We are proud to announce the 2019 Aisa Liberty Forum in Colombo, Sri Lanka! #AsiaLF19 is sponsored by Atlas Network and co-hosted by the Advocata Institute. Register today!
Asia Liberty Forum brings together friends of the freedom movement across Asia to discuss challenges facing the region and to learn from one another how to most effectively advance free-market reforms.
You will learn from distinguished speakers and participate in interactive sessions to strengthen civil society efforts to move public policy in the direction of greater freedom. At the Asia Liberty Awards Dinner, Atlas Network will announce the winners of its Regional Liberty Awards, which celebrate the most successful projects by Atlas Network partners.
Asia Liberty Forum will take place at the Colombo Hilton in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1. Plan to arrive on February 27 as programming will begin early on February 28, 2019. The Asia Liberty Forum Awards Dinner will take place on the evening of Thursday, February 28 at the Hilton Colombo.
Major sponsorship for Atlas Network's Regional Liberty Forums generously provided by the John Templeton Foundation, Smith Family Foundation, Freda Utley Foundation, Templeton Religion Trust, and the Rainbow Fund.
Dress is business casual for the Asia Liberty Forum conference. Dress for the Asia Freedom Dinner on Thursday, February 28 is black tie optional or cocktail attire, traditional dress encouraged.
Schedule is tentative and subject to change.
|Thursday, February 28, 2019|
|An Atlas Network tradition! Begin the Asia Liberty Forum by meeting new friends in the freedom movement in a fast-paced "speed dating" format.|
|This first session of the Asia Liberty Forum sets the tone for the conference as it is about liberty in Asia. Speakers will share what is happening in a particular project, in their institute, or in their country. The perspective of this session is broad enough to inspire a broad range of discussions.|
|Moderator: Casey Pifer (Atlas Network, USA)|
|A) Amplifying Your Message|
|Join us for a discussion on how Atlas Network partners are reaching wider audiences in their respective regions and across the continent of Asia.|
|Moderator: Linda Edwards (Atlas Network, UK)|
|B) Fast Tracking Courts and Enforcing Contracts|
|Join us for a discussion on how court and contract arrangements are improving and changing across Asia.|
|Moderator: Dr. Tom Palmer (Atlas Network, USA)|
|12:45||Luncheon: The Future of Capitalism and Freedom in Asia|
|Join us for an all-star luncheon discussion with Razeen Sally (National University of Singapore, Singapore), Fraser Howie (Author and Independent Analyst, Singapore), Dr. Christer Ljungwall (ENC Center for Global Affairs, Sweden), and Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja (Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka) on the topic of the Future of Capitalism and Freedom in Asia.|
|Too often, conferences ask you to sit down and stay quiet. Not here! You are invited to speak up and exchange ideas where presenters are ready to discuss projects under development to advance liberty. Play an active role in sharpening their plans to make a difference!|
|A) Fundraising Fundamental: How to Build Donor Relationships|
|During this breakout session, Luis Miranda, Chairman of the Centre for Civil Society, will share some of the things he has learned and applied to build friendships that have turned into deeply committed donor relationships.|
|Facilitators: Luis Miranda (Centre for Civil Society, India) and Dr. Lyall Swim (Atlas Network, USA)|
|*1 Atlas Network Leadership Academy Credit|
|B) Think Tank Impact: Removing Barriers to Entrepreneurship|
|Join us for a panel on the institutional barriers to entrepreneurship within the continent of Asia and what can be done to improve situation for individuals doing business.|
|Moderator: Matt Warner (Atlas Network, USA)|
|17:00||Advocata Public Event - Are We Afraid of Opening Up?|
|Moderator: Nisthar Cassim (Editor, Daily FT Sri Lanka)|
|19:30||Asia Liberty Awards Dinner|
|Keynote Speaker: Professor Rohan Samarajiva (Chair, ICTA Sri Lanka and LirneAsia) on "Freedom at Risk"|
|Master of Ceremonies: Brad Lips (Atlas Network, USA)|
|Friday, March 1, 2019|
|8:00||CEO & Board Member Breakfast (by invite only)|
|9:00||Charting a Course for Economic Freedom in Asia|
|Many Asian partners of Atlas Network are seeking economic reforms that improve the landscape for enterprise in their respective communities. Listen to the experiences of three think tanks that are actively advancing economic liberty across Asia.|
|Interviewer: Casey Pifer (Atlas Network, USA)|
|A) Tipping Points: A Model for Social Change|
|The Overton Window has proved to be a powerful concept in helping organizations understand the political environment and to understand WHAT kinds of reforms are possible, but it doesn't show you HOW to move the window. The discussion in this session will be a discussion around the idea of innovation diffusion and how it can help organizations create momentum for reform.|
|Facilitator: Dr. Lyall Swim (Atlas Network, USA)|
|*1 Atlas Network Leadership Academy Credit|
|B) Monopolies on the Internet: Liberal Answers|
The acronym FAAMG stands for America’s most powerful technology companies: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Not long ago loved and celebrated for their innovative and liberating role, the narrative has changed. Now the focus is on the potential threats the Silicon Valley giants pose to markets, democratic processes and the integrity of elections. This panel aims to discuss the topic from an Asian perspective and present liberal proposals how best to preserve competition, innovation, privacy rights and open access in an increasingly digital environment.
|Moderator: Smitha Krishna Prasad (Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, India)|
|12:30||Think Tank Shark Tank Luncheon|
Watch live as think tank leaders pitch their project ideas to a panel of judges!
