The Professor Lakshman S. Perera Memorial Lecture
On the 17th of March 2016 the Department of History hosted the inaugural Prof. Lakshman S. Perera Memorial Lecture at the Senate Room, College House.
Prof Lakshman S. Perera became a full time staff member of the Department of History of the University of Ceylon, after completing his honours degree in History in 1942. In 1950 he was awarded his Phd, the first person to obtain this degree from the University of Ceylon. This association with the University of Colombo was re-established when a second Arts Faculty was established as an extension of the Faculty of the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya in 1963. Sir Nicholas Attygalle, the Vice Chancellor at the time, appointed Prof. LakshmanPerera as the administrative head of the four sub-departments of the Colombo Campus. He served the University of Colombo as the Head of the Department of History and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. His contacts with the University of Ceylon continued until 1973. In 1999 Prof. Perera was honoured by the conferring of the Degree of a Doctorate in Letters (HonorisCausa) by the University of Colombo. In the history of Sri Lankan historiography, Prof. Lakshman S. Perera’s massive work on the ‘Institutions of Ancient Sri Lanka’ is a great scholarly achievement.
The inaugural memorial lecture was delivered by Prof. W.I. Siriweera, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Peradeniya. He spoke on ‘Prof. Lakshman S. Perera’ Contribution to the Study of History’ and his talk included personal reminisces of his friendship and association with the late professor. Dr. NirmaliWijegoonawardena, Head, Department of History gave the welcome speech. The opening remarks were made by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake; Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof. Athula Ranasinghe, and Emeritus Professor of History, University of Colombo, Prof. Indrani Munasinghe. The former Head of the Department of History, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri introduced the Keynote Speaker, Prof. W.I Siriweera, and Mrs. Lakshani Fernando, daughter of the late Prof. Lakshman S. Perera, spoke on behalf of the Perera Family. Deborah Philip, an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of History gave the Vote of Thanks.
The event was well attended by former colleagues, students, friends, and family members of the late Professor. The distinguished gathering of guests included former ambassadors, former directors of State Departments, former Vice-Chancellors, former Heads of Department and Senior Professors.