The second round of Pathfinder Foundation teleconference with the Washington D.C based Heritage Foundation for the current year was held recently.
The focus of the teleconference was aimed at discussing the current political situation in Sri Lanka, recent trends concerning human rights, on-going discourse relating to constitutional reforms and the potential for widening economic relations between the two countries, particularly in the context of views exchanged during the recent visit by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas Shannon.
A lively exchange of ideas took place especially about security and strategic developments in the Indian Ocean.
The Pathfinder Foundation and the Heritage Foundation have a history of engaging in discussions for identifying issues affecting bi-lateral relations. The last teleconference between the two sides was held in January this year, soon after the presidential election in the US. Earlier, in 2014 and 2015, the two institutions carried out several rounds of discussion aimed at better understanding developments affecting bilateral relations.
On the Pathfinder side, the teleconference was attended by representatives of local blue chip companies, academics, think tanks, media personalities etc., in addition to senior personnel of the Foundation.
Jeff M. Smith, an expert on South Asia security issues, who recently assumed duties at the Asian Studies Center of the Heritage Foundation and Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman, Pathfinder Foundation jointly conducted the teleconference.