Master of Ceremonies: Matt Warner (Atlas Network, USA)
Judges: Luis Miranda (India) • Razeen Sally (Singapore) • Linda Whetstone (UK) • Dr. Ronald Meinardus (India) • Anarkali Moonesinghe (Sri Lanka)
|Contestants: Anthea Haryoko (Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia) • Louis Houlbrooke (New Zealand Taxpayers' Union, New Zealand) • Nitesh Anand (Centre for Civil Society, India)|
|A) Challenges to Privacy in the Digital World|
|We generate huge amounts of data at an ever increasing speed on more and more devices. This data is of great value to both governments and private businesses who enable and control the networks. Digital innovations have improved the way we communicate in a dramatic fashion; they have also enabled seemingly uncontrolled surveillance and collection of vast amounts of personal data. This poses a risk to our right to privacy. Panelists will give an overview of the legal and policy frameworks and discuss the challenges facing privacy advocacy. The panel aims at coming up with a liberal set of principles that define the responsibilities of the private sector, the role of governments and that of the citizens/consumers to protect personal data.|
|Moderator: Dr. Ronald Meinardus (Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, India)|
|B) Currency Depreciation and it's Consequences|
|The past few months have witnessed rapid currency depreciation across Asia, causing a significant amount of concern across economic sectors. What are the reasons behind these changes, what is their real impact on Asian economies and its people?|
|Moderator: Murtaza Jafferjee (JB Securities & Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka)|
|A) Asia as a Land of Cities: Opportunities and Challenges|
|Many Asian countries vastly underestimate the levels of urbanization in their countries. Yet Cities are the engines of growth and prosperity. How can we embrace our urban future? What are the issues and challenges?|
|Moderator: Anushka Wijesinha (Global Future Council & World Economic Forum, Sri Lanka)|
|B) Intellectual Property Rights for Innovation and Economic Growth. Where Does Southeast Asia stand? (sponsored by Property Rights Alliance)|
|Join us for a panel discussion about what key role Intellectual Property Rights should play in generating economic growth and innovation in Southeast Asia.|
|Moderator: Harith de Mel (Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka)|
|17:30||Advocata Public event - State of State Enterprises in Sri Lanka|
|Advocata will be launching its flagship report ‘The State of State-Owned Enterprises 2019’ at the 2019 Asia Liberty Forum. This report expands on the material of the previous report, with focus directed on looking at the reasons for these losses to persist, and the ways in which SOEs have been used to further political or individual gain. Multiple levels of authority analysed through the lens of the principal-agent problem in this report highlights how incentives for personal gain drive the functioning of many SOEs. Given the size and number of SOEs; and their economic drain, the report pushes for immediate reform.|
|Moderator: Dr. Nishan de Mel (Executive Director, Verite Research)|
Dhananath Fernando - Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka
Dhananath is currently the Chief Operating Officer of ‘Advocata’, an Economic Policy Think Tank in Sri Lanka, where he is a founding member. He recieved his Bachelors degree in Bio Sciences at the University of Colombo and is a graduate of Atlas Leadership Academy and ATLAS Think Tank MBA. He is one of the curators of AK Lit Fest a Tri Lingual Literary Festival in upbringing local literati. He is the host of “Public Space Sri Lanka”, a one to one weekly TV discussion with politicians on Art TV and a morning news programme namely “Wake up with Art”. Additionally, Dhananath works with ‘people in need’ by volunteering in CandleAid Lanka, a government approved humanitarian organization. He is also the 2018 winner of the Asia Think Tank Shark Tank competition and is an enthusiastic mountain climber & trekker. He completed Everest Base Camp in May of 2018 and the Chardar Trek, a frozen river along the Indian Tibetan border, in 2017.
Roy Spencer - Conscious Capitalism, USA
Roy started his contracting business, Perma-Seal Basement Systems in 1979 with only $1,700 in the bank and an F150 Ford pickup truck. Today, 40 years later, Roy is still running that business that has since grown to over 80 trucks and nearly 200 employees. He credits his success to his early commitment to hard work work, ethical treatment of his clients and employees, and maintaining a long term decision making process. In addition to being the president and visionary of Perma-Seal, Roy serves on the executive board of the Chicagoland and Northern Illinois Better Business Bureau and is chairman of the Chicago chapter of Conscious Capitalism.
Razeen Sally - Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
Razeen Sally is an Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He was on the faculty of the London School of Economics for eighteen years, where he also received his PhD. He has held adjunct teaching, research and advisory positions at universities and think tanks in the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia. He is on the Global Agenda Council for Competitiveness of the World Economic Forum, and was awarded the Hayek Medal by the Hayek Society in Germany in 2011. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society.
Razeen Sally’s research and teaching focuses on global trade policy and Asia in the world economy. He has written on the WTO, FTAs, and on different aspects of trade policy in Asia. He has also written on the history of economic ideas, especially the theory of commercial policy.
Aira Azhari - Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), Malaysia
Aira Azhari is Coordinator of the Democracy and Governance Unit at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), an independent policy research organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Liverpool, UK and a Master of Laws from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has provided analysis on political and economic issues to Malaysian and international press, including the BBC World News and BBC Radio.
