Director

 Chair Senior Professor Upul Ranjith Hewawitanagamage

Senior Prof. Upul Ranjith is the Chair Senior professor of Hindi Studies, Dept. of Hindi Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and the current Director of the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies [CCIS], University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He holds a PhD in Hindi Language and Literature from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

He has participated for more than 25 international research symposiums and webinars in India, Thailand and Sri Lanka and published research papers in international journals on the fields of language, literature, art, folklore, culture etc. He has published translations in various literary fields such as short stories, novels, articles, dramas, poems etc. He is a writer, translator, musician, poet (in Hindi and Sinhala), radio-presenter, dubbing artist, language researcher and teacher. He has been awarded several International awards and National Literary awards as well.

चेयर वररष्ठ प्रोफे सर
डॉ॰उपलु रंजीत हेवाववतानगमगे
कॅ लविय ववश्वववद्यालय, श्री लंका।

वनदेशक, समकालीन भारतीय अध्ययन कें द्र,
कॉळबँ[कोलंबो] ववश्वववद्यालय, श्री लंका।

श्री लंका मेंवथित कॅ लविय ववश्वववद्यालय केवहन्दी अध्ययन ववभाग, जो श्री लंका का एक मात्र वहन्दी ववभाग है, में, लंका केवररष्ठतम वहन्दी अध्यापक, चेयर वररष्ठ प्रोफे सर केरूप मेंडॉ॰ उपलु रंजीत हेवाववतानगमगेअब काययरत हैं। आपने1985 मेंकॅ लविय ववश्वववद्यालय सेबी॰ ए॰ (ऑनसय) (वहन्दी) उपावि प्राप्त की, बवकक 1997 मेंएम॰ वफल॰ (वहन्दी) उपावि भी प्राप्त की। साि-साि 1990 मेंलखनऊ वथित भातखण्डेसंगीत ववद्यापीठ सेवाद्य ववशारद उपावि प्राप्त की और श्री लंका के श्री जयवियनपरु ववश्वववद्यालय सेथनातकोत्तर वडप्लोमा ‘सजयनात्मक लेखन और जनसंचार माध्यम’ ववषय पर प्राप्त की। वषय2000 मेंसाकय छात्रववृत्त पररयोजना केअिीन नई वदकली केजवाहरलाल नेहरू ववश्वववद्यलय जाकर, प्रख्यात वहन्दी आलोचक प्रोफे सर मैनेजर पाण्डेय केवनदशेनानसुार ‘जातक-किा एवं वहन्दी लोक-किा’ ववषय परएक तलुनात्मक अध्ययन प्रथतुत करतेहुए पी॰एचडी॰ उपावि वहन्दी मेंप्राप्त की।

वेअपनी प्रिम उपावि केपश्चात लगभग पाँच साल तक (1988-1992) श्री लंका ब्रोडकावथटंग कोरपोरेशन (SLBC) याने’रेडियो डिलोन’ मेंएक वहन्दी समाचार उद्घोषक, संगीत काययक्रम प्रोड्यसूर आवद पदों पर काययरत रहे। रेवडयो गीतों का, लघुवसनेमा का, नाटकों का एक संगीत संयोजक और वनदेशक केरूप मेंतिा वसनेमा-टेवलववजन का एक पाशयव किा-वाचक केरूप मेंभी आपनेकाम वकया। साि ही नाटकों के संगीत वनदेशन केवलए 1984 मेंउन्हेंसम्मावनत वकया गया। 1990 मेंअपना प्रिम अनवुाद-ग्रंि प्रकावशत करतेहुए लेखन-जगत पर आये, वजसमेंप्रेमचंद, जयशंकर प्रसाद, भगवतीचरि वमायआवद माननीय वहन्दी लेखकों की मलू वहन्दी कहावनयों का वसंहली भाषा मेंअनवुाद वकया गया। इसकेपश्चात अब तक आपने23 ग्रन्िों का और 11 संथकरिों का प्रकाशन वकया है, वजनमेंसेतीन अनवुाद ग्रन्िों को जैसेदो अनवूदत वहन्दी कहानी संग्रह और एक अनवूदत वहन्दी उपन्यास (कमलेश्वर कृत ‘समद्रु मेंखोया हुआ आदमी’) को राष्ट्रीय सावहत्य परुथकार भी प्राप्त हुए हैं। ‘भारतीय लोककिा- संग्रह- माला’ शीषयक केअिीन अब तक 5 वहन्दी लोककिा संग्रहों (वसंहली में) का प्रकाशन वकया गया है। 2020 मेंकमलेश्वर कृत ‘तीसरा आदमी’उपन्यास का वसंहल भाषा मेंअनवुाद और प्रकाशनवकया है।

