former Foreign Secretary, Professor Emeritus Amal Jayewardena, Prof. Ajith de Alwis, Project Director, Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Harinda Vidanage, Director, International Relations, KDU, Prof. Maneesha S. Wanasinghe Pasqual, Dr. Pavithra Jayawardena, Dr. Menik Wakkumbura, and Dr. George Cooke from the University of Colombo, Dr. Nishara Mendis, Mr. Anushka Wijesinha, Founder, Center for Smart Future, and Mrs. Kishani Jayasinghe-Wijayasekara, former Deputy Director, SAARC Cultural Centre.
The focal points for LKI at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. O. L. Ameer Ajwad. Director General/Performance Review and Implementation and Ms. E. A. S. Wijayanthi Edirisinghe, Director General (Actg.)/Human Resources Development, Research & Training, LKI Research Fellows, Research Assistants, Research Interns and Director/Administration of LKI were also associated in the discussion.