Dr. Lyall Swim - Atlas Network, USA
Dr. Lyall Swim is the director of training at Atlas Network. In his role, Lyall provides leadership for the entire suite of Atlas Network training offerings. For the past 17 years, he has engaged with more than 20,000 adult learners in dozens of organizations around the world. His focus has been to build increased leadership and operational capacity and enable organizations to successfully navigate various forms of change. He is a sought-after speaker on ethics, leadership, innovation adoption, and education innovation. As the director of operations for Sutherland Institute, Lyall helped lead a redesign of the organization that enabled the Institute to better leverage the strengths of each staff member and increase the profile and influence of the Institute in Utah. Lyall holds a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University. He also holds a bachelor’s in communications and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University. His research and writing on leadership, ethics, education reform, adult learning, and innovation adoption have been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals and various local and national outlets. Above all, Lyall enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three teenage children.
Casey Pifer - Atlas Network, USA
Casey joined the Atlas Network team as an intern in 2014, transitioned into the Development and Events Associate before serving as Institute Relations and Programs Manager and now as Associate Director, Institute Relations and Programs. She grew up in West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science. During college, she tutored students in economics, helped manage a catering company and was active in Students for Liberty. Before graduation, she spent a summer as a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow working with the policy team at Citizens Against Government Waste. Casey loves playing ultimate frisbee, reading and talking with people about freedom.
Rainer Heufers - Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia
Rainer Heufers is the Executive Director of the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies in Jakarta, Indonesia. Being strictly non-partisan and not-for-profit, CIPS suggests policies that are based on the belief that only civil, political, and economic freedom allows Indonesia to prosper. Heufers is also the founder and Managing Director of Siap Solutions Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based training and consulting firm. As a Senior Fellow of the Atlas Network, he designed the first Atlas Think Tank MBA in 2008 and has since conducted these annual flagship-trainings of the Atlas Network where think tank leaders from around the world develop individual business plans for their organizations.
Anthea Haryoko - Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia
Anthea Haryoko is the Head of External Relations at CIP and is responsible for CIPS’ communications efforts that supports its advocacy and donor outreach.
Anthea has 7 years experience working in communications supporting organisations ranging from multinational companies to non-profits. Before joining CIPS, Anthea worked in PR agency, Maverick, and the Bakrie Group in Indonesia.
Khaliun Chimeddorj - Silk Road Foundation, Mongolia
Khaliun graduated from highschool in Poland, where she lived with her family for eight years. Returning to Mongolia in 2007, she graduated from the Mongolian University of Science and Technology as an English-Russian technical translator. Later, she earned Master Degree in Linguistics. From 2014, she worked as a translator and journalist at the UB Post, the only independent Mongolian newspaper in English, covering the nation’s politics, business, and economics. In February 2017, Khaliun joined the Silk Road Foundation as its general manager.
Basanta Adhikari - Bikalpa, an Alternative, Nepal
Basanta Adhikari is the Founding chairperson of Bikalpa-an Alternative; an organization which envisions a Nepal where rule of law is supreme and all citizens can have an equal opportunity to prosper in their own country and enjoy their rights to life, liberty and property. Prior to this, he has worked with Samriddhi-the Prosperity Foundation, leading “Gari Khana Deu” (Livable Nepal) campaign to promote the fundamental principles of rule of law, right to life and property, and Freedom to Enterprise. Mr. Adhikari also served as a volunteer for three years (1999-2002) at Youth Development Program in Biratnagar and joined Youth Initiative in 2007 where he worked with different stakeholders to educate and trained young people on the issue of civic leadership. He graduated from SungKongHoe University, Seoul, South Korea on Master’s in Inter-Asia NGOs Studies (MAINS). Besides this, Basanta is alumni of US Department of State International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) and honored as Alumni of the month by the US Embassy Nepal in October 2017. He is also an Accountapreneur for Accountability Lab Accountability Incubator program and an Asia 21 young Leader’s fellow for class of 2016.
Brad Lips - Atlas Network, United States
Brad Lips has served as Atlas Network's Chief Executive Officer since 2009, after previously acting as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 1998, Lips conducted equity research for Smith Barney Inc. and policy research for the Progress & Freedom Foundation. He co-founded an Internet startup (subsequently sold to DoubleDutch), after spending his first years out of college at an online service provider while writing for music magazines. Lips is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and chaired the Organizing Committee of its 2016 General Meeting in Miami. He is a member of the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Templeton Religion Trust. His articles have appeared in The Daily Caller, National Review Online, Forbes, Fox News, American Spectator, American Thinker, and RealClearPolitics. Lips speaks widely on free enterprise as a solution to poverty, and on the international freedom champions connected by Atlas Network.
Dr. Tom G. Palmer - Atlas Network, United States
Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. On Nov. 10, 2016, Dr. Tom G. Palmer was named the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty at Atlas Network. He is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and director of Cato University. Before joining Cato, he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, as well as the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), Peace, Love & Liberty(2014), and Self-Control or State Control? You Decide (2016). Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.
Matt Warner - Atlas Network, United States
Matt Warner is Chief Operating Officer of Atlas Network. In this role he supports the strategic evolution of Atlas Network's Coach, Compete, Celebrate approach to strengthening a global network of research and advocacy organizations all committed to expanding economic freedom for all people. As Senior Fellow, he writes and speaks on organizational development, change leadership, economic development and nonprofit strategy, most recently as a guest on the popular EconTalk podcast with Hoover Institution's Russ Roberts. His work has been published in the Cato Journal, the Washington Times, Forbes.com, Fee.org, as well as many daily and weekly newspapers throughout the United States. He has testified before several state legislative bodies on issues related to expanding liberty for individuals, particularly in educational choice and energy policy. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida State University and a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University. He is also certified by Georgetown University in organizational consulting and change leadership.
