The Professor H.A. de S. Gunasekera Memorial Oration 2017 will be held on October 24that 3:00 p.m. at the Senate Room, University of Peradeniya.
The oration will be delivered by Prof. Sirimevan Colombage, Professor Emeritus, Open University of Sri Lanka, and a former Director of the Central Bank, on the topic, “The Political Economy of Central Banking in Sri Lanka”.
Prof. H.A. de S. Gunasekara was the Professor of Economics and Head of the Department of Economics & Political Science of the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya. He succeeded Prof. Das Gupta to become the second occupant of the Chair (and the first Sri Lankan) in the Department in 1961. He also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Peradeniya (1963-1969) and later on as the Secretary, Ministry of Planning (1970-1977) under Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. He was a much respected academic and public servant. A large number of his students have made outstanding contributions to both academic and public life in Sri Lanka and overseas.
Prof. Sirimevan Colombage, a distinguished student of Prof. Gunasekara, served on the academic staff of the Department of Economics, University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, briefly before joining the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Following a career of 30 years in economic research and statistics at the Central Bank, Prof. Colombage returned to academia as the Chair and Senior Professor of Social Studies at the Open University of Sri Lanka. Prof. Colombage has wide expertise in central banking and monetary policy, fiscal operations, international trade and finance and econometric modelling, and is the author of several books, monographs, and peer-reviewed journal articles. He has led research assignments in collaboration with the University of California, University of Manchester and University of Lund, among other international affiliations. Currently, he is a member of the Working Committee on Social Sciences, National Science Foundation and a Co-Editor of the Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences. Professor Colombage holds B.A. First Class Hons. (Economics) from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, and M.A. (Economics) and Ph.D. (Economics) from the University of Manchester, UK.
The oration will explore how far the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has been able to conduct monetary policy independent of political pressures.
The oration is organized jointly by the Department of Economics & Statistics, University of Peradeniya and the Prof. H.A. de S. Gunasekera Memorial Trust Fund. The 2017 Oration takes place during the 75th anniversary jubilee year of the University of Peradeniya and the Department of Economics. The event is free and open to the public.