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Table of Contents

About the SSA Chairmans Message Objectives Structure Financial Strategy Activities Research Events/Forums Networking Publishing Accounts

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Social Scientists Association l Annual Report 2012

About the SSA

The Social Scientists Association (SSA) is an organization working to investigate the way in which social change is contouring the multiple realities faced by communities in Sri Lanka and South Asia. The SSA is deeply committed to promoting a culture of knowledge production that informs and undergirds interventions aimed at achieving social emancipation for marginalized communities. The SSA was founded in 1977 during a period in which Sri Lankan society, its economy as well as politics were changing rapidly due to, among other reasons, the introduction of the open economy and growing tension between ethnic communities. The SSA was formed by a group of academics as a forum for facilitating the critical understanding of these changes and responding to them in a manner that would also promote social and political transformation. The main objectives of the SSA were the pursuit of research, the publication and wide dissemination of original research, the development and organization of a library and documentation centre and the creation of a forum for debate and discussion. Its founders also hoped that the SSA would be able to participate in and contribute to programmes that further development and social change. Since then the SSA has received global recognition for its commitment to research on issues such as ethnicity, the political-economy of development, gender equity, democracy, conflict resolution, social transformation, labour and human rights. It has also been home to many of Sri Lankas most widely recognized academics and public intellectuals. The SSA also contributes towards realizing a culture of academic rigour and theory building in Sri Lanka through the publication of original research which it makes available through the Suriya Bookshop and through its Library and Documentation Centre. Many SSA publications have been translated and disseminated widely in English, Sinhala and Tamil. To further its commitment to knowledge production and research, the SSA has organized and continues to organize workshops, discussion groups, book fairs and book launches which have attracted local and foreign scholars as well as sections of the concerned public.

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Chairmans Message
Professor W. D. Lakshman I am pleased to issue this message for the Annual Report of the SSA for the Year 2012-2013. It is a pleasure to note that the SSA has continued its tradition of, and commitment to, both scholarship and interventions in areas of its core concerns social justice, social and economic transformation with equity, democratization, peace-building and secular and democratic values. The specificity of the SSA is its emphasis on the production as well as dissemination of critical social knowledge, with quality and rigour. Maintaining these standards is not always easy, particularly in the context of difficulties in fund-raising and the escalation of institutional costs. The year 2012-2013 has also seen some improvements in its agenda of activities in research, publications, community outreach and dissemination, despite limitations in material resources. Changing dynamics of national and global political environments have also complicated these challenges. It is noteworthy that in facing these challenges, SSA has not compromised its commitment to quality, standards, and directions. I personally take pleasure in acknowledging the contribution made by the SSA staff in this regard.

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The Objectives of the Social Scientists Association are as follows: a) To undertake, sponsor or co-ordinate research projects in the Social Sciences. b) To undertake a programme of Publications designed to publish original research in the Social Sciences as well as disseminate such findings among the people as widely as possible and to make available to the public, by sale or otherwise, works on the Social Sciences, originating in Sri Lanka. c) To develop and organise a Library and Documentation Centre. d) To serve as a forum of debate and discussion among both Social Scientists and the general public. e) To participate in programmes designed to further development and social change. f) To undertake and perform any other activities incidental to the furtherance of the above objectives.


The SSA is structured in the following manner.

