Centre for Public Policy Research has been an active observer in LYSA for the last one year. The Centre has always tried to its best to contribute to the functioning of LYSA during this period. CPPR was represented by Roji M John (Program Manager) and Antony Dawson D’silva (Research Scholar) at LYSA South Asian Regional Workshop on Basic concepts of Liberalism:Comprehension and Reaching Out held at Induruwa, Sri Lanka from 6th– 10th September 2007. Interestingly, Manali Shah (Program and resource development Manager) was the moderator of the workshop. The event was hosted by Liberal Youth Guilds and supported by Friedrich Naumann Foundationparticipants and provided them an opportunity to interact with other liberal youth organizations in the South Asian region.
Organization presentations, following the formal opening ceremony on the first day, was a great opportunity for all the participants to learn more about other organizations and their activities. To a larger extent, the dilemma of being a True Liberal faced by most of the participants was successfully addressed by the different sessions of the workshop and moderators really excelled with their expertise and sound understanding of liberal principles and practices.
The workshop was successful in initiating a new thought process among the participants as it helped us to develop an alternative paradigm on many issues affecting our societies. The sessions on Liberalism as the Moral Basis for a Free Society, Life in an Illiberal Society, Rule of Law: Foundations of a Liberal Order etc. offered critical perspectives on many of our beliefs and made us think differently. Dr. Rohan Edrisinha’s session on History and Principles of Liberalism was really enriching as well as thought provoking. It offered an insight into the different schools of thought in Liberalism.
Project presentations offered a glance to the nature of ongoing works of the participating organizations and also helped to identify the areas in which different organizations could collaborate and learn from each other. The opportunity to network on related areas and share resources was very much appreciated by all the organizations in the workshop. Taking cue from the session on Planning for Change, which helped to identify the lacunas in their research project, a revised project presentation session was held the day after. Liberalism in Bollywood was very interesting and showed how can we spread the message through movies, documentaries etc.