Seminar in Sri Lanka: Building a Nuclear-Free Future Together, March 28, 2014
Date: March 28, 2014
Location: Taj Samudra Colombo

The Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (Sri Lanka) and Peace Boat will co-organize a seminar titled "Across Generations: Building a Nuclear-Free Future Together" to coincide with Peace Boat's visit to Colombo on March 28, 2014.

Chaired by Amb. Jayantha Dhanapala, Former UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs and Governing Board Member of the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute (SIPRI)

Presentations by Mr. Sakata Takanari and Ms. Fukuoka Nao, Representatives of the 7th Global Voyage for a Nuclear Free World - Peace Boat Hibakusha Project

On Friday, 28 March 2014, 9.30am- 12.00 pm
At the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo


This event is part of the 7th Global Voyage for a Nuclear Free World - Peace Boat Hibakusha Project. To date, 150 Hibakusha (atomic-bomb survivors) have travelled around the world to appeal for a nuclear-free world through Peace Boat.

Nearly 69 years have passed since the atomic bombings of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The number of Hibakusha with clear memories of the bombings have grown smaller over time and the opportunities left to hear the testimony of first-generation Hibakusha is limited.

At present the growing interest in the "humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons" at a global level has led to the strengthening of the movement towards banning nuclear weapons. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 only highlighted further the persisting threat of nuclear Technology.

The theme of this Peace Boat voyage is "Across Generations: Building a Nuclear-Free Future Together". This event will help to "pass on" testimonies of nuclear warfare across generations, from elderly Hibakusha with vivid memories to succeeding generations who have not directly experienced war. Additionally, this interactive platform will enable Sri Lankan perspectives to inform the discourse on a nuclear free world.

RCSS and Peace Boat work together as part of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), wherein RCSS serves as the South Asia Regional Secretariat, and Peace Boat in the same capacity for Northeast Asia.


About the speakers

Amb. Jayantha DHANAPALA
Former UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs
Jayantha Dhanapala is a former United Nations Under-Secretary- General for Disarmament Affairs (1998-2003) and a former Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the USA (1995-7) and to the UN Office in Geneva (1984-87).He is currently the 11th President of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs; Deputy Chairman of the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and on several other advisory boards of international bodies. As a Sri Lankan diplomat Dhanapala served in London, Beijing, Washington D.C., New Delhi and Geneva and represented Sri Lanka at several international conferences chairing many of them including the historic NPT Review and Extension Conference of 1995. He was Director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) from 1987-92. Dhanapala has received many international awards and honorary doctorates, has published five books and several articles in international journals and lectured widely. He speaks Sinhala, English, Chinese and French. He is married and has a daughter and a son.

Mr. SAKATA Takanari
Hiroshima Survivor (exposed to a-bomb at age 15)
Mr. Sakata was a middle school student when he was exposed to the atomic bomb while working as part of the student mobilization at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard, 3 km from the hypocenter. He lost consciousness and when he awoke, he found splinters of window glass sticking to his body and arms. On the following day, he saw the hellish site in the city center of queues of people suffering severe burns, and charred bodies floating down the river. He suffered from various illnesses after the war ended. He continues to give his testimony, and has also established a nonprofit organization and works on community revitalization.

From Hiroshima Prefecture; born on 8 December, 1992 (Age 21)
Nao grew up in Hiroshima, and her grandfather was exposed to the atomic bomb. Since she was a child, she has had many opportunities to hear Hibakusha's testimonies. As a high school student, she led a civil society group called "Connecting Hiroshima and Nagasaki Project". She also participated in a week-long field trip to the Marshall Islands, interacting with the local people and learning about the damage caused by the nuclear tests. In order to achieve aworld without nuclear weapons, Nao feels it important to disseminate the message of Hiroshima to the world, and this motivated her to join the voyage.

Read more about the Global Voyage for a Nuclear Free World here.