Conference on connecting cultures of South and Southeast Asia

Published: June 13, 2019 11:39:05 | Updated: June 17, 2019 15:42:18

(From left) Pro-vice Chancellor of ULAB Professor Dr Shamsad Mortuza; Chair of the eighth SSEASR Conference Professor Dr Shahnaj Husne Jahan; President of SSEASR Professor Dr Amarjiva Lochan; and Professor Dr Sumon Rahman, Media Studies and Journalism, ULAB can be seen in the press conference

University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) is hosting the eighth SSEASR International Conference which will be held from June 13 to 16, 2019 at ULAB, Dhaka, says a press release.

SSEASR (South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion) is a regional academic body of IAHR (International Association for the History of Religions) for the development and harmony of world civilisation. IAHR runs under the affiliation of International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Sciences (CIPSH), UNESCO.

SSEASR is affiliated with 85 countries with members from more than 600 universities including Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Australian National University, National University of Singapore, and Tokyo University. The SSEASR Conference takes place biennially in the countries of South and Southeast Asia. In the recent past, it was held in India (2005), Thailand (2007), Indonesia (2009), Bhutan (2011), Philippines (2013), Sri Lanka (2015) and Vietnam (2017).

This year's theme is Rivers and Religion: Connecting Cultures of South and Southeast Asia, which is very pertinent for Bangladesh since the country observes a fine and finite relationship between these two factors from ancient time. The eighth SSEASR conference is a great opportunity to showcase Bangladesh to the international academia

ULAB held a press conference on June 11, 2019. Pro-vice Chancellor of ULAB Professor Dr Shamsad Mortuza, Chair of the eigth SSEASR Conference and Director of the Centre for Archaeological Studies in ULAB Professor Dr Shahnaj Husne Jahan, Professor of Media Studies and Journalism in ULAB Dr Sumon Rahman, President of SSEASR Professor Dr Amarjiva Lochan were present at the press conference.

"It is our duty to preserve the archaeological heritage of Bangladesh. As citizens of the world, we are all active stakeholders," said Dr Shamsad Mortuza.

"We have around 5,000 archaeological sites in Bangladesh and if we are able to preserve our archaeological heritage, nobody will ever call us poor," said Dr Shahnaj Husne Jahan.

The objectives of the eighth SSEASR conference are: (i) bringing together hundreds of scholars from home and abroad such as archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, social scientists and economists working on South and Southeast Asia to a common academic platform to share and discuss issues concerning culture and religion for creating a sustainable and healthy academic atmosphere in the region; (ii) establishing good relations among the universities of the world; and (iii) promoting Bangladesh's rich cultural heritage worldwide through a special session, cultural programmes, pre and post conference tour and many more.

Total 170 research papers from 30 countries around the world will presented in the conference in four days in 37 parallel academic sessions under 15 subthemes.

Minister of Education Dr Dipu Moni, MP, will be there at the ceremony today (Thursday) as the chief guest while State Minister of Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, MP, will be present as the special guest. High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das will remain present as the guest of honour.

Planning Minister MA Mannan, MP, will be present as the chief guest and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh (Acting) Kanbar Hossein-Bor as the special guest in the closing ceremony on Saturday (June 15).

Book fair, heritage fair and photo exhibition titled Rivers of Bangladesh by ULAB students and photo exhibition titled Group Temples of Puthia by Traditional Photo Gallery, Dhaka will also be organised at the venue during the conference.

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