About the Pathfinder Foundation Centres
The Foundation has been on the forefront of regional Track 1.5 and Track II discussions on strategic, security and economic issues concerning the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). It has successfully harnessed national and regional expertise and built bridges between leading think tanks and institutions in countries that share mutual interests and concerns. Apart from its institutional partners in India and China, the Pathfinder Foundation and its Centres engage with partners in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, the EU, Iran, Israel, Japan, Singapore, The Russian Federation, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, and the USA.
Under its umbrella, the Pathfinder Foundation has established four specialized Centres to better meet the objectives that fall under its scope, namely: 1) The China-Sri Lanka Cooperation Studies Centre (CSLCSC) in 2015, 2) The Centre for Indo–Lanka Initiatives (CILI) in December 2015, 3) The Centre for the Law of the Sea (CLS) in January 2018 and 4) The Hafez Centre for Cultural Understanding (HCCU) in June 2019.
China-Sri Lanka Cooperation Studies Centre (CSLCSC)
The China–Sri Lanka Cooperation Studies Centre (CSLCSC) which was established by the Foundation in October 2015, was the first private research institution dedicated solely to the study of Sino-Lanka relations. The CSLCSC has published several important policy documents and created a forum for dialogue, the exchange of experiences and ideas, as well as the facilitation of business partnerships, and people-to-people relations between China and Sri Lanka. This Centre has collaborated and formed partnerships with a broad network of Chinese academic institutions and think tanks. In recognition of its leading role in providing a bridge between Sri Lanka and China, the Pathfinder Foundation was recognised as one of its Top 10 partners by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in January 2014.
Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives (CILI)
The Pathfinder Foundation launched its Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives in December 2015 with the aim of opening a platform for dialogue to strengthen and underpin bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka. Since that time, it has established a broad network of eminent, like-minded institutions in India. These include: the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses India (IDSA), the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), the Kalinga International Foundation (KIF), the United Service Institution of India (USI), the National Maritime Foundation (NMF), and the Delhi Policy Group (DPG).
Centre for the Law of the Sea (CLS)
The Pathfinder Foundation inaugurated the 'Centre for the Law of the Sea’ (CLS) in January 2018. On this occasion Milinda Moragoda the Founder of the Pathfinder Foundation officially released an occasional paper containing a draft “Code of Conduct for the Indian Ocean” for the consideration of the 21 littoral state members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
The work of the Centre focuses on critical security threats and issues such as piracy, smuggling, maritime terrorism, illegal fishing, and trafficking of humans and narcotics. In light of the pressing transnational global security challenges in the Indian Ocean region, including those posed by non-state actors, it is one of the primary aims of the CLS to raise awareness of these issues and to provide a dialogue platform with the objective of developing a robust security architecture through collective action.
Hafez Centre for Cultural Understanding (HCCU)
Relations between Sri Lanka and Iran date back to the pre-Islamic era of the Persian Empire. In this context, in June 2019 the Pathfinder Foundation inaugurated the Hafez Centre for Cultural Understanding (HCCU). The Centre was established to study, create awareness, and promote cultural understanding between Sri Lanka and Iran by focusing on thistorical links, culture, customs, and traditions of these two ancient civilizations. The HCCU is named after one of the greatest and most revered Persian poets, Khajeh Shamsuddin Mohammad Hafez.
The Pathfinder Indian Ocean Affairs Secretariat
Having identified the importance of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) in contemporary geopolitics, the Pathfinder Foundation convened several important regional and international conferences on a broad range of issues on specific niche areas. Pursuant to the success of the above, the Pathfinder Foundation organized (virtually), The Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference (PFIOSC) from 10-12 November 2020, focusing on Maritime Security and Maritime Governance in the Indian Ocean, with the participation of over 36 countries and an average of one hundred participants from around the world. The conference was convened with the aim of creating increased awareness and establishing this forum as a track 1.5 event.
Following the success of the Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference in 2020, the Foundation established The PATHFINDER INDIAN OCEAN AFFAIRS SECRETARIAT as a centre of expertise on ocean-related issues, created to focus on the Foundation’s activities of relevance to Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean Region. The Secretariat comprises a core team who will work together with experts and key stakeholders on matters related to the IOR.