Linda Whetstone - Atlas Network, United States
Linda Whetstone is chairman of the Atlas Network and Network for a Free Society and a board member of the Institute of Economic Affairs, and Istanbul Network for Liberty. She was previously on the board of the Mont Pelerin Society and co-organizer of MPS meetings in Nairobi and Istanbul. She has written on development, trade and agricultural topics and recently co-edited Islamic Foundations of a Free Society. She runs a small business in Sussex, UK with her husband.
Luis Miranda - Centre for Civil Society, India
Luis is Chairman of the Centre for Civil Society. CCS is launching the Indian School of Public Policy this year. He is the former Chairman, IDFC Private Equity. Luis founded IDFC Private Equity in 2002 and was earlier a senior member of the start-up team at HDFC Bank. He is Senior Advisor, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and is involved with various non-profits related to capacity building. Luis got his MBA from Chicago Booth, where he taught by Chicago School economists George Stiller and Gene Fama.
Bryan Cheang - Adam Smith Center, Singapore
Bryan Cheang is the Founder and Director of the Adam Smith Center, which is the first and only independent, pro-market think tank based in Singapore. The mission of the Adam Smith Center is to inspire and build a new generation of leaders grounded in the values of free market humanitarianism, that of individualism, free exchange, rule of law and permissionless innovation, the engines of human progress.
Bryan is also a PhD Candidate in Political Economy at King’s College London, where he also obtained his Masters. His academic interests is in the areas of philosophy, politics and economics (PPE), specifically in the political economy of development. He is currently working on his thesis comparing state formation and economic strategies in Hong Kong and Singapore as part their growth experiences, and its impact on entrepreneurship and innovation.
Bryan also previously spent time in the Singapore civil service in the economic policymaking agency working on human capital solutions for small businesses. He has also published articles on local platforms like Channel Newsasia and Singapore Business Review, as well as overseas ones like CAPx and Foundation for Economic Education.
Fraser Howie - Author and Independent Analyst, Singapore
Fraser Howie is co-author of three books on the Chinese financial system, Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundations of China’s Extraordinary Rise (named a Book of the Year 2011 by The Economist magazine and one of the top ten business books of the year by Bloomberg), Privatizing China: Inside China’s Stock Markets and “To Get Rich is Glorious” China’s Stock Market in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
He studied Natural Sciences (Physics) at Cambridge University and Chinese at Beijing Language and Culture University and for over twenty years has been trading, analyzing and writing about Asian stock markets. During that time he has worked in Hong Kong Beijing and Singapore.
He has worked for Baring Securities, Bankers Trust, Morgan Stanley, CICC and from 2003 to 2012 he worked at CLSA as a Managing Director in the Listed Derivatives and Synthetic Equity department.
His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, China Economic Quarterly and the Nikkei Asian Review, and is a regular commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg and the BBC
Dr. Ronald Meinardus - Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, India
Dr. Ronald Meinardus calls himself a liberal, a political commentator, a desk activist and a Philhellene. He came to New Delhi in summer 2015 as the Regional Director South Asia of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). Before that, he served the Foundation in Egypt, the Philippines, South Korea and Greece. A journalist by training, Dr Meinardus has published widely on current political affairs in academic journals and the media. He edited What Does it Mean to be a Liberal in India (Academic Foundation, 2016). Twitter: @Meinardus
Scott (Sungchull) Kim - Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR), South Korea
Scott (Sungchull) fled North Korea in 2001. His life in North Korea had been miserable, but things got worse in China as he struggled to survive. He was arrested by Chinese police and repatriated back to North Korea three different times. Determined to be free, he finally successfully escaped to South Korea in 2007. After barely attending school in North Korea, he completed his K-12 education in South Korea in less than two years. He was accepted into Handong Global University (HGU), majoring in International studies and social welfare. A turning point in his life came when he had an opportunity to study English in the USA. He studied at Fulbright College for four months and interned for both the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. After graduating from HGU, he worked at a trading company for three years. He is now running his own trading company. Remembering his own difficulties as an adolescent, Scott dreams of establishing a school for orphans so they can live together and get educated in a nurturing environment. Scott is now a Special Ambassador for Teach North Korean Refugees (TNKR) in Seoul, giving speeches about North Korean defectors and telling his own story.
Mirsuljan Namazaliev - Central Asian Free Market Institute, Kyrgyz Republic
Mr. Mirsuljan Namazaliev is the Managing Director of the Central Asian Free Market Institute, which he founded in 2009. He owned and managed K-News LLC (2015-2017), one of the leading online news sources in Kyrgyzstan. He is the founding curator at the Global Shapers Hub in Bishkek, initiative of the World Economic Forum. Previously, Mr. Namazaliev has represented the Zurich-based Neweurasia Citizen Media company in Kyrgyzstan (2006-2014), founded and lead various civic movements and organizations that promoted democratic changes under authoritarian regimes in the country (2004-2008). He stands for the Rule of Law, Economic Freedom and Minimal Government. Mr. Namazaliev holds a BA in political science from the Bishkek Humanities University (2009).
Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja - Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, Sri Lanka
Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja is the Executive Director of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies in Sri Lanka. He concurrently serves as a Member of the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister’s Task Force on the Indian Ocean. He is also a Senior Research Associate at the Overseas Development Institute in London. In a career spanning over 25 years, Ganeshan has had senior roles at the Asian Development Bank (including the Director of Research at the ADB Institute in Tokyo), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the OECD, Oxford University, the United Nations University Institute for New Technologies and a UK consulting firm. He has published 19 books on international economics, regional integration, SMEs, development economics and development finance. He holds a DPhil in economics from Oxford University and a BSc in economics from the London School of Economics.