आपको वहन्दी की सेवा हतेुराष्ट्रीय एवंअंतरायष्ट्रीय परुथकारों सेकई बार सम्मावनत वकया गया है; ववश्व वहन्दी सम्मान (2012) [9वां वहन्दी सम्मेलन, भारत सरकार], सरथवती सम्मान (2013) [लखनऊ ववश्वववद्यालय], सावहत्य श्री (2014) [अंतरायष्ट्रीय वहन्दी संघ, USA], रावष्ट्रय सावहत्य सम्मान (2000, 2019) [श्री लंका सरकार], गॉडगेसावहत्य सम्मान (2012) [श्री लंका], कुलपवत सम्मान (2007, 2013, 2016, 2018) [कॅ लविय ववश्वववद्यालय, श्री लंका]।

साि-साि श्री लंका के कॉळबँ[कोलंबो] ववश्वववद्यालय, रुहुि ववश्वववद्यालय, सौन्दयय कला ववश्वववद्यालय, राष्ट्र भाषा वशक्षि एवं प्रवशक्षि संथिान (राष्ट्र भाषा मंत्रालय, श्री लंका) मेंभी वहन्दी पढ़ानेहतेुनए पाठ्यक्रम बना वदयेगए हैं। आप कॉळबँ[कोलंबो] ववश्वववद्यालय मेंभी अब वहन्दी पढ़ाते रहतेहैंऔर श्री लंका वफकम प्रमािन मण्डल, रावष्ट्रय वशक्षा संथिान, इवंडपेंडेंस टेवलववजन नेटवकय आवद सरकारी संथिानों मेंपहलेकाययरत िेऔर अब श्री लंका सावहत्य उपदेशक मण्डल (श्री लंका संथकृवत ववभाग), ववदेशी वफकम तिा टेलववशन नाटक प्रमािन मण्डल (जनसंचार माध्यम मंत्रालय) मेंकाययरत हैं।

2019 में’महात्मा@गांिी॰कॉम’ नामक नाटक का मंचन 150वीं गांिी जयंती केउपलक्ष्य में वकया है, वजसका (प्रोफे सर असगर वजाहत के मलू वहन्दी नाटक ‘गोडसे@गांिी॰कॉम’ से) अनवुाद, रूपान्तरि, संगीत संयोजन, उत्पादन और वनदेशन आवद सभी काययवकयेहैं। प्रिम बार वसंहली नाटक मंच पर गांिी जी का आगमन इस तरहहुआ है।

मंबुई वथित वहदं थुतानी प्रचार सभा द्वारा प्रकावशत वद्वभाषीय ‘वहन्दी-अंग्रेज़ी वक्रया-कोश’ में ‘वसंहली भाषा’ को भी सवम्मवलत करतेहुए उसे’वत्र-भाषीय कोश’ बनानेकी कारवाई मेंकाययरत हैं। साि- साि आप वहन्दी सेवसंहली मेंअनवूदत 3 कहावनयों और 3 लोककिाओंकी श्रवि-पथुतकों का भी प्रकाशन कर चकुेहैं।

15 नवम्बर 2020 सेआपको कॉळबँ[कोलंबो] ववश्वववद्यालय केथनातकोत्तर अध्ययन संकाय केअिीन कायायवन्वत ‘िमकालीन भारतीय अध्ययन केंद्र’ (CCIS) केवनदेशक पद पर वनयक्तु वकया गयाहै।

Former Directors

Dr. R Senathiraja (2018 – 2020)

Dr. Rajaletchumie Senathiraja is serving as the Director – CCIS from January 2018. She was the Former Dean of the Faculty of Management who elevated the faculty as a best business school at the South Asian Region as well as International level.

