Supporting Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka

Related Project: International projects

October 19, 2016

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Since 2012, PIAC has been working to promote truth, justice and accountability for international crimes and human rights violations alleged to have been committed during the decades-long Sri Lankan civil war.

From 2012-2015, PIAC’s International Crimes Evidence Project (ICEP) conducted an independent and impartial investigation into alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and other human rights violations committed during the final stages of the civil war (September 2008 to May 2009). 

On 1 October 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a landmark consensus resolution on Sri Lanka, laying the foundation for the implementation of a comprehensive package of transitional justice measures to deal with the nation’s violent past.

These measures include the establishment of an office of missing persons, a truth and reconciliation commission, a judicial mechanism and other important measures to provide remedies to victims and promote healing and reconciliation.

Since the adoption of the resolution, PIAC has been working to support its full implementation and to assist the transitional justice process now underway in Sri Lanka. Key project activities include:

  • continuing to collect, securely store and analyse important evidence related to the Sri Lankan civil war for use in the proposed special court and other transitional justice mechanisms;
  • working to establish a centralised and credible documentation repository that collects, analyses and archives human rights documentation, which will allow Sri Lanka’s proposed transitional justice mechanisms to operate with greater efficiency and will establish the foundation for an accurate historical record and other memory projects; and
  • facilitating the participation of victims and witnesses who live outside Sri Lanka in the transitional justice process, including in the design and consultation phase.

Key reports and submissions:

  • Submission to Sri Lanka’s Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms on the importance of documentation in the transitional justice process (April 2016).
  • Submission to Sri Lanka’s Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms on behalf of victims and witnesses in the diaspora (May 2016).

For further information about PIAC’s work on transitional justice in Sri Lanka, please email Daniela Gavshon on dgavshon@piac.asn.au

Media contact: Gemma Pearce on 0478 739 280 or media@piac.asn.au

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