The Council of Management of the SSA oversees the overall work and direction of the organization. The Council comprises renowned scholars from a number of disciplinary backgrounds. It is currently chaired by Prof. W. D. Lakshman, Emeritus Professor of Economics and the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo. Dr. Kumari Jayawardena serves as the Secretary of the Council of Management, while Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda is currently the treasurer. The other members of the Council of Management are Prof. Carlo Fonseka, Dr. Farzana Haniffa, Prof. Premakumara de Silva, Dr. Selvy Thiruchandran, Dr. Sepali Kottegoda, Prof. Tressie Leitan and Mr. Pradeep Peiris. Under the guidance of the board, the day-to-day function of the organization is managed by the Secretary and the Treasurer.
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The Research Team at SSA reflects the organizations commitment to utilizing knowledge production in order to strengthen and undergird interventions that further the social emancipation of marginalized groups in Sri Lanka and South Asia. The Research Team at the SSA is comprised of Senior Researchers, Research Associates, Researchers and Interns. The Senior Researchers are internationally recognized for the depth of their scholarship and academic rigour and are the guiding lights of the SSAs research interventions. SSAs Research Associates, who are widely published both locally and internationally, contribute to strengthen and further the knowledge production exercises of the organization. Furthermore, the SSA has also hired a team of young people as Researchers with a view to building a new generation of scholars and public intellectuals in Sri Lanka. Finally the SSAs internship program seeks to provide exposure in the fields of research and knowledge production for Sri Lankan school leavers and undergraduates. The program also regularly hosts international graduate students at the SSA in order to encourage them to expand the international knowledge base on the multiple social realities that contour life in Sri Lanka. Ten full time staff members of the SSA currently form the backbone of the organizations research team, while a number of other scholars are affiliated to the organization as Research Associates. The Suriya Bookshop and Library and Documentation Centre of the SSA provide invaluable support to the SSAs research team. The maintenance of a good reference library has been an important part of SSAs mandate since its inception. The strength of the SSAs reference library is its rich collection of books on peace and conflict studies, social theory, gender and literature. It also possesses an extensive and rare collection of books on Sri Lankan history, politics, economy and society. The Library has been broadly divided into three units - the Sri Lanka collection, the Gender collection and the General collection. Each of these collections covers a wide range of disciplinary perspectives and methodological pathways. The Suriya Bookshop fulfils the SSAs mandate to publish and disseminate original research as widely as possible. Apart from the SSA publications, a wide range of books from leftist and alternative publishing houses as well as other local non-governmental organizations are available for sale at the Bookshop. The Administration Team of the SSA ensures the smooth coordination between all arms of the organization. They also play an integral role in the publication and dissemination of SSAs research through the Suriya Bookshop as well as through the periodicals published by the SSA. Apart from managing the day to day functions of the organization, the Administration team also supports the regular organization of events and discussions at the SSA. The Administration Team is currently overseen by Mr. Pradeep Peiris, who is a director and Council of Management member of the SSA.

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Financial Strategy
Over the past year the SSA has worked to diversify its financial strategy with a view to ensuring the sustainability and flexibility of the organization in order to mitigate the consequences of changing economic imperatives both locally and internationally. With this in mind the SSA utilizes a multi-pronged approach to its financial strategy. 1. Funding received from Donors and Funding Agencies: The SSA seeks to attract short to medium term funding from local and international donors and funding agencies in order to carry out research projects conceptualized and designed by its Research Team. This approach ensures that the Research Team has the freedom and flexibility to pursue their research interests while simultaneously enabling the organization to fulfill its mandate of examining the effect of social change on marginalized groups in Sri Lanka. 2. Fundraising through Consultancies for Local and International Organizations: The SSA has been able to raise funds by sharing the technical expertise of its Research Staff with organizations requiring technical support in developing, implementing or evaluating their interventions. 3. Collaboration with Local and International Partners: Through collaboration with local and international partners the SSA aims to raise funds to purse research that is mutually beneficial to the organization as well as its partners. Many of these collaborations seek to meet the requirements for a partnership with a local research organization in order to carry out research in Sri Lanka or in fields requiring the SSAs expertise. 4. Income Generation through the Suriya Bookshop: The Suriya Bookshop, which is one of the few alternative publishing houses and bookshops in the country, has long been an integral component of the SSAs financial strategy. Over the past year the organization has also focused on increasing the income it accrues through the Suriya Bookshop particularly through the development and implementation of its online payment gateway that is now available on the SSA website.


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The SSAs work in research and knowledge production extends beyond academia and seeks to address and inform interventions for a more equitable and democratic society. Over the years the SSA has pursued a number of research projects on areas such as ethnicity, the political economy of development, gender equity, democracy, conflict resolution, social transformation, labour and human rights. The SSAs current research programmes focus on the following themes: Women, Political Participation and Addressing the Gender Deficit in Sri Lanka Gender has been an important thematic strand of the SSAs research agenda for many years. The SSA has contributed significantly to the production of knowledge on issues of gender in Sri Lanka and South Asia. It has partnered with a number of local and research networks over the years in its exploration of themes of gender, violence against women, patriarchy and masculinity. The SSAs current research work on gender focuses on issues relating to the exclusion of women from politics and the effect of this gender deficit on women in Sri Lanka. A key finding of its recent studies on the issue is that that electoral politics is a space and site where both men and women work together to reproduce a culture of electoral masculinity, in a context of patriarchy is leading to the reproduction of womens political exclusion. As a result the SSAs current work on gender seeks to address a major gap in the existing knowledge on women and politics in Sri Lanka: the absence of empirical or theoretical understanding of patriarchy, as it is being reproduced in different ethnic, social and cultural formations. The State of Democracy in Sri Lanka and South Asia The examination of democracy both as a process as well as a value has been an important aspect of the SSAs research agenda since its inception. Central to the SSAs research agenda has been the idea that democracy contours and is contoured by local cultures over time and space. Due to this its researchers have worked to understand the particularly Sri Lankan and South Asian nature of the democracy that has taken shape within the country and the region over time.

