Our Mission

SACLS is a company by guarantee registered in Sri Lanka. We were founded in 2013 with the objective of advancing Transitional Justice and the global rule of law in Sri Lanka. We are dedicated to advancing the right to remedy of victims of violations of international law: the right to justice; the right to truth; the right to reparations and the right to guarantees of non-recurrence. We also believe that Sri Lanka must deal honestly with its brutal past—one punctuated by mass atrocity violence and systemic violations of human rights by a variety of actors—if it is to emerge as a plural, peaceful and reconciled country with the confidence to face the future. Finally, we are committed to the vision of a Sri Lanka that participates robustly in the global community of nations, including by fulfilling obligations it owes its own citizens as well as the international community.

Our work since 2013 was premised on the expectation, and belief, that Sri Lanka would one day have an opportunity to do right by victims and deal meaningfully with its past by participating fully in the global rule of law. The political change of January 2015 represented precisely such an opportunity, which we believe must be exploited through critical and constructive engagement with all parties. Our work since then has been animated by this conviction.

To advance these goals, we engage in four primary areas of activity:

  1. research and policy;
  2. public outreach and advocacy;
  3. training and capacity-building;
  4. victim support on right to remedies.

Policy

SACLS conducts research and engages in advancing policy on a range of Transitional Justice and international law issues. This work has resulted in a number of papers and publications that cover issues relevant to Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka, as well as podcasts and short videos. Our research is directed towards generating a set of ideas that will drive Transitional Justice in the country. The research and publications we have released to date have been cited in UN reports, covered widely by the local and international press, used extensively by diplomats and decision-makers, and contributed to nascent debates on Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka.

Public outreach and advocacy

SACLS engages in public outreach and advocacy on Transitional Justice in Sinhala, Tamil and English. This work has generated regular articles in the mainstream press and on websites, documentary films and short videos, talk shows on national television and pamphlets for mass distribution. This work is carried out to inform public conversations on Transitional Justice, demystify seemingly complex ideas and processes, address prevalent misconceptions in public discourse and build support for victims’ rights.

Training and Capacity-Building

SACLS helps empower, build skill, prepare and train other stakeholders. We have conducted workshops and trainings for lawyers, diplomats, journalists, civil society activists and community leaders on a range of areas relevant to Transitional Justice. SACLS aims to maximize these stakeholders’ skills and ability.

Victim Support on Right to Remedies

SACLS works directly with victims in pursuing remedies through legal advice, services and assistance.