She received the B.com degree in first class from Jaffna University, the M.Sc. Degree from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura and the Ph.D. degree from the Madras University India in Management and Entrepreneurship.

She has been actively initiated various activities in the Management faculty during her reign as the Dean, such as strategic plan of the faculty, Prospector of the faculty, Video documentary and many new curriculums were introduced for both undergraduate and postgraduates as well. To facilitate the activities many teams such as consultancy, welfare society, curriculum development, research and development, training and development, quality assurance were formed with the academic and nonacademic members.

Since January 2018, she is serving as the Director of ICCS, University of Colombo. From 1991 to 1995 she worked as a lecturer in the Eastern University, Sri Lanka. She also held a visiting position at the Open University Sri Lanka from 1995 to 2003.  Since 1997 to present, she is serving as a Senior lecturer in the Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo.

Dr. R. Senathiraja is a member of the International Education Leadership, a Commonwealth Scholar of ICCR, and a Fellow of United States Educational leadership programme and South Asian women Leadership in University administration sponsored by the state of America. She has provided strategic leadership to enhance Entrepreneurship development in the faculty as a Coordinator of quality assurance cell from 2011 to 2014. Dr. R. Senathiraja has also played an important role in establishing industrial link between the industry in Sri Lanka and the Faculty of Management & Finance, University of Colombo through the establishment of Entrepreneurial Incubator, mentoring programmes and short term workshops and seminar on soft skills.

The research interest of Dr. R. Senathiraja is in the field of Entrepreneurship and Management.  She is also the recipient of the Excellence in PhD research award from Indian Business School, New Delhi in 2009 and best paper award from the Faculty of Management and Finance 2011.  She published widely in leading international journals and presented her research work at various conferences locally and internationally. She serves as a reviewer for various local and international journals, and has been the Subject Editor (Entrepreneurship), for the Entrepreneurship subject published by the National Institute Education in Sri Lanka.

She is also interested in the development of regional and global bonds that can be explored for the betterment of the citizens in developing countries.

View Profile

 Professor Sandagomi Coperahewa – Founder Director (2012 – 2017)

Professor Sandagomi Coperahewa is the Founder Director of the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies (CCIS). He was educated at St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia where he won many prizes for his academic excellence. He entered the University of Colombo and read for a Special Degree in Sinhala and graduated with a BA First Class Honours in 1996. At the university also he ‘topped the batch’ at the final examination and won Niel Bandaranaike Prize and M. B. Ariyapala award for the best academic performance. Soon after the graduation, he was recruited as a temporary Assistant Lecturer and later as a Lecturer in Sinhala (1999) at the Department of Sinhala.

Attracted to modern linguistics, Professor Coperahewa continued his research interest in language studies and obtained his MA (Distinction) in Language Studies from Lancaster University, UK under the auspices of a Commonwealth Scholarship.  After completing his MPhil in Sinhala at the University of Peradeniya, he proceeded to the UK to complete his doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge under patronage of an ORS Award and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship. He obtained his PhD in South Asian Studies from Cambridge in 2009 for the dissertation titled ‘The Politics of Language in Colonial Sri Lanka, 1900 – 1948’.

Returning to Colombo after his postgraduate studies, he continued his task of teaching courses on Sinhala language and sociolinguistics at the Faculty of Arts. He introduced several course units to the department based on his postgraduate training in language and sociolinguistics. His main teaching areas are language and communication, sociolinguistics, modern Sinhala usage and academic writing. He was promoted to the post of Senior Lecturer in 2005 and Professor in 2013.