Mohammad Khalid Ramizy - Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization, Afghanistan
Mohammad Khalid Ramizy is a rising young leader and Human Rights Activist. He lives in Kabul, Afghanistan. Khalid Ramizy is from an Afghan intellectual family, who devoted their entire lifetimes to promote human rights, individual freedom and other free society values in Afghanistan. He continued these invaluable activities since the collapse of Taliban regime by working with Friedrich Naumann Foundation and some other national and international organizations. He is currently working as Executive Director of Afghanistan Economic and Legal Studies Organization (Afghanistan lead libertarian think tank) a partner of Atlas Network, as well as he is the Founder of Silk Road Online Radio & TV, Afghanistan's first online scientific Radio & TV Station.
Khalid Ramizy is committed and determined to promote the ideas of liberty, free-market, human rights, rule of law and bring peace and prosperity, the culture of co-existence and tolerance in Afghanistan. He has huge network with different stratification of the Afghan society, who was involved and has worked with different youth groups for an Afghanistan, where every citizen enjoys peace, love and prosperity.
Parth Shah - Centre for Civil Society, India
Dr. Parth J Shah is the Founder of Centre for Civil Society (CCS), a market liberal think tank that advances social change through public policy. Its work in education, livelihoods, and policy training promotes choice and accountability across private and public sectors. To translate policy into practice, CCS engages with policy and opinion leaders through research, pilot projects and advocacy.
Parth’s research and advocacy work focuses on the themes of economic freedom, choice and competition in education, property rights approach to the environment and new public management. He is a member of the education taskforce of the governments of Delhi and Karnataka and serves on the Senate of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. He holds a PhD in economics and has taught at the University of Michigan and been a visiting faculty at JNU, Delhi and MS University, Vadodara.
Prashant Narang, - Advocate and PhD Candidate, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
During college days, Prashant along with his friends produced a documentary "Third Wheel" advocating for deregulation of the auto-rickshaw sector. As a junior legal counsel, he assisted the counsel representing cycle-rickshaw pullers in a case that eventually led to the High Court invalidating the drastic license-permit raj. His research papers and articles on the legal services sector argue for the legalisation of contingent fee, advertising and corporate business structure for lawyers, and doing away with the elected regulator for lawyers. While heading iJustice at Centre for Civil Society, many of his recommendations on the ease of doing reforms have been either acknowledged, endorsed or adopted by the concerned government bodies. He successfully represented the Jaipur street vendors before the Supreme Court of India resulting in the proper implementation of street vending law in Rajasthan. Ongoing cases for CCS include challenging the advertising restrictions on auto rickshaws and the regulatory role of the state department running public schools in Delhi. Currently, enrolled as a doctoral candidate at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, he is doing a critical study of the economic freedom jurisprudence.
Anarkali Moonesinghe - CIMB, Sri Lanka
Anarkali has over 16 years of Investment Banking experience in Europe and Asia, particularly Asian Emerging Markets. Anarkali joined CIMB Investment Bank in Sri Lanka as the country head in September 2011. Over the past 5 years Anarkali has established CIMB as the go to investment bank for cross border transactional expertise, advising on key transactions. Prior to joining CIMB, Anarkali was a partner with Amura Consulting, a Singapore based financial advisory services boutique which focused on small to mid cap transactions in frontier markets including private equity, mergers & acquisitions, and financial structuring.
Anarkali started her career with Merrill Lynch in Mergers & Acquisitions in Singapore where she worked predominantly on cross-border transactions across the ASEAN region in a variety of industries. She then moved to Merrill Lynch Europe in London and focused on Corporate Finance transactions involving equity, equity-linked, and debt financing solutions for corporate clients across Europe.
Anarkali currently serves on the Board of Directors of Keells Hotels PLC and the Lankan Angel Network, a platform for angel and private investors who invest in high growth early stage Sri Lankan ventures.
Anarkali received a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Christ Church College, University of Oxford.
Junjie Ma - ENC Center for Global Affairs, China
Junjie Ma is the CEO at the ENC Center for Global Affairs. He is also the acting director of the International Division at Unirule Institute of Economics, a Beijing-based private think-tank; he is also Associate Researcher at Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE). He is an alumnus of International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) of the U.S. Department of State, and a two-time alumnus of International Academy for Leadership (IAF) of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). His research interest ranges from China’s economic and political reforms, property rights, reform of state-owned enterprises, and the development of private enterprises, to climate change issues, and corporate social responsibilities. He is a columnist for multiple major Chinese newspapers and journals, such as China Business Journa, The Economic Observer, and Caixin Media, and a regular contributor to international media, such as The Diplomat, and L’Europe en Formation, and the Foundation for Economics Education (FEE).
Dr. Christer Ljungwall - ENC Center for Global Affairs, Sweden
Dr. Christer Ljungwall is a China political-economy specialist, and an expert in economic development with particular focus on Asia. He is currently acting Professor at PKU-HSBC Business School in P.R. China. He is also co-founder and head of research of ENC Center for Global Affairs. Dr. Ljungwall has held positions over the years as Sr. diplomat at the Embassy of Sweden in P.R. China; Sr. Country Economist with the Asian Development Bank; and Assistant Professor at National School of Development, Peking University. He is affiliated Professor at Copenhagen Business School. He is the author of 35+ academic journal articles in English, 150+ reports, and five books. He is a regularly invited speaker on Chinese and Asian economic and political affairs, and innovation. He is member of the Scientific Advisory Board (the Knowledge Economy), P.R.C; member of The Growth Net, New York. He is RO Lieutenant in the Swedish Armed Forces. Dr. Ljungwall received his PhD in economics from Gothenburg University in 2003 (Essays on China’s Economic Performance During the Reform Period. Ekonomiska Studier, No. 128. Nationalekonomiska institutionen, Handelshögskolan i Göteborg, 2003).
