CPPR was privileged to attend the Young Liberals and Democrats of Asia (YLDA) Annual General Meeting and workshop on “Engaging Citizens for Responsible and Effective Governance” in Jakarta, Indonesia from the 22nd to 26th of November 2007. Twenty-five participants from eight countries of Asia participated in the event in which Mr. Roji M. John, Program Manager of CPPR, represented India. Workshop offered a learning experience as participants discussed the existing good governance practices in their respective countries. Workshop also succeeded in introducing to the participants the niceties of party politics, attempts of democratization through local government bodies and the partially transformed bureaucratic state of Indonesia.

Interaction with various political leaders including H. E. KH Abdurrahman Wahid, Former President of Indonesia, was the highlight of the workshop. As an exponent of liberal ideology he explained how democracy can be effective with citizen participation. He also appealed to the youth to take lead in political activity of their respective counties and strive for change. Participants also visited various party offices and local administrative bodies, and held discussions with people’s representatives at various levels. YLDA Annual General Meeting evaluated the programs implemented in the last one year and also discussed the plans of action for the year 2008. The new executive committee headed by Mr. Rajendra Mulmi as President and Mr. Jan Argy Tolentino as General Secretary, was elected into office. It was also decided in the meeting that Liberal Youth South Asia (LYSA) shall be the regional platform of YLDA in South Asia.

The event was made possible by the generous support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the hospitality and assistance of YLDA-local partner PKB-Garda Bangsa of PKB in cooperation with Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP).