The closing ceremony of the eighth biennial South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion (SSEASR) conference took place in the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) campus in Dhanmondi on Saturday.
Planning Minister M A Mannan, was present as the chief guest. He said the theme of the conference was a befitting one as it is necessary to acknowledge that rivers and people cannot be separated.
Emphasizing on the need to further research capabilities of the country, the minister also assured that he would personally look into possibilities of ensuring more funding for the academia in Bangladesh.
Speaking as the Special Guest, acting British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Kanbar Hossein-Bor focused on how rivers had contributed to civilizations across the world and continues to bridge different cultures. He spoke about Bangladesh’s scholastic relationship with Great Britain and expressed hopes that his country would facilitate more students from Bangladesh in the future.
In his welcome speech, ULAB Pro-Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Shamsad Mortuza thanked the participants and said the SSEASR conference has shed light on how religions originated from the rivers and how rivers carried their own religions.
Professor Imran Rahman, special adviser to the ULAB Board of Trustees, called for more research initiatives by the country’s scholars. He also expressed hopes that professional bonds formed during the conference would facilitate future collaborations between Bangladeshi and foreign scholars.
In her remarks about the eighth SSEASR Conference, Professor Rosalind I J Hackett, the Vice President of CIPSH, said the event covered a wide variety of academic disciplines which all fall under the theme of religion. She also thanked the organizers for taking a holistic approach in executing the event.
ULAB VC Professor H M Jahirul Haque presented the vote of thanks.
Ameenah Ahmed , member of ULAB Board of Trustees; Professor Milan Kumar Bhattacharjee, treasurer; Professor Shahnaj Husne Jahan; chair, 8th SSEASR Conference and director, Center for Archaeological Studies, ULAB; President of the 8th SSEASR Conference Professor Dr Amarjiva Lochan were also present in the ceremony with other distinguish professors, faculty members, students and guests.
Earlier, throughout the day, scholars continued to present their works on the theme ‘Rivers and Religion: Connecting Cultures of South and Southeast Asia’ in the eighth biennial conference of the SSEASR.
A total of 170 research papers from 30 countries are being presented during the four-day conference in 37 parallel academic sessions under 15 subthemes.
Participants from 30 countries across the world visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum on ending day. They also visited different historical paces including Dhakeshwari Temple, Museum of Independence and Shahid Minar, Lalbagh Fort in old Dhaka and visited handicraft markets and other notable places.
According to the organizers the objectives of the 8th SSEASR conference were 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; establishing good relations among the universities of the world; and promoting Bangladesh’s rich cultural heritage worldwide through a special session, cultural programmes, pre and post conference tour and many more.