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The Study on the State of Democracy in South Asia (SDSA) has been one of the key research programmes through which the SSA has sought to explore these problematics. SDSA is the South Asian arm of the Democracy Barometer survey that covers the Latin American, African, Eastern European and Asian continents in order to examine the trajectory of democracy across regions. The SSAs current research programme on democracy is part of the second phase of the SDSA survey and it is in the latter stages of its analysis of the data that emerged from the Sri Lankan arm of the survey that was conducted in late 2012. The Democracy, Political Exclusion and Marginality Research sought to supplement the SDSA study by ensuring that the views of groups such as the displaced Northern Muslims, Burghers, Malays and Malayali ethnic communities as well as other marginalized caste groups were included in the SDSA study. This research sought to advance a case for political inclusion of the socially excluded as a component of an agenda for re-making democracy in a way that is politically relevant to the struggles of the ordinary people. The Democracy and Governance Research Group (DGRG) has also been formed by the SSA in order to understand the functioning of Sri Lankas democracy by utilizing multiple pathways and research instruments. The formation of this group is informed by a desire to deepen and broaden the production of knowledge on democracy in practice while at the same time building the research capacity of a younger generation of Sri Lankan scholars. The work of the current members of the DGRG spans themes ranging from the political economy of development and the function of caste in Sri Lanka to examinations of the dynamics shaping the agendas of minority political parties and the way in which the understanding of leadership is impacting on Sri Lankas current political trajectory. Understanding the Dynamics of Post-Civil War Reconciliation Scholarly interventions into debates regarding the Sri Lankan conflict have been an integral part of the SSAs work since its inception. Its path-breaking conference and publication Ethnicity and Social Change made a significant contribution to discussions regarding the past, present and future of ethnic relations in Sri Lanka. Since then the SSAs work has consistently focused on issues relating to peace, ethnic relationships, marginalization, conflict resolution and since the end of the war, on the dynamics of post-civil war reconciliation. The SSAs current work on this topic seeks to examine how reconciliation as a concept is understood as well as the political, social and cultural apparatuses that inform this understanding among communities in a few selected districts across the country. It seeks to explore the following three areas and their complex as well as dynamic relationships with the agenda for peace building and reconciliation: (a) Inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic dimensions of peace building and reconciliation,

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(b) Social and economic inclusion for post-civil war peace dividend across communities in conflict-torn areas, and (c) Drawing on cultural and religious traditions and humanistic practices of Sri Lankan people themselves to foster inter-community reconciliation, solidarity and peace building. The SSA seeks to make a substantial contribution towards widening of the scope and agenda for Sri Lankas post-civil war peace building and reconciliation through the formulation of research-based policy inputs that emerge from this programme. Research at the SSA is guided by a desire to achieve praxis between analysis and empowerment of marginalized groups and communities. It seeks to ensure that research participants not only gain from their involvement with the research but that their own analysis and contributions actively shape the direction of the planning, examination and dissemination of the study. The SSAs research philosophy is pluralistic and multidisciplinary. The utilization of multidisciplinary pathways enables its researchers to not only apply theoretical frameworks but also contribute to the formulation of social theory that emanates from the global south. The SSA also seeks to share this approach with other local and international organizations through collaborations and through trainings on research methodology.


In furtherance of its commitment to sharing knowledge, the SSA regularly organizes forums and discussions around topics of interest to local scholars and students. Apart from discussions and presentations on books published by the SSA, the organization also regularly invites scholars to present their latest research with a view to introducing and stimulating discussion on developing trends in various disciplines among the local intellectual community. 2013 SSA Suriya bookshop, at the BMICH international Book fair Discussion on Puleliya Revisited: Kinship, State Formation and Globalization led by Prof. Jude Fernando Discussion on transforming Asian Cities: Intellectual Impasse, Asianizing Space, and Emerging Translocalities led by Prof. Nihal Perera SSA Suriya bookshop, Book fair at SSA- May-June Discussion on Gender and Politics in Pakistan led by Ms. Nighat Khan Discussion on What's 'New' about the New Trade Unionism?: Challenges and Experiences of Organising the Unorganised in India led by Gautam Mody, Secretary, New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), India Discussion on Patriarchy in Sri Lanka with a group of leading feminists

