Chanaka Amaratunga, Colvin R de Silva, Council for Liberal Democracy, Desmond Fernando, Fr Celestine Fernando, Fr Tissa Balasuriya, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, G L Pieris, Gamini Dissanayake, Ideas for Constitutional Reform, Liberal Party, Neelan Tiruchelvam, Quinta, Richard Dias, Ronnie de Mel, Shashi Tharoor, Sintra, Suriya Wickremesinghe
The seminars the FNS conducted in Sintra were most enjoyable. They were run by an eccentric but most lovable Portunguese academic who rejoiced, if memory serves me right, in the name of Joao de Bettancourt de Camara. He presided over an establishment that included a superb cook who produced the most wonderful feasts. Questions were raised later in Germany about the self-indulgence of the Liberals, and the Quinta, as it was known, had to be sold, but those who regretted this pusillanimity insisted that the establishment was cost effective. In fact, when we were later put up in hotels in Germany, and taken to restaurants, I realized that the Quinta had indeed been incredibly good value for money.
The seminars too were fascinating. The first I went to, when operations were just starting, was a bit of a joke, since it had not been planned properly. Designed to look at possible Liberal processes in the 3rd World, and in particular Africa, when the FNS was just beginning to take emerging demands for liberty seriously (after decades, I am sorry to say, in which the West had supported dictators in Africa on the grounds that they were the best defence against communism), it was arranged before the FNS really had suitable personnel in place in Africa. The result was they relied heavily on a British academic in Holland who taught Africans, and he produced several of his students, who were enthusiastic and amiable, but had no idea of politics. I found the South Americans more committed, a delightful Brazilian – this was I think the year after I had so enjoyed myself in that country – and an Argentinian academic who had been in opposition to the ghastly dictatorship that country had endured.