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Plenary Speakers


Prof. Piyanjali de Zoysa

Senior Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo

Title of speech: “Being a Humane Psychologist

Prof. Piyanjali de Zoysa co-founded an MPhil in Clinical Psychology degree at the University of Colombo, which is the first and only training program in professional clinical psychology in the country. She was the founder president of the Sri Lanka Psychological Association. Further, she co-founded and hosted the weekly television program on mental health on Rupavahini, “Winadi 9ya” which is a psychology-psychiatry dialogue.

She has held several key positions in national-level organizations including the National Child Protection Authority, National Steering Committee on Child Rights, and the National Mental Health Advisory Council. Her research interests include humanness, culturally appropriate psychological interventions, child maltreatment, and violence.

English language and literature

Dr. Romola Rassool

Director Postgraduate Institute of English Open University of Sri Lanka

Title of speech: “Beyond EAP and ESP: Academic Literacy as a means of supporting students in English Medium Degree Programs

Dr. Rassool counts over 2 decades of teaching experience in undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in English Language, Linguistics and ELT in addition to her numerous administrative positions of leadership in English and ELT departments and institutes in the university sector and membership in academic and research bodies.

Her research interests are the minority languages of Sri Lanka (the Sri Lankan Malay language in particular) and Academic Literacy. She has conducted extensive research locally and internationally in these areas.

Mathematics and Statistics

Prof. S. Sanjeewa Nishantha Perera

Head of the Department, Department of Mathematics University of Colombo
Title of speech: “Applications of Actuarial Models / Tools in Non-Insurance Domain

Prof. Sanjeewa Nishantha Perera is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Colombo and currently he is serving as the Head of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Colombo.

He graduated with a first class degree in Mathematics (1999) from the University of Colombo. His MSc (Thesis) was on Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Simulation and he obtained it in 2004. He completed his PhD in Optimal Control in 2008 from the University of Colombo.

Natural Sciences

Prof. Upali Samarajeewa

Emeritus Professor in Food Science & Technology, University of Peradeniya
Title of speech: “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and food safety

Emeritus Professor Upali Samarajeewa holds a B.Sc degree in Chemistry and PhD in Microbiology. He  worked for 30 years at the University of Peradeniya and was the founder Head of Department in Food Science and Technology and took the leadership in establishing a degree program in of Food Science & Technology. He won the Institute of Chemistry Gold medal, SLAAS award for outstanding research contributions and Council for Agricultural Policy award for research.


Mr. Prasantha Lal De Alwis PC

President’s Counsel
Visiting Lecturer – University of Colombo

Title of speech: “Law: The Facilitator for Innovative Solutions through Research

Mr. De Alwis PC, obtained his Bachelors and the Masters of Laws both from the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo. He started his career with the Attorney General’s Department and moved into Private Bar.

He is a member and serves for a number of Executive Councils of National Universities and is a Visiting Lecturer and an Examiner for the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Law College and also in Private Institutions in both Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes. He was also a member of the Official Languages Commission of Sri Lanka and serves as a member of the Director Boards of various corporate establishments including commercial banks.

Mr. De Alwis PC, is also a member of the Board of Studies of the Incorporate Council for Legal Education Sri Lanka while he is also a member of the Advisory Committee of SLIIT, School of Law.

Nursing and Health Sciences

Dr. Sunil De Silva

Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences – Open University of Sri Lanka

Title of speech: “Evidence Based Practice in Health Care: From Theory to Reality

Dr. Sunil De Silva has 30 years of experience in the field of nursing including 16 years of experience in the nursing education field. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Hons) from the Open University of Sri Lanka, Nawala, Nugegoda.

Dr. Silva qualified Master of Nursing by Research (02 Years full time) from Australian Catholic University, Australia. He obtained PhD in Nursing from the College of Nursing, University of New Mexico, USA. At present, Dr. B. S, S. De Silva is the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Open University of Sri Lanka.


Dr. Subhashinie Wijesundera

Senior Lecturer, Department of Education, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya

Title of speech: “Education research in the quest for improving practice

I am a Senior Lecturer with academic and administrative experience in both general and higher education sectors in Sri Lanka as a secondary school teacher, officer in the Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service (SLEAS), Project officer at the National Education Institute and a lecturer and Head of the Department of Education, University of Peradeniya.

My current engagements include quantitative, qualitative and action research, teaching at postgraduate and Undergraduate levels, postgraduate research supervision, curriculum designing and implementation, academic publications, providing consultancy services in both general and higher educational sectors, institutional and programme review and project evaluation, technical and academic report writing. Currently serving as a member of the Standing Committee on General Education and Early childhood education of the National Education Commission of Sri Lanka, the Country Coordinator of the South Asian Research Network for Children and Youth Studies(SARNCYS) of the Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Coordinator of the Development Oriented Research project of the Accelerating Higher Education Expansion And Development (AHEAD) Operation of the Ministry of Higher Education and the World Bank), Principal Researcher in Sri Lanka in the International Survey of Children’s Wellbeing (ISC-WeB) conducted by a group of International researchers operating from Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany.