Advancing Knowledge on Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka
In 2015, the newly elected Government of Sri Lanka adopted an ambitious transitional justice agenda following the cessation of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009. Progress has been made, with the establishment of an Office on Missing Persons and the adoption of the Office for Reparations Act. However, the question of ensuring accountability for alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian law that were committed still remains to be resolved. Currently, as the country’s judiciary is assigned the task of hearing cases on acts committed during or relating to the war, the task of prosecuting atrocities, providing accountability and establishing the rule of law has been entrusted to Sri Lankan Judges and Lawyers. Considering global experiences and best practices, such a task requires the possession of specialised knowledge and skill-sets. Also, such efforts could be opposed by the general public and elements with political agendas. The effectiveness of such opposition is enhanced by the lack of general knowledge and awareness about the need for and the substance of transitional justice measures.
The Foundation aims to support knowledge-sharing of transitional justice by developing tailored publications for legal institutions and actors, as well as the general public on transitional justice, including facilitating truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. An increased knowledge of transitional justice is expected to be complemented by greater efficiency and effectiveness of the legal system in dealing with violations committed during the time of conflict. Such a publication would also be instrumental in dispelling myths about transitional justice that are spread by persons with personal agendas. All of this would contribute towards affirming the importance of transitional justice measures in providing long-lasting stability and the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law, which is the project’s overall objective.
1 January 2019 – 30 June 2020
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Bar Association of Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute