Event Reports

Commencement of the Ninth Series of Konrad Adenauer School for Young Politicians (KASYP)


20 young leaders, eight different Asian countries, one week in Sri Lanka. This was the first training programme for the ninth batch of the Konrad Adenauer School for Young Politicians (KASYP), held from 29th January to 3rd February 2018.

The future of politics in Asia looks bright when a dynamic group of young leaders from Asia gathered in Sri Lanka for a five day training course to kick start their two year engagement with the region and Germany. The ninth batch of the Konrad Adenauer School for Young Politicians (KASYP) met from 29th January to 3rd February to discuss party politics, socio-political trends in their respective countries and discourse with resource persons on the role of youth in effective political engagement as well as take back skills in political project management, a first of its kind capacity-building training championed by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung to enable future leaders to be better strategic thinkers.

Esteemed speakers were invited to share their experiences in the region with the young delegation. One of them was Amb. Jörn Rohde, German ambassador to Sri Lanka, who encapsulated the global and regional trends in democracy building and political participation, including the growing need for consensus building in his special address. This offered a good segway for follow up discussions on the conceptual understanding of political parties in areas of ideology making and promotion, youth engagement and understanding its role against the domestic and international political climate. The Southeast Asian perspective was presented by Dr Bridget Welsh, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Asian Outreach at John Cabot University in Rome, while the South Asian perspective was presented by Dr Sandeep Shastri, Pro Vice Chancellor of Jain University, Bangalore, India. This was strengthened with country presentations from the participants and a live debate on the available yet contentious delimitations of youth participation in politics.

The group also networked with local stakeholders in Sri Lanka. First visit was to the National Parliament where an extensive tour of its premises, history and policy-making procedures was explained. After understanding national policy-making processes and its many symbolisms in the parliament pertaining to retaining Sri Lanka’s multi-cultural identity, the group visited the National Peace Council (NPC). There the discussions provided an insight into on-the-ground measures undertaken by NPC to build social cohesion and the retrospective work that international community has helped contributed to. NPC Chairman, Dr Joe William, also addressed the many questions from the delegates on the topic of peace and re-conciliation. Best practices were also shared and the overall discussion concluded with great inspiration for the group to continue with their respective political work. The final meeting of the day took place at the Foreign Policy think tank - The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute. Executive Director - Dr Dinusha Panditaratne welcomed the group with her welcome remarks and detailed presentations on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and Economic engagements were discussed. More importantly the youthful staff and their dynamic presentations offered much inspiration to the delegation on the role of youth in shaping Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.

The training programme then concluded with a 2.5 day project management training workshop, conducted by our in-house KASYP trainer, Dr Romero. In this experiential segment of the workshop, participants were introduced to core tools for effective project conceptualisation, planning and implementation. Dr Romero brought them through each selected tool with follow up activities. The workshop successfully achieved presentations of proposed projects that the group will undertake in the upcoming months before their second training programme in August.