Asia's Liberal Youth Discusses Fundamentalism
|Members and Officers of the Young Liberals
and Democrats of Asia poses with 'Liberalism and Fundamentalism'
November 3 to 8, 2004 marked a special event in the city of temples,
Kathmandu, Nepal. – the annual conference of the Young Liberals
and Democrats of Asia (YLDA). Prior to the group’s second
general meeting, YLDA conducted a workshop on “Liberalism
” for 27 participants from different
parts of Southeast, East and South Asia. Besides YLDA members,
youth leaders from India, Pakistan and Thailand took part in the
activity that was sponsored by the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation.
Moderated by Dr. Ronald Meinardus, the resident representative
of the liberal Foundation in the Philippines, the workshop focused
on one of the burning issues Asian Liberals have to face: Fundamentalism
and the need to address it from a liberal perspective.
Workshop participants started by defining fundamentalism and
exploring the wide range of forms it takes - from religious fundamentalism
to political and other forms of intolerance. The workshop then
went on and discussed liberal strategies to confront the different
forms of fundamentalism.
Aside from the discussions, the workshop also included breakout
sessions that allowed participants to interact and exchange experiences
with each other.
Following the workshop was the second YLDA general meeting.
Members reelected Jonathan Malaya from the Philippines as president.
Rajendra Mulmi from the hosting organization Youth Initiative
was also reconfirmed as secretary general by the delegates. The
YLDA-delegates considered the applications of two new members:
Future Youth Group Pakistan and the Young Democrats Thailand.
The eventful week ended with the Asian Youth Conference where
delegates interacted with 70 Nepali youths. They exchanged experiences
and ideas on the topic: “Challenges and Opportunities for Youth
“YLDA has come a long way since its inception two years
ago”, said Dr. Ronald Meinardus, who has coordinated
the liberal Foundation’s regional youth activities for the past
years. The next task ahead will be the setting up of a permanent
secretariat. Earlier, YLDA had decided to establish an office
For more information on the Young Liberals and Democrats of Asia