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2012 SSA Suriya bookshop, Book fair at the SSA - December Launch of Governing Strategy of the National Government 1965-1970 by John Richardson Training of enumerators in field research and survey methodology for the State of Democracy in South Asia (SDSA) study Launch of The Political Economy of Environment and Development in a Globalised World Essays in honour of Nadarajah Shanmugaratnam eds. by Darley Jose Kjosavic and Paul Vedele SSA Suriya bookshop, Book fair at the SSA- September

The SSAs research work has been augmented by its links to a wide network of grassroots organizations across Sri Lanka which spans the plantation sector, community organizations in the war affected North and East of the country as well as marginalized social groups in other areas of the country. These linkages have been an important entry point in SSAs attempts to build knowledge on various communities across the country and have informed interventions by other organizations that work directly with these communities. Apart from its local partner network, the SSA also plays a significant role in regional and international networks of scholars and academics. The SSA is closely affiliated with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi and is an integral part of its regional network that is currently examining how democracy has shaped and has been shaped by communities in South Asia.

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The publication and wide dissemination of original research is one of the main objectives of the SSA. With its many years of experience as a publishing house, the SSA encourages and supports local scholars through the process of publication. The SSA also attempts to ensure that scholarly interventions written in Sinhala and Tamil are also published and made available to the public. The wide variety of disciplinary, theoretical and methodological pathways utilized in its most recent publication is a testament to the SSAs broad commitment to supporting the development of the Social Sciences in Sri Lanka.
Title of the book Goleeya Dakune Kamkaru Viyaparaya: Sri Lankave Wurthiya Samithi (SIN) State Reform in Sri Lanka: Issues Directions and Perspectives A Book Editing Guide- Sri Lanka Words Style The Story of Selestina Rodrigo (Mrs Jeremias Dias): Pioneer in Buddhist Girls Education-ENG/SIN The Changing Face of Electoral Politics in Sri Lanka (1994-2010) Reframing Democracy : Perspectives on the Cultures of Inclusion and Exclusion in Contemporary Sri Lanka Continuities and Transformations: Studies in Sri Lankan Archeology and History Women's Movement in Sri Lanka: History, Trends and Trajectories Yudaye Padam 4: Jathika Anduwe Andukarana Upaya 1965-70 (SIN) The Political Economy of Environment and Development in a Globalized World: Exploring Frontiers Nobodies to Somebodies: The rise of the colonial bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka Poorin Padippinaikal 4: Tesiya arasaankaththin aalukai uththi 1965-70 (TAM) Pravadam (TAM) Yudaye Padam 3:Porondu saha Balaporoththu (SIN) Writing Research Proposals in the Social Sciences and Humanities Vedda Villages in Anuradhapura Sri Lankan Subordinates of the British: English Educated Ceylonese In Official Life (1865-1883) Civil Samajaya: Kumakada? Kageda? Kumatada? (SIN) Jathiya, Jathikawadaya saha Jathikarajyaya (SIN) Api Okkoma Rajavaru, Okkoma Vasiyo? (SIN) Rajya Prathisanskarana: Monawada? Kumatada? Katada? (SIN) Crucible of Conflict: Tamil and Muslim Society on the East Coast of Sri Lanka The Politics of Postsecular Religion: Mourning Secular Features Newton Gunasinghe: Selected Essays The Ceylon Economy: A National Accounts Study Yudaye Padam 2: Arbudaye Gaman Maga (SIN) Poorin Padippinaikal 2: Nerukkadiyin paathai (TAM) Poorin Padippinaikal 3: Nampikkayin malarcchi (TAM) The Epic of Tea: Politics in the Plantations of Sri Lanka Malayaha Tamils Leslie Gunawardena-ENG/SIN Locations of Buddhism: Colonialism and Modernity in Sri Lanka After the Waves: The Impact of the Tsunami on Women in Sri Lanka ENG/SIN Perpetual Ferment: Popular Revolts in Sri Lanka in the 18th & 19th Centuries Samajaye Api Okkoma Samanai? (SIN) A Nice Bugher Girl Prajathanthravadaya: Kumakda? Kageda? Kasandahada? Kumatada? (SIN) Pathinith theivamum tsunamiyum (TAM) Penkalum ullooraatchi nirvaakamum Tsunamiyum (TAM) Paalnilayum Tsunamiyum (TAM) Year 2013 2013 2013 2013 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2011 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010

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