Kumaravadivel Guruparan

Senior Lecturer & Head - Department of Law,
University of Jaffna

Kumaravadivel Guruparan is a Senior Lecturer attached to the Department of Law, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He is also a practicing attorney interested in civil appellate litigation, administrative law and human rights law. From September 2013- September 2016 he was based in London as a Commonwealth Scholar/PhD Candidate at University College London. He is currently in the process of completing his PhD. He holds an LL.B (Hons) from the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo and as a Chevening Scholar obtained a BCL (Masters in Law) from Balliol College, University of Oxford. He received his secondary education from Jaffna Hindu College.

He is a founder-member and Co-Spokesperson of the Tamil Civil Society Forum, which works towards recreating public spheres for dialogue on politics and public policy. Guruparan has done consultancy work for many leading think tanks both in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. He frequently writes and speaks on various aspects of law, governance and politics in Sri Lanka.


Dr Tom G Palmer

Executive Vice President - Atlas Network

Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. He is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and director of Cato University. Before joining Cato, he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, as well as the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), Peace, Love & Liberty (2014), and Self-Control or State Control? You Decide (2016). Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.


Prof Shruti Rajgopalan

Assistant Professor of economics
State University of New York.

Shruti Rajagopalan is an Assistant Professor of Economics at State University of New York, Purchase College and a Fellow at the Classical Liberal Institute at NYU School of Law. She earned her Ph.D. in economics in 2013 from George Mason University.

She has a BA (Hons) Economics and LL.B. from University of Delhi; and an LL.M. from the European Masters in Law and Economics Program at University of Hamburg, Ghent University, and University of Bologna.

Shruti’s broad area of interest is the economic analysis of comparative legal and political systems. Her research interests specifically include law and economics, public choice theory, and constitutional economics. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, law reviews, and books. She also enjoys writing in the popular press and has published opinion editorials on Indian political economy in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mint, The Hindu: Business Line, and The Indian Express.


Aruni Shapiro

Board member, The Bastiat Society

Aruni Shapiro was born in Sri Lanka and studied at Kelaniya University and the University of British Columbia, where she earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, respectively, in Philosophy. She continued her studies and teaching in that field at Fresno State University and the University of Tennessee. She has authored seven books on topics ranging from American history to psychology. She is a Board Member of The Bastiat Society, USA. Most recently, she has translated “The Economics of Freedom” (2015) by Atlas Network, Economics in One Day by Foundation for Economics (online), “We the Living” by Ayn Rand (online), “I, Pencil” by Leonard E. Reed (2016), The Condensed Wealth of Nations and The Incredibly Condensed Theory of Moral Sentiments by Eamonn Butler (online) into Sinhala. Aruni maintains a Wordpress blog since 2010 in Sinhala to discuss ideas of Liberty and Free Market capitalism. 


Prof S. I. Keethaponcalan

Chair - Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution Department, Salisbury University, Maryland

S. I. Keethaponcalan is Chair of the Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution Department, Salisbury University, Maryland. Before joining Salisbury University in 2011, he served as a Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Dr. Keethaponcalan has served as a researcher in several international institutions, including the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva and the United Nations University in Tokyo. His recent Publications include: “Violence, Nonviolence, and Ethnic Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka” (Peace & Policy. 2015), “The Peace Process and Party Politics in Sri Lanka” (Alaska Journal of Dispute Resolution. 2014), “North- South Relations and Human Rights” (Bandung: Journal of the Global South. 2015), “A Small Power’s Struggle for Independence in the Independent Era – the Case of Sri Lanka” (African and Asia Studies. 2014), “Dragon in the Teardrop: Regional Dynamics of Increasing Chinese Presence in Sri Lanka” (Global China: Internal and External Reaches. 2015. New Jersey: World Scientific Publishers), “Hinduism: War, Peace and Conflict and Peace Studies” (Peace on Earth: The Role of Religion in Peace and Conflict Studies. 2014. Lanham: Lexington Books), and “The Indian Factor in the Peace Process and Conflict Resolution in Sri Lanka” (Conflict and Peace-building in Sri Lanka: Caught in the Peace Trap. 2011. London: Routledge).      


The Judging Process

The students will be marked in accordance with the criteria developed by the Advocata Institute (See marking sheet).  Preliminary judges will shortlist students for the final round with the main judging panel making selecting the top essays in each language, and finally selecting the winners.  Judges' decision will be final.  Among the finalists,  Advocata will select those students who want to further economics education in their schools or institutions for a leadership training in Colombo.


Preliminary judges

Ravi Ratnasabapathy
Fellow - Advocata Institute

Asantha Sirimanne
Senior Business Journalist