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New High Commissioner appointed to SL High Commission in India

(Jun 25, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Professor Sudharshan Seneviratne has been appointed as the new Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India.

The letter of appointment was handed over to Professor sudharshan Seneviratne by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Professor Seneviratne who is an old boy of Ananda College, Colombo serves as the head of the Peradeniya University Archaeological Studies Department.

He has also received education in a number of Indian universities.

Sudharshan Seneviratne (born May 1949) was Head of the Department of Archaeology for nearly ten years at the University of Peradeniya and holds the only Chair in Archaeology within the University system of Sri Lanka. He was educated at Ananda College, Colombo and received his complete University education in India, his adopted home for ten years. Having completed the BA (Hon.) Degree at Hindu College, Delhi University, Seneviratne became the first Sri Lankan to receive, both, the Masters and Doctoral Degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His doctoral thesis, entitled the Social Base of Early Buddhism in southeast India (Andhra and Tamilnadu) and Sri Lanka, 3rd Century BC to 3rd Century AC, worked under the supervision of Professor Romila Thapar was the first multi-disciplinary doctoral thesis undertaken from a cross regional perspective on this region. Seneviratne also was the first Sri Lankan to receive a merit fellowship awarded from the Indian Council of Historical Research in support of his doctoral research. He is the 2012-2013 Edwin F. Arnold Visiting Professor of South Asian Archaeology at Whitman College, USA.

In the course of the last thirty odd years he has worked extensively at Sri Lankan and Indian archaeological sites and has contributed towards cross regional studies, innovative research methodologies in interpretative archaeology and training the next generation of archaeologists in south Asia. As early as 1980 he pioneered the introduction of Early Iron Age Archaeology, Environmental Archaeology (including sections in Archaeological Sciences), Settlement Archaeology, Pre Industrial Technology and Ethnoarchaeology to the University curriculum in Sri Lanka. His publications in international learned journals, numbering over fifty, cover a wide range of multi disciplinary topics in problem-oriented and issue-related archaeological research.

Professor Seneviratne has represented Sri Lanka at several international fora and holds membership in numerous national and international professional organizations and policy-making committees relating to archaeology, heritage management and Higher education. He is Archaeological Director of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Jetavana at Anuradhapura, Director & Senior Coordinator of UNESCO & NORAD Heritage Projects, Co-Director of the Anuradhapura Citadel Archaeology Project and the Galsohonkanatta Megalithic Project. Seneviratne is a member of the Board of Management at the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, the Advisory Board to the Director General of Archaeology in Sri Lanka and Board of Governors of the Institute of Fundamental Studies (Kandy).

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