Laurence Todd - Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Malaysia
Laurence Todd is the Director of Research at IDEAS. Prior to joining IDEAS in April 2018, Laurence served in a number of roles in the British government, including in the Ministry of Defence and Her Majesty’s Treasury where Laurence manged policy and analysis relating to migration. Between 2013 and 2016 Laurence worked in 10 Downing Street as an adviser to former British Prime Minister David Cameron, providing policy advice on foreign affairs, European policy and trade. At IDEAS, Laurence’s primary research focus includes ASEAN integration, Malaysia’s trade policy and the business environment. His recent publications include “CPTPP: The case for ratification”; “Special Report on EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement” and “Impacts of Investment from China in Malaysia on the Local Economy”.
Nitesh Anand - Centre for Civil Society, India
Nitesh Anand holds a B.Tech. Degree from Allahabad, India and have been associated with the development space since 2010. As part of an ICICI Fellow (now known as India Fellow Program), Nitesh was associated with Seva Mandir in Rajasthan working on local self-governance and responsible citizenship before moving to work with People’s Action Group for Inclusion & Rights (PAGIR) in Leh-Ladakh on organizational development and advocacy strategies. His most recent assignment before joining CCS was with a Delhi-NCR based non-profit Ideosync Media Combine, where he led a United Nation’s Democracy Fund supported nationwide initiative on Democracy and Community Media. He has been passionately involved in governance, democracy and actions promoting liberal values. Nitesh is also one of the founder members of Udaipur Film Society for Cinema of Resistance. He has keen interest in photography, alternate cinema, traveling, cooking and storytelling.
Louis Houlbrooke - New Zealand Taxpayers' Union, New Zealand
Louis Houlbrooke is the Communications Officer at the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, working to
further the Union’s mission of lower taxes, less waste, more transparency via national and local
media. Louis previously worked in the New Zealand Parliament as a press secretary to ACT Leader
David Seymour. His academic background is in journalism.
Smitha Krishna Prasad - Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, India
Smitha Krishna Prasad is Associate Director at the Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi. At the Centre she manages the work of the Civil Liberties team, which focuses on work related to law, policy and awareness / capacity building activities in the context of privacy and surveillance, freedom of speech and expression, and access to internet. Her research interests relate to international and domestic laws on privacy, data protection, and surveillance with a focus on sectors where the intersection of law, policy and technology have an increased impact on the right to privacy. Twitter: @SmithaKPrasad
Nalaka Gunawardene - Sri Lanka
Trained as a science writer, and widely experienced as a journalist across print, broadcast and web outlets, Nalaka Gunawardene is a commentator and analyst on social, cultural and political impacts of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in Sri Lanka. For over two decades, he has written and spoken widely on issues such as the digital divide, gender disparities in ICT use, rise of digital natives, social media proliferation, ICTs for good governance, online hate speech, political campaigning online, and Internet freedom. He tweets from: @NalakaG
Smriti Parsheera - National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, India
Smriti Parsheera is a technology policy researcher with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi. Her areas of interest include privacy and digital rights, competition policy and regulatory governance. She has previously worked with the United Nations Development Programme, the Competition Commission of India and L&L Law Offices in Delhi. Smriti graduated from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and did her LLM from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law along with a Certificate Course in Law and Business from the Wharton School. She is currently pursuing a PhD in policy studies from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. Twitter: @SmirtiParsheera
Nikhil Pahwa - MediaNama, India
Nikhil Pahwa, is the Founder and Editor of MediaNama, a leading publication chronicling the growth of India’s digital ecosystem. He is a TED Fellow, and co-founded the Savetheinternet.in campaign for Net Neutrality in India, which was the largest grassroots campaign in the history of India, with over a million people participating. He was also the co-founder and Chairman of the Internet Freedom Foundation, which focuses on advocacy for an open Internet in India. Twitter: @Nixxin
Nighat Dad - Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
Nighat Dad is the Director of Digital Rights Foundation. Besides being called an 'over' feminist, Nighat is the flag-bearer of digital rights activism in Pakistan. Nighat has bagged several international and national awards and recognition to her name, like being listed as TIME Magazine's Next-Gen Leader in 2015, awarded Atlantic Council Freedom Award and Human Rights Tulip Award in 2016, and recently won hearts at the TED Global stage, for her work to preserve digital rights and freedom in Pakistan. Twitter: @NighatDad
Supinya Klangnarong - National Press Council of Thailand & AMARC Asia-Pacific, Thailand
Supinya Klangnarong is a media and digital policy consultant from Thailand with experience in the field from assignments on the policy level and working for social movement platforms. Now she works as a policy consultant on media and digital rights, a guest lecturer and researcher. After working as a media activist and a policy advocate for two decades, the Senate selected Supinya Klangnarong for the position of Commissioner of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC). She was the only female and youngest member of NBTC and also the first person selected from the sector of consumers’ rights protection and independent media. Twitter: @Supinya
Christopher Lingle - Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala
Christopher Lingle earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Georgia in 1977 & has been employed at universities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America & USA. He is currently Visiting Professor of Economics in the Escuela de Negocios at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala (since 1998); Adjunct Scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies (Sydney); Research Scholar at the Centre for Civil Society (New Delhi); International Political Economic Advisor for the Asian Institute for Diplomacy & International Affairs (AIDIA – Kathmandu); Member of Academic Advisory Council of the Globalization Institute (Brussels) & Senior Fellow, Advocata (Colombo, Sri Lanka).
