Category: About Us

 

The Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) is a South Asian regional think tank, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Established in 1992, it is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization which encourages research, dialogue, and deliberation on a broad range of conventional and non-conventional sources of conflict. The RCSS enables scholars and other professionals to address, individually and collectively, problems and issues of topical interest for all South Asian countries. It strives to be a leading regional institute that initiates, coordinates and supports research and learning on South Asian strategic and security issues.

Objectives of RCSS:

  • To sponsor, coordinate, and support research on South Asian strategic, security, and environmental issues.
  • To promote interaction among scholars and professionals in the region and beyond who are engaged in South Asian studies.
  • To foster linkages and collaboration among institutions focusing on studies and activities related to conflict, conflict transformation, and regional cooperation in South Asia.
  • To encourage a new generation of analysts and commentators to generate fresh ideas and perspectives on the security discourse in the region.

The activities of the RCSS are planned, designed and implemented under the supervision of the International Research Committee (IRC), drawn from South Asian countries and outside the region while the administrative and financial matters are overseen by the Board of Directors of RCSS.

 

About Us

RCSS was established in 1992 in Colombo by a group of regional and international scholars. The late Professor Shelton Kodikara was the co-founder and the first Executive Director of RCSS.

The Board of Directors of RCSS consists of members of several South Asian countries and the Executive Director, since its inception, has been appointed on a rotation basis from the South Asian countries.  RCSS is a unique institution, in that no other institution in South Asia, including those labelled 'regional' or 'South Asian', and working on South Asia, can boast of being South Asian in letter and spirit, both organizationally and intellectually with region-wide networking.  The activities of the RCSS are planned, designed and implemented under the supervision of the International Research Committee (IRC), drawn from South Asian countries and outside the region while the administrative and financial matters are overseen by the Board of Directors of RCSS.

In the span of the last 25 years, RCSS has been led by eminent academics and professionals in the field of strategic and international studies representing Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Their leadership and commitment together with faith in the thriving institution have contributed to make RCSS a renowned think tank in South Asia, trusted by state and non-state organizations and individuals.

 

Objectives of RCSS:

  • To sponsor, coordinate, and support research on South Asian strategic, security, and environmental issues.
  • To promote interaction among scholars and professionals in the region and beyond who are engaged in South Asian studies.
  • To foster linkages and collaboration among institutions focusing on studies and activities related to conflict, conflict transformation, and regional cooperation in South Asia.
  • To encourage a new generation of analysts and commentators to generate fresh ideas and perspectives on the security discourse in the region.

First Board of Directors of RCSS:

  • Prof. Shelton Kodikara - Executive Director
  • Dr. R.A. Ariyarathne
  • Mr. John Gunaratne.
  • Mr. Dilip Kodikara
  • Dr. V.L.B. Mendis
  • Mr. Gamini Weerakoon

First International Research Committee of RCSS:

  • Dr. Samina Ahmed  -  Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Dr. R. A. Ariyaratne  -  Head, Dept. of History and Political Science, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • Prof. Lok Raj Baral  -  Dept. of Political Science, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Prof. P. R. Chari  -  Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India.
  • Prof. Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema  -  Dept. of International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Prof. Stephen Cohen  -  Prof. of Political Science & Director, Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security Program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.
  • Dr. Iftekharuzaman  -  Research Director, Bangladesh International Institute for International Studies, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • Prof. Shelton. U Kodikara  -  Director, RCSS
  • Dr. V. L. B. Mendis  -  Former Sri Lankan Ambassador in the U.K, France & Canada, former Fellow, US Institute of Peace.
  • Prof. S. D. Muni  -  School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.
  • Prof. Robert O'Neill  -  Chichele Professor of the History of War, All Soul's College, University of Oxford, U.K.
  • Dr. Gowher Rizvi  -  The Asia Society, New York, N.Y, USA.
  • Dr. K. B. Singh  -  Centre for Strategic & International Studies, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Past Executive Directors of RCSS:

Prof. Shelton Kodikara 

[Sri Lanka]

(1992 - September 1994)

 

Dr. Iftekharuzaman 

[Bangladesh]

(May 1995 - April 1999)

Maj. Gen. Dipankar Banerjee

[India]

(May 1999 – July 2002)

Prof. Sridhar Khatri

[Nepal]

(August 2002 - July 2005)

Prof. Syed Rifaat Hussain  

[Pakistan]   

(August 2005 - July 2008)    

Prof. Amal Jayawardena

[Sri Lanka]

(January 2009 - December 2011)

Dr. Mallika Joseph

[India]

(January 2012 - December 2014)

Prof. Imtiaz Ahmed

[Bangladesh]

(July 2015 - June 2017)

 

Acting Directors

Dr. John Gooneratne 

(November 1994 - April 1995)

 

Amb. Geetha de Silva

(June 2008 - December 2008)

Ms. Minna Thaheer 

(January 2015 - June 2015)

Prof. Indralal de Silva

(July 2017 - October 2017)

RCSS Network:

RCSS has been bestowed with a wide range of networks, regional and international.  It collaborates with numerous institutes and professionals across the world to organize research learning projects.  There are over 40 international and regional institutes that have either funded and/or co-organized initiatives with RCSS.  The Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, The John Merck Fund, Ploughshares Fund, W. Alton Jones Foundation, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) have been longstanding funding organizations and partners of RCSS.

The following are some of the other international organizations who have collaborated with RCSS to conduct its programmes throughout the years:

  • Altus Global Aliance
  • Asia Foundation
  • Australia India Institute of University of Melbourne
  • Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies
  • Center for Global Security Research, USA
  • Centre for Defence Studies, King's College, UK
  • Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation, Geneva
  • Centre for Security Analysis, India
  • Consortium of Non-Traditional Security Studies in Asia (NTS Asia), Singapore
  • Consortium of South Asian Think Tanks (COSATT), Nepal
  • Department of Foregin Affairs and International Trade - Canada
  • European Commission
  • Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
  • Friedrich Naumann Stiftung
  • Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)
  • Japan Foundation
  • John. D. and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation, USA
  • Nuclear Threat Initiative, USA
  • The Stimson Centre, USA
  • Folke Bernadotte Academy, Sweden
  • Sandia National Laboratories, USA
  • Swedish Peace Team Forum
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • United Nations Volunteers (UNV)
  • United States Institute of Peace
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Essex Human Rights Centre

 

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