The International Conference on “Asian Elephants in Culture & Nature”

20th& 21st August 2016

Centre for Asian Studies

University of Kelaniya

Sri Lanka



The Centre for Asian Studies of the University of Kelaniya is organising an international conference on “Asian Elephants in Culture and Nature “to be held on the 20th& 21st of August 2016 at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. The conference is meant to cover every aspect of Asian Elephants and aims for a compendium of research papers to be published along with the conference. We welcome research papers on following themes and any other aspect related to Asian Elephants. The abstracts of papers should be sent before 31st March and the acceptance of papers will be notified case by case until the 10th of April 2016. All abstracts and correspondence related to the conference should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. only.


  1. Zoological aspects of Asian elephants: The biological evolution of elephants with special reference to Elephas maximus. Fossil records on extinct elephants and paleontological research. Biological aspects of Asian elephants vs. African elephants. Subspecies of Asian elephants. Behavioral, nutritional, reproductive and pathological aspects of Asian Elephants in comparison with other mammals.

  2. Ecological and environmental studies: Elephant habitats. The elephant population and ecological balance. Migration and migratory routes. Environmental impact. Conservation and preservation of Asian elephants.

  3. Managing elephant –human interaction: Mitigating conflicts between man and elephant. Issues related to wild life sanctuaries, parks and zoological gardens. Laws, regulations and authorities responsible for elephants in Asian Countries.

  4. Elephants in History: Historical records on Asian elephants, Elephant Kraals and activities related to capture, taming, and training of Elephants. Traditional medicine and healing systems used for elephants. Shooting elephants as a sport. Trading of Elephants and ivory. Evolution and development of ethnic and caste groups related to activities on elephants.

  5. Elephants in Art and Religion: Asian elephants in rock art, Terracotta, sculpture, engravings and paintings. Ivory in art and craft. Rituals related to elephants and possible elephant cults. Association of elephants in religious activities and institutions. Symbolism of elephants in Buddhism and Hinduism. Origin and evolution of the Ganapati cult and iconography of God Ganesha and other elephant forms.

  6. Elephants in literature and folklore: Folk tales, poems, songs and language used in relation to Asia elephants. References and projections of elephants in literature. Review of books written on elephants.

  7. Elephants and society: usageof Asian elephant in labour, religious and social activities in contemporary society. Emblems of various associations and its symbolism. Mitigation of illegal trade of elephants and ivory. Issues related to mahouts and their welfare. Importance of law enforcement for protection of elephants. Awareness programmes on animal rights and social responsibilities.

Abstracts of papers:

Abstracts should contain the title of the paper, name of the author, institutional affiliation, email address and approximately five keywords in addition to the text of 250-300 words. Times New Roman in 12-point font size can be used for the text and it should be sent in both Word and PDF formats.


Full papers:

If you wish to submit your paper to be considered for publication in the conference proceedings it must reach us before 15th June. All papers will be scrutinized by a panel of subject specialists and language editors and the publication of papers depends on their recommendation. Due to technical reasons and the need to be cost effective, research papers should be less than 10 pages (including illustrations and bibliography), but you may consult our editorial board if you wish to exceed the limit. Times New Roman in double space should be used in the text and the paper should be sent both in Word and PDF formats.



All those who attend the conference should be registered individually. The fee structure is as follows.

Sri Lankans: 3000 SL Rupees.

SAARC Nationals: 60 US $

All other scholars: 100 US$

All non-employed full time students will be charged half the above rates according to the category to which they belong. The registered delegates will be entitled to a conference kit, abstract volume, lunch and refreshments during the conference.


We would be happy to help participants to find accommodations to suit to their budget. However, bookings and payments have to be done by participants.


Conference Tour:

A two day post-conference tour will be arranged on 22nd& 23rd August to the elephant orphanage in Pinnawalaand the wild life sanctuary at Wasgamuwa. There will be a charge of 50$ for each participant as a subsidy for transport, accommodation, entry tickets and food during these two days.

You may refer to www.kln.ac.lk for details and further clarifications can be made through conference email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Prof. Anura Manatunga

Convener/ Chairperson of the Conference Organizing Committee

Director/ Centre for Asian Studies,

University of Kelaniya.



Postal : Centre for Asian Studies, University of Kelaniya

Tel : +9411 2903906 / +9471 8392296

Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.