As an academic, Professor Coperahewa was instrumental in setting up new centres and study programmes for the University of Colombo. As the Founder Coordinator of MA in Sinhala he contributed towards introducing a new taught Masters programme in Sinhala. As an active teacher in the Faculty of Arts, Professor Coperahewa held many positions such as Student Counsellor, Senior Treasurer, Academic Warden and Activity Coordinator|IRQUE Project. In 2018, Professor Coperahewa was appointed as the Chair of the Annual Research Symposium of the University of Colombo. He was appointed Head of the Department of Sinhala, University of Colombo in 2019.

Professor Coperahewa’s main research areas are modern Sinhala usage, sociology of Sinhala language, social history of Sinhala and language policy planning. He has authored twelve books and several scholarly articles related to Sinhala language, grammar, communication and language policy planning in Sri Lanka. As an expert on Sinhala Language, Professor Coperahewa provides consultancies to many government institutions on various issues related to Sinhala usage, grammar and language policy planning. Apart from his main research areas, Professor Coperahewa actively engages in various research and collaborative projects related to Rabindranath Tagore’s reception in Sri Lanka.

Secretary

  Ms. Iresha Senarathna 

Ms. Iresha serves as the current Secretary of the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies (CCIS) since her appointment in October, 2021. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a Second Upper Class in International Relations, English Literature and Journalism from the University of Colombo. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Colombo. Her research interests include Human Security, International Development, Contemporary South Asia and International Political Economy.

She has 5 years of professional experience in the NGO sector. Prior to joining the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies, she has taken the lead in numerous developmental and humanitarian projects implemented in Sri Lanka.

Former Secretaries

  Ms. Yodunika Seneviratne (2019 – 2021)

Ms. Yodunika Seneviratne was the Secretary at CCIS from October, 2019. She graduated from the University of Colombo with a Second Class Upper (Hons) in International Relations. After graduating from the university in 2017, she worked as an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of International Relations, University of Colombo conducting lectures on International Political Economy, Geopolitics of South East Asia, Society and politics of Middle East and North Africa, Intervention, Mediation and Negotiation, International Security and Peace Studies.

She has participated in the Asian Institute for Political Economy and became a TFAS (The Fund for American Studies) alumni in 2016. Furthermore, she attended the Asian Universities Alliance leadership programme in Beijing, China in 2017.  Moreover, she was awarded a full scholarship to attend the International Summer School in Oslo, Norway in 2019. She has successfully completed the Nansen Dialogue Summer School on “Dialogue and Conflict Transformation” at the Nansen Fredssenter, Norway as well. She has presented number of research papers at research symposiums at University of Colombo and the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies.

Her research interest areas are International Political Economy, Good Governance, Contemporary India, Peace and conflict resolution and Geo politics.

Ms. Ranmali Liyanaarachchi (2018 -2019)

Ranmali Liyanaarachchi served as the Secretary of CCIS from January 2018. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Colombo and her research interest cascades in the area of Gender (women Empowerment). She completed her Bachelor’s Degree with a Second Class in English Literature, Journalism and International Relations from the University of Colombo. She also holds a Bachelor of Music with the first Class from the University of Bathkande, India.

Throughout the three years of professional career, she has engaged with sustainability projects in diverse areas of Environmental and social. CCIS provided her a platform to explore new ventures in a multidisciplinary context in fostering strong dialogue between India-Sri Lanka relations.

Ms. Chathurika Karunanayake (2015 – 2017)

Ms. Lakmali Bhagya Manamperi (2014-2015)

Ms. Jayani Fernando (2012 – 2013)

Ms. Saumya Amarasinghe (2011 – 2012)

Former Office Assistants

Mr. M.V. Premarathna

Mr. Premarathna joined the CCIS in August 2012 as the Office Assistant and contributed to the day today work at the Centre.