Harmony Centre

University of Vavuniya

1st International Conference on Harmony and Reconciliation 2023 (ICHR 2023)

19th & 20th January 2023

  1. Preamble

The Harmony Centre, is a Centre established under the University Grant Commission Circular No 10/2021 in the University of Vavuniya, Sri Lanka in September 2021. The central purpose of the centre is to promote understanding of different religious and ethnicities while promoting the Sri Lankan sprit rather than parochial identities.  It recognizes the message of harmony and reconciliation being relevant today and the need to formulate a multi-dimensional approach to conflict resolution in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promoted by the United Nations, with academic cultural diversification and developing sustainable research from a global perspective. For this purpose, the objective of the International Conference on Harmony and Reconciliation 2023 (ICHR 2023) is to provide international and regional scholars an opportunity to:

  • Reflect on the theme of harmony and reconciliation from a historical, theological, economic, social, political, educational, environmental and other perspectives
  • Meet and reflect critically on the theme of harmony, peace and reconciliation.
  • Make policy recommendations to faith-based organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGO), international development organizations and national organizations.
  • Publish papers with discussion and conclusion.

ICHR 2023 focuses on the theme of “Harmony and Development through Knowledge and Innovation towards Nation Building” providing an opportunity to review the past years and chart further directions in fostering peace and harmony based on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Local and international research scholars, experts, artists, religious leaders, devotees and practitioners will attend the conference over the two days. Dignitaries from other countries will also be invited to attend the conference inaugural and closing sessions. The conference delegates will attend a reception and cultural events hosted by the organizers.

The schedule of conference activities has two key components: Research sessions and Harmony Exhibition. Research sessions will rely less on paper reading and lectures, instead the format will be engaging to give deeper insights into the topic.

Following two types of research sessions will feature the conference:

  • Panel Sessions: These sessions happening concurrently at the conference venue will provide an opportunity to multiple presenters to speak on a common theme of the conference. Presentations by the panelists will be followed by questions and answers.
  • Discussion Sessions: These will be selected sessions designed to provide ​an in-depth look at a specific conference topic​ from one person’s research or practice. Each session will follow an interview format in which a moderator will interview an expert to explore his/her work, knowledge and personal stories. The moderator will also engage the audience in questions and comments.

Together with high quality research, the conference will host a harmony show featuring exhibition of art, poster, cartoon and craft. In this exhibition of its kind ever held in the country, local and international artists and skill persons will present the outstanding beauty of peace, harmony and reconciliation through their exhibition works and visual stories. The exhibition works will be set up at the conference venue and will be on display throughout the conference. Attendees can walk around and interact with exhibition works.


  1. Conflict Resolution and Peace Building
  2. Social Cohesion and Reconciliation for Development
  3. Communal Harmony and Social Development
  4. Unity of Diversity towards Nation Building
  5. Peace and Sustainable Development
  6. Towards Harmony with Nature
  7. Role of Art and Culture in Peace Building
  8. Role of Digital Media toward Peace Building
  9. Literature for Peace
  10. Partnership & sustainable development

ICHR 2022 will be the forum for presentation of the research papers and its detail discussion for knowledge sharing from various countries like Inia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka which have been thoroughly screened by peer-reviewing. These will be presented six parallel sessions during the technical session. In addition, the program is enriched with three keynote addresses and three invited panel discussions including thirteen panelists and four moderators from Sri Lanka, USA, UK, Nepal, Slovenia and Sweden. The participants of ICHR 2023 who come from wider disciplines and professional backgrounds are expected to be enriched by the exchange of innovations. This will also be an opportunity to buildup partnerships and collaborations to advance research and a testimony to the strong research culture prevailing in the University.

Chief Guest

Senior Prof Sujeewa Amarasena, Chairman, CVCD (Vice Chancellor
University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka)

Guest of Honour

Dr Senthan Selvarajah, Co-Director, Centre for Media, Human Rights and Peacebuilding, London & CEO, The Gate Foundation, UK.

Prof. Svanibor Hubert Pettan, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Special Guest

Rajib Timalsina, Assistant Professor, Department of Conflict, Peace and Development Studies, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Keynote Speakers

Professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer, DirectorPeacebuilding and Development InstituteAmerican University, Washington, USA

Emeritus Professor Savitri W E Goonesekere, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo

Prof. T.Jeyasingam, Former Vice ChancellorEastern University, Sri Lanka