2nd International Conference on Asian Studies

Second International Conference on Asian Studies (ICAS) collaboratively organized by the International Center for Research and Development (ICRD) and the International University of Japan (IUJ) was held on 14-15 July 2014 at Colombo, Sri Lanka. Prof. N.S. Cooray delivering the keynote speech identified key focus of the conference as identifying true potentials of the Asia to make 21st century an "Asian Century." He highlighted the importance of comparative evaluation of development issues in other regions and cross learning in achieving this goal. Participants from over 20 countries shared their research finding on seven thematic areas within the conference.

In the conference International Christian University (ICU) was represented by seven participants. Four papers were represented on behalf of ICU, and three JDS fellows were among presenters. On 14th Dineka Jayasuriya and Uthpala Wijekoon presented their researches under title "Money supply and inflation: evidence from Sri Lanka" and "A comparative analysis of micro-credit systems: state-owned and private sectors in Sri Lanka" respectively. Following day Thanushka Abeywardana and Siri Ekbom presented their research findings under "How does a state become a battlefield of ethnic conflict?: With special reference to Sri Lanka" and "Witches in Nepal: Survivors navigation through the formal justice system." These researchers received high appreciation among the scientific community present in the conference since they discussed highly concerned issues in Asian context.

Overall the conference gave an opportunity to be aware of research conducted on a wide range of themes including socio-economic, cultural and environmental matters that would become keys in determining growth of Asian nations. In addition, interactive discussions provide an opportunity to focus on the diverse nature of a sociological phenomenon.

Conference was accompanied by dinner which depicted diverse and unique nature of Sri Lankan cuisine and study tour to historic city Kandy provided exposure to rich culture Sri Lanka boast about. I hope 3rd International Conference on Asian Studies (ICAS) scheduled for 2015 would be a similar enriching experience and would like to thank ICU and JDS program to provide an opportunity to participate in this unique event.

Sudarshana Gunasena