Honorary Award from University of Ljubljana, Slovenia to Dr. Subhangi M. K. Herath
Dr. Subhangi M. K. Herath of the Department of Sociology, University of Colombo has been awarded the title of Honorary Member of the Senate of the Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, at a ceremony held on 1st December 2015 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the faculty.
The collaboration between the University of Colombo and the University of Ljubljana began in 2005 on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two universities. Dr. Herath led a team of undergraduate students to Slovenia in 2006 to participate in a one month training program in social work.
This visit provided the impetus for Dr. Herath to initiate the Social Work Stream in the Department of Sociology, which was the first ever social work program in a Sri Lankan University where a number of professors from Ljubljana took part in teaching during the first 4 years of the programme. She also initiated an undergraduate degree programme in Social Work which will soon be presented to the faculty.
Dr. Herath has been invited to the University of Ljubljana a number of times as a guest professor under the aegis of the Ministry of Higher education in Slovenia and the European Union where she contributed to teaching and supervision of both the Slovenian students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and international students from many countries in Europe who are coming under the Erasmus student exchange programme. The award acknowledges Dr. Herath’s contribution to social work education in Sri Lanka and in Slovenia.
This award was given at the occasion of the 60th anniversary celebrations held on 1st December 2015 at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana, for which Dr. Herath joined through skype.
Research Award – 2014
Dr. Chandrasiri Niriella – Senior Lecturer , Department of Sociology was awarded in recognition of excellence in research in the year 2014.
CVCD Excellence Award – 2014 to Prof. Asanga Tilakaratne
Professor Asanga Tilakaratne, Professor of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Buddhist Studies Unit, Faculty of Arts was awarded the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Directors (CVCD) Excellence Award – 2014, for the Most Outstanding Senior Researcher in the Field of Humanities, Aesthetics and Social Sciences.
Professor Asanga Tilakaratne graduated from Peradeniya University, Sri Lanka, with a First Class Honours, specializing in Buddhist Philosophy and offering Pali and Sanskrit as his subsidiary subjects. He received East West Center Fellowship and studied Western Philosophy at University of Hawai’i at Manoa and received a Masters. He completed his Doctorate at the same university in Comparative Philosophy writing his thesis on the problem of ineffability of religious experience.
From 1992 to 2007 Prof. Tilakaratne taught at Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya. In 1997 he was promoted to Professor and in 2006 to Senior Professor. In the academic year 1999-2000, he was a Senior Commonwealth Fellow and was affiliated to Oriental Institute, Oxford University and a Fellow of Wolfson College. During 2003 -2006 he served as the Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhsit Studies. In the academic year 2007-8 he taught as the Visiting Professor at the Department of Sociology, Yonsei University, Korea. He joined University of Colombo as the Professor of Pali and Buddhist Studies in 2009 January and continues to be the coordinator of the Buddhist Studies Program and professor of Pali and Buddhist Studies.
He has published, both in Sinhala and English, more than one hundred papers on Buddhist philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, practical ethics, contemporary social and political issues and Buddhist epistemology and logic. He has won state literary award twice, in 1979 and 2002 for his scholarly publications on Buddhist philosophy.
Of the more recent academic works published, Theravada Buddhism: the View of the Elders was publsihed by University of Hawaii Press in the series of Dimensions of Asian Spirituality. He co-edited with Prof. Oliver Abenayaka 2600 Years of Sambuddhatva: Global Journey of Awakening, a work covering the history and the current status of Buddhism of all three schools all over the world.
Among his national and international professional activities: in 2002, Prof. Tilakaratne founded Sri Lanka Association of Buddhist Studies (SLABS), an academic and professional organization of Buddhist scholars in Sri Lanka, and continues to serve as its joint secretary. He is a member of the advisory committee of The Mahachulalonkorn Journal of Buddhist Studies (MJBS), Maha Chulalonkorn University, Thailand; a member of the international advisory panel of Mahidol University Journal of Buddhist Studies, Thailand, contributing editor of International Journal of Buddhist Thought and Culture, Dongguk University, Korea; a member of the editorial board of the Buddhist Studies Series of Somaiya Centre for Buddhist Studies, Mumbai; and a member of the advisory panel for the Journal of Humanities, University of Peradeniya. Prof. Tilakaratne is a vice president of South and South East Asian Association of the Study of Culture and Religion (SSEASR)
Prof. Tilakaratne spends time for social service activities. In 2002 he founded, with a group of academics and professionals, Damrivi Foundation, a government registered organization for economic, social, educational and spiritual development and continues to function as its founder chairman. He serves as the president of the board of governers of Dharmavahini Foundation, Colombo, Sri Lanka since its inception in 2008, an organization dedicated for transmitting knowledge to the rural youth of the country through satellite means. Prof. Tilakaratne is also the president of the East West Center Alumni Association: Sri Lanka Chapter from this year (2014).
Presidential Awards for Scientific Research – 2014
Prof. S.T. Hettige and Dr. Dilrukshi Abeysinghe from the Department of Sociology , University of Colombo won the Presidential Awards for Scientific Research in 2014. The National Research Council is under the patronage of His Excellency the President who has initiated this Presidential Awards Programme to recognize, reward and promote scientific research in the country.