The South Asian Centre for Legal Studies was founded with the objective of advancing Transitional Justice and the global rule of law in Sri Lanka.

Bulletins

Tweets

Download our October Bulletin at: https://t.co/NEaoZOBL0y #tj #lk https://t.co/w4KLaAopMh
RT @SLcampaign: @sacls_lk As far as US/UK concerned, some more consistency on that point between capitals, Geneva and Colombo much needed
RT @SLcampaign: @sacls_lk It must be made absolutely crystal clear to the govt that its current strategy of heel-dragging is not viable in…
RT @SLcampaign: @sacls_lk Underscores clearly importance of int'l comm signalling long-term commitment to the 30/1 process (in addition to…
RT @SLcampaign: Some tentative grounds for optimism in @sacls_lk's latest bulletin on Sri Lanka's transitional justice process https://t.co…
No mention of the need to incorporate intl crimes into domestic law as explicitly mentioned in UNHRC res 30/1 either (7/7)
Re specific #TJ mechanisms NO mention of the need to establish Special Court&Special Prosecutor’s Office:omission striking & staggering(6/7)
#SR on #TJ also reminds of the need to strengthen #VWP scheme, see https://t.co/S7tZMobqh6 (5/7)
recalls need to repeal #PTA, terminate mil involvement in commercial activities, address land issues, surveillance &harassment by SF(4/7)
Lack of progress on #TJ has negative consequences on development ie disincentive for foreign investors as land rights not guaranteed(3/7)
  • Call for Papers - “Assessing the Political, Social and Economic Impact of Prosecutions for International Crimes in Transitioning Societies”

    The South Asian Centre for Legal Studies will be hosting a conference on the title “Assessing the Political, Social and Economic Impact of Prosecutions for International Crimes in Transitioning Societies” in December 2017. The Conference will see paper presentations and quality discussions aimed at informing contemporary policy debates in the country about the long-term political, social and economic impact of prosecutions for international crimes. Applicants are invited to send in their proposals (500 words) with a summary biography to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 15 September 2017. Participation will be confirmed on 1 October 2017 (suitable proposals may be confirmed as soon as they come in). Papers may be co-authored by multiple individuals. International flights to, and accommodation in, Colombo will be covered by SACLS for a limited number of participants.Draft papers/ presentations must be submitted by 15 December 2017. An anthology of selected papers will be published before 1 June 2018. All papers will be peer reviewed before publication.

    For sub themes and more information please see the attachment

     

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In the media

நிலைமாறுகால நீதியை நிலைநாட்டுவதிலுள்ள சவால்கள்

08 April 2017
நிலைமாறுகால நீதியை நிலைநாட்டுவதிலுள்ள சவால்கள்

2009 ஆம் ஆண்டு யுத்தம் முடிவடைந்ததையடுத்து, யுத்தகாலத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற விடயங்கள் சம்பந்தமாக வகைப்பொறுப்பு கூறுவதற்கும் அத்துடன் நல்லிணக்கத்தை தோற்றுவிப்...

FORGETTING THE PAST: A WARNING

23 March 2017
FORGETTING THE PAST: A WARNING

On March 24th, human rights activists and victims’ groups worldwide will commemorate International Day for the Dignity of Victims, in honour of victim...

AUTONOMY AND DECENTRALIZATION WITHIN WITNESS PROTE...

17 March 2017
AUTONOMY AND DECENTRALIZATION WITHIN WITNESS PROTECTION ACTIVITIES: PART III

Organisational structures for witness protection Structurally, witness protection programmes could exist in a number of different forms. Countries oft...

OPERATIONAL MODELS FOR VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTI...

16 March 2017
OPERATIONAL MODELS FOR VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION WITHIN TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: PART II

The previous article in this serial titled Contextualising Victim and Witness Protection for Transitional Justice discussed three key considerations w...

CONTEXTUALIZING VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION FOR...

14 March 2017
CONTEXTUALIZING VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION FOR TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE - PART I

Introduction Since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka has been pushed to address issues relating to wartime accountability and reconciliation withi...