Dr. Lingle’s research interests are in the areas of Political Economy & International Economics, focusing on emerging market economies & public policy reform in East & Central Europe, East Asia, Latin America, & Southern Africa. He is the author of Singapore’s Authoritarian Capitalism (1996) and The Rise & Decline of the Asian Century (1997).
Robin Sitoula - Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal
Robin Sitoula is the co-founder and executive director of Samriddhi Foundation. Having
successfully established a non-partisan youth movement in Nepal in the late nineties through
Youth Initiative, he initiated Samriddhi Foundation in 2006 with his colleagues. From the very
beginning, he has been at the core of building a reliable team that has made Samriddhi an
award-winning institute. He has designed and implemented several research, educational and
advocacy programs in areas of entrepreneurship, economic policy reform, and democracy. He
has worked with major political organizations of Nepal for several years and established one of
the largest collaborative leadership programs amongst contesting parties in Nepal. He has
extensively travelled in South Asia and North America to share his expertise on designing
successful campaigns and programs. He has been a fellow at Atlas Network since 2006. He
graduated in Investments and Financial Management from the Tribhuvan University in Nepal.
Besides working at Samriddhi, he runs private enterprises namely in the sector of management
consulting and research and analytics as a vocation.
Dr. Ajay Shah - National Institute for Public Finance and Policy, India
Ajay Shah studied at IIT, Bombay and USC, Los Angeles. He has held
positions at the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, Indira Gandhi
Institute for Development Research and the Ministry of Finance. He is
now Professor at NIPFP in New Delhi. He does academic and
policy-oriented research on India, at the intersection of economics,
law and public administration. His areas of focus are macroeconomics,
finance, health, technology policy and the justice system. His work
can be accessed on his home page (http://www.mayin.org/ajayshah). He founded
and edits the blog http://blog.theleapjournal.org
Linda Edwards - Atlas Network, United Kingdom
Edwards is a dual US/UK national who has lived in Texas, California, London, Dubai, Paris, and Hong Kong. Her background is in economics and law. As a serial immigrant, she has travelled extensively in different parts of the world and admires the innovations and advances that have lead to greater peace, health, knowledge, and prosperity. She is a long-time supporter of organizations that promote those goals through education and advocating change (whether incremental or radical) that will lead to greater access, choice, freedom, tolerance, rule of law, and human rights. She is an advisory council member of the Institute of Economic Affairs.
Dr. Ross McCleod - Australian National University, Australia
Ross McLeod is Adjunct Associate Professor with the Indonesia Project at the Australian National University. An economist, he has worked in and on Indonesia in
various capacities—postgraduate student, consultant and academic researcher—since 1978, with particular emphasis on issues relating to financial markets, money and banking, governance, and decentralisation. From October 1998 through August 2011 he was editor of the ANU’s Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, a journal that has provided continuous commentary on the Indonesian economy since 1965 through its regular Surveys of Recent Developments. He is the joint editor, with Professor Ross Garnaut, of one of the first major studies of the Asian Financial Crisis to be published: East Asia in Crisis: From being a miracle to needing one?, and joint editor, with Professor Andrew MacIntyre, of Indonesia: Democracy and the Promise of Good Governance.
Murtaza Jafferjee - JB Securities & Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka
Pritika Hingorani - IDFC Institute, India
Pritika Hingorani is Director and Research Fellow at IDFC Institute, Mumbai. In addition to her management responsibilities, she also leads the Institute’s urban programmes.
Previously, she spent several years at the IDFC Policy Group where she worked on projects spanning affordable housing, water, sanitation and rural development. Prior to IDFC, Pritika spent three years as an Associate working across the International Trade, Financial Economics and Anti-Trust practices with Charles River Associates, in Washington DC and London.
Pritika has a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has a dual Bachelors degree in Economics and Political Science (Honours) from Bryn Mawr College, with a minor in Peace and Conflict studies. At Bryn Mawr, Pritika won several research grants and a department award for her undergraduate thesis on the political economy of liberalisation reform and corruption in India. Pritika specialised in development economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and trained in Alternate Dispute Resolution at Cyprus University, Nicosia.
Pritika has written papers for the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, the International Development Planning Review and the India Infrastructure Report and presented her research at domestic and international conferences.
Dr. Harsha de Silva (Honorable Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution, Sri Lanka)
Dr. Harsha de Silva is an economist and a politician. He serves as a member of Parliament of Sri Lanka, as the Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution. Previously he was the State Minister of National Policies & Economic Affairs and has also served as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He received his Phd from the University of Missouri.
Anushka Wijesinha - Global Future Council & World Economic Forum, Sri Lanka
Anushka is an economist with a track record of research and advisory work across Asia. He has published in national and international publications, focusing on innovation, private sector development, and international economics. He is currently the Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Head of the Economic Intelligence Unit. Anushka serves on the Board of Directors of three leading financial services companies – Seylan Bank PLC, FairFirst Insurance Ltd, and HNB Grameen Finance Ltd. He is also a member of the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Iromi Perera - Urban Development Researcher & Activist, Sri Lanka
Iromi Perera is a Colombo based researcher and activist. Her work currently focuses on Sri Lanka’s post war development related issues, specifically evictions and forced displacement in Colombo, contested sacred sites, and eminent domain. At present, she is part of a two year long, three-country multidisciplinary team looking at two cities in South Asia, Lahore in Pakistan and Colombo in Sri Lanka, and focusing on the ways in which urban development projects affect the lives of the urban poor who have been displaced to make way for new infrastructural projects.
She was a senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a Sri Lankan public policy research and advocacy think tank, for nine years. Iromi headed CPA’s survey research unit from 2011-2017 and led over 20 national surveys and opinion polls during that time. She was a Fulbright Professional Scholar in 2015 and was based at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C as an academic visitor at the Institute’s Center on International Development and Governance. In 2017, she was selected as an Asia Foundation Development Fellow and joined the Board of Trustees of The Asia Foundation in 2019.
Lorenzo Montanari - Property Rights Alliance (PRA), USA
Lorenzo Montanari is Executive Director of the Property Rights Alliance (PRA) an advocacy group affiliated with ATR for the protection of physical and intellectual property rights, both domestically and internationally. On the international stage, PRA works closely with famed property rights champion and President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD) in Lima, Peru, Hernando de Soto and other 120 think tanks. Lorenzo is the editor of the International Property Rights Index, an international comparative study focus on intellectual and physical property rights. Previously, Montanari worked for a public affairs firm and for the international department of the GSPM/George Washington University in Washington, DC as well as a political analyst and electoral observer in Latin America. Montanari holds a BA in Political Science, a MA in International Relations from the University of Bologna and MA in Political Management from the George Washington University. He collaborates with Forbes, The Daily Caller, The Urban Folks (Japan) , Formiche and Atlantico.
Philip Stevens - Geneva Network, United Kingdom
Philip founded Geneva Network in 2015. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Malaysia. His main research interests are the intersection of intellectual property, trade and health policy. Formerly he was an official at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, where he worked in its Global Challenges Division on a range of IP and health issues. Prior to his time with WIPO, Philip worked as director of policy for International Policy Network, a UK-based think tank, as well as holding research positions with the Adam Smith Institute and Reform, both in London. He has also worked a political risk consultant and a management consultant. He is a regular columnist in a wide range of international newspapers and has published a number of academic studies. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Durham University (UK).
The Asia Liberty Forum meetings will take place at the Hilton Colombo.
Asia Liberty Forum Hotel Reservations:
2 Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha
00200 Colombo, Sri Lanka
Learn more about the hotel here.
The discounted rate at the The Hilton Colombo is $175 (single room) / $188 (double room). This rate is inclusive of a 30.28% tax.
Check in Date & Time:
Check out Date & Time:
Room Type: Single or Double (If requesting Double, please provide # of guests and whether you will one one bed or two in the room.)
Check-out time is 12:00 noon and check-in time is 3:00 pm. Check-in after 1:00 pm and before 3:00 pm is subject to availability. Check-in after 8:00 am and before 1:00 pm will be charged at 30% of the full room rate. Check-in prior to 8:00 am will be charged at 100% of the room rate. Late check-out between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm is subject to availability. Late check-out between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm will be charged at 30% of the full room rate. Late check-out after 7:00 pm will be charged at 100% of the room rate.
Travel to Colombo
Would you like more information on how to travel to the Asia Liberty Forum? Please contact Sherry.Romello@AtlasNetwork.Org or James.Anderson@AtlasNetwork.Org for details. The process of acquiring a travel Visa may vary from country to country.
The rupee is the currency of Sri Lanka, divided into 100 cents. The currency code for Rupees is LKR, and the currency symbol is generally Rs., but "LKR" is occasionally used to distinguish it from other currencies also called rupee. $1 USD is approximately equal to 179 LKR. The Hilton Colombo accepts credit cards for charges within the hotel.
The Asia Liberty Forum will take place at the Hilton Colombo (2 Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha, 00200, Sri Lanka). The hotel provides an iron & ironing board in the room; free use of the Fitness Centre; complimentary high-speed internet access; standard water bottles replenished daily; Crabtree & Evelyn bath amenities. A buffet breakfast is included in your room cost and will be available from 6:30 am to 10:30 am daily in the GRAZE Kitchen. For more information on the hotel, please visit its website here.
Attire for the Forum is business casual. Cocktail attire or traditional dress is encouraged for the Atlas Network Asia Liberty Awards Dinner on the evening of February 28th.
Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), colloquially known as Katunayake Airport and Colombo International Airport, is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. It is located in a suburb of Negombo, 20 miles north of the commercial capital Colombo. Katunayake is about 32 km (about 20 miles) from the hotel.
Hotel Transfers: The Hilton Colombo provides a pick-up service available to take you directly from the airport to/from the hotel. There is a charge for this service (You will be responsible to pay for this service) and a credit card guarantee is required. Please e-mail Colombo.Reservations@hilton.com to make your transportation arrangements directly with the hotel. Guests who have made a prior reservation will be paged in the Arrivals Terminal by the hotel’s airport representative and escorted to the vehicle. It normally takes about 45 minutes from the airport to the hotel. A Mercedes Benz car (maximum of 3 passengers with luggage) is available for $65.00 USD. A Mercedes Benz van (maximum of 8 passengers with luggage) is available for $65.00 USD. A luxury coach (maximum of 20 passengers with luggage) is available for $100 USD.
Climate And Weather
In February/March, the weather characteristics are as shown below:
- Average temperature: 27oC (81oF)
- High temperature: 31oC (88oF)
- Low temperature: 23oC (73oF)
- Average rainfall: Between 69 mm (2.7 inches) & 130 mm (5 inches)
- Average days of rain: 6 days
- Average hours of sunshine: 9 hours