The problem with ‘justice as reconciliation’

22 February 2017
The problem with ‘justice as reconciliation’

Unless we evolve substantive way to talk about justice for atrocity crimes, the emotive aspects of the debate will continue to take precedence with ve...

உண்மையை கண்டறியும் ஆணைக்குழு: அரசாங்கம் முதன்மைப்ப...

18 February 2017
உண்மையை கண்டறியும் ஆணைக்குழு: அரசாங்கம் முதன்மைப்படுத்துவது நீதியை மறுப்பதற்காகவா?

ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் அமர்விற்கு இன்னமும் ஒரு மாதகாலத்திற்கு சற்றே அதிகமான காலப்பகுதியே இருக்கின்றது. இந்த அமர்வில் ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மன...

நீதி இல்லாமல் நிலைமாறுகால நீதியா?

18 January 2017
நீதி இல்லாமல் நிலைமாறுகால நீதியா?

இலங்கை, நல்லாட்சி ​அரசாங்கத்தின் இரண்டாவது வருடத்தை கடந்துள்ள இத்தருணத்தில் மனிதர்களுக்கெதிரான அட்டூழியங்கள் நிறைந்த குற்றச்செயல்கள் சார்ந்ததாக வகைபொற...

Incorporating International Crimes into Sri Lankan...

22 September 2016
Incorporating International Crimes into Sri Lankan Law: The Need for Legislative Reform

 In a paper published recently, Eleanor Vermunt and I argued that international crimes must be incorporated into Sri Lankan law with retroactive...

සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය | ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය ජන මාධ්‍යයේ කාර...

07 May 2016
සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය | ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය ජන මාධ්‍යයේ කාර්යභාරය

සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය සහ මාධ්‍ය පිළිබඳව කතා කරන විට, මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රධාන භූමිකා ද්විත්වයක් රඟ දක්වයි. පළමු අවස්ථාවේදී මාධ්‍ය යනු සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්ති ක්‍රියාවල...

Media and transitional justice in Sri Lanka: what...

21 April 2016
Media and transitional justice in Sri Lanka: what is the need of the hour?

The historic electoral defeat of President Mahinda Rajapaksa—an unabashed nationalist strongman—at the hands of President Maithripala Sirisena in Janu...

Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in T...

20 April 2016
Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in Transitional Justice

On a recent visit to the United States, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera made a revealing series of comments in response to a question at a forum...

« »

In the media

நிலைமாறுகால நீதியை நிலைநாட்டுவதிலுள்ள சவால்கள்

08 April 2017
நிலைமாறுகால நீதியை நிலைநாட்டுவதிலுள்ள சவால்கள்

2009 ஆம் ஆண்டு யுத்தம் முடிவடைந்ததையடுத்து, யுத்தகாலத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற விடயங்கள் சம்பந்தமாக வகைப்பொறுப்பு கூறுவதற்கும் அத்துடன் நல்லிணக்கத்தை தோற்றுவிப்...

FORGETTING THE PAST: A WARNING

23 March 2017
FORGETTING THE PAST: A WARNING

On March 24th, human rights activists and victims’ groups worldwide will commemorate International Day for the Dignity of Victims, in honour of victim...

AUTONOMY AND DECENTRALIZATION WITHIN WITNESS PROTE...

17 March 2017
AUTONOMY AND DECENTRALIZATION WITHIN WITNESS PROTECTION ACTIVITIES: PART III

Organisational structures for witness protection Structurally, witness protection programmes could exist in a number of different forms. Countries oft...

OPERATIONAL MODELS FOR VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTI...

16 March 2017
OPERATIONAL MODELS FOR VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION WITHIN TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: PART II

The previous article in this serial titled Contextualising Victim and Witness Protection for Transitional Justice discussed three key considerations w...

CONTEXTUALIZING VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION FOR...

14 March 2017
CONTEXTUALIZING VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION FOR TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE - PART I

Introduction Since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka has been pushed to address issues relating to wartime accountability and reconciliation withi...

The problem with ‘justice as reconciliation’

22 February 2017
The problem with ‘justice as reconciliation’

Unless we evolve substantive way to talk about justice for atrocity crimes, the emotive aspects of the debate will continue to take precedence with ve...

உண்மையை கண்டறியும் ஆணைக்குழு: அரசாங்கம் முதன்மைப்ப...

18 February 2017
உண்மையை கண்டறியும் ஆணைக்குழு: அரசாங்கம் முதன்மைப்படுத்துவது நீதியை மறுப்பதற்காகவா?

ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் அமர்விற்கு இன்னமும் ஒரு மாதகாலத்திற்கு சற்றே அதிகமான காலப்பகுதியே இருக்கின்றது. இந்த அமர்வில் ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மன...

நீதி இல்லாமல் நிலைமாறுகால நீதியா?

18 January 2017
நீதி இல்லாமல் நிலைமாறுகால நீதியா?

இலங்கை, நல்லாட்சி ​அரசாங்கத்தின் இரண்டாவது வருடத்தை கடந்துள்ள இத்தருணத்தில் மனிதர்களுக்கெதிரான அட்டூழியங்கள் நிறைந்த குற்றச்செயல்கள் சார்ந்ததாக வகைபொற...

Incorporating International Crimes into Sri Lankan...

22 September 2016
Incorporating International Crimes into Sri Lankan Law: The Need for Legislative Reform

 In a paper published recently, Eleanor Vermunt and I argued that international crimes must be incorporated into Sri Lankan law with retroactive...

සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය | ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය ජන මාධ්‍යයේ කාර...

07 May 2016
සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය | ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය ජන මාධ්‍යයේ කාර්යභාරය

සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය සහ මාධ්‍ය පිළිබඳව කතා කරන විට, මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රධාන භූමිකා ද්විත්වයක් රඟ දක්වයි. පළමු අවස්ථාවේදී මාධ්‍ය යනු සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්ති ක්‍රියාවල...

Media and transitional justice in Sri Lanka: what...

21 April 2016
Media and transitional justice in Sri Lanka: what is the need of the hour?

The historic electoral defeat of President Mahinda Rajapaksa—an unabashed nationalist strongman—at the hands of President Maithripala Sirisena in Janu...

Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in T...

20 April 2016
Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in Transitional Justice

On a recent visit to the United States, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera made a revealing series of comments in response to a question at a forum...

« »

In the media

நிலைமாறுகால நீதியை நிலைநாட்டுவதிலுள்ள சவால்கள்

08 April 2017
நிலைமாறுகால நீதியை நிலைநாட்டுவதிலுள்ள சவால்கள்

2009 ஆம் ஆண்டு யுத்தம் முடிவடைந்ததையடுத்து, யுத்தகாலத்தில் இடம்பெற்ற விடயங்கள் சம்பந்தமாக வகைப்பொறுப்பு கூறுவதற்கும் அத்துடன் நல்லிணக்கத்தை தோற்றுவிப்...

FORGETTING THE PAST: A WARNING

23 March 2017
FORGETTING THE PAST: A WARNING

On March 24th, human rights activists and victims’ groups worldwide will commemorate International Day for the Dignity of Victims, in honour of victim...

AUTONOMY AND DECENTRALIZATION WITHIN WITNESS PROTE...

17 March 2017
AUTONOMY AND DECENTRALIZATION WITHIN WITNESS PROTECTION ACTIVITIES: PART III

Organisational structures for witness protection Structurally, witness protection programmes could exist in a number of different forms. Countries oft...

OPERATIONAL MODELS FOR VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTI...

16 March 2017
OPERATIONAL MODELS FOR VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION WITHIN TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: PART II

The previous article in this serial titled Contextualising Victim and Witness Protection for Transitional Justice discussed three key considerations w...

CONTEXTUALIZING VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION FOR...

14 March 2017
CONTEXTUALIZING VICTIM AND WITNESS PROTECTION FOR TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE - PART I

Introduction Since the end of the war in 2009, Sri Lanka has been pushed to address issues relating to wartime accountability and reconciliation withi...

The problem with ‘justice as reconciliation’

22 February 2017
The problem with ‘justice as reconciliation’

Unless we evolve substantive way to talk about justice for atrocity crimes, the emotive aspects of the debate will continue to take precedence with ve...

உண்மையை கண்டறியும் ஆணைக்குழு: அரசாங்கம் முதன்மைப்ப...

18 February 2017
உண்மையை கண்டறியும் ஆணைக்குழு: அரசாங்கம் முதன்மைப்படுத்துவது நீதியை மறுப்பதற்காகவா?

ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் அமர்விற்கு இன்னமும் ஒரு மாதகாலத்திற்கு சற்றே அதிகமான காலப்பகுதியே இருக்கின்றது. இந்த அமர்வில் ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மன...

நீதி இல்லாமல் நிலைமாறுகால நீதியா?

18 January 2017
நீதி இல்லாமல் நிலைமாறுகால நீதியா?

இலங்கை, நல்லாட்சி ​அரசாங்கத்தின் இரண்டாவது வருடத்தை கடந்துள்ள இத்தருணத்தில் மனிதர்களுக்கெதிரான அட்டூழியங்கள் நிறைந்த குற்றச்செயல்கள் சார்ந்ததாக வகைபொற...

Incorporating International Crimes into Sri Lankan...

22 September 2016
Incorporating International Crimes into Sri Lankan Law: The Need for Legislative Reform

 In a paper published recently, Eleanor Vermunt and I argued that international crimes must be incorporated into Sri Lankan law with retroactive...

සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය | ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය ජන මාධ්‍යයේ කාර...

07 May 2016
සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය | ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය ජන මාධ්‍යයේ කාර්යභාරය

සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්තිය සහ මාධ්‍ය පිළිබඳව කතා කරන විට, මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රධාන භූමිකා ද්විත්වයක් රඟ දක්වයි. පළමු අවස්ථාවේදී මාධ්‍ය යනු සංක්‍රාන්ති යුක්ති ක්‍රියාවල...

Media and transitional justice in Sri Lanka: what...

21 April 2016
Media and transitional justice in Sri Lanka: what is the need of the hour?

The historic electoral defeat of President Mahinda Rajapaksa—an unabashed nationalist strongman—at the hands of President Maithripala Sirisena in Janu...

Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in T...

20 April 2016
Questions of Haste, Urgency and Consultations in Transitional Justice

On a recent visit to the United States, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera made a revealing series of comments in response to a question at a forum...

« »
In the Media

In April, an investigation conducted by the Associated Press spurred the attention of the international community on serious allegations against Sri Lankan peacekeepers stationed in Haiti till 2007. From 2004 to 2007, nine Haitian children were reportedly exploited by a child sex ring involving at least 134 Sri Lankan peacekeepers. However, the very serious allegations that resurfaced in April against the Sri Lankan peacekeepers were hardly reported in the Sri Lankan media.
While this scandal certainly draws a negative image of Sri Lankan peacekeepers, it also points towards a much larger and deep-seated issue of impunity with respect to crimes committed by UN peacekeepers. As explained in a SACLS podcast, agreements entered into between the UN and the country in which the blue helmets are stationed (in this case Haiti) generally stipulate that only the troop contributing country (in this case Sri Lanka) can prosecute its own military members for crimes committed on mission. However, as the Sri Lanka example demonstrates, in practice impunity often prevails.
After the allegations of sexual exploitation in Haiti were made public, 114 members of the Sri Lankan contingent—including 3 officers—were repatriated to Sri Lanka on disciplinary grounds. A few years later, the Sri Lankan government reportedly claimed that 23 soldiers were convicted of sexual exploitation and abuse and subsequently ‘discharged, demoted, formally reprimanded or otherwise punished’. However, these disciplinary sanctions are grossly inadequate given the nature and seriousness of the alleged offenses. In addition, because Sri Lankan laws do not recognize command responsibility, officers who were likely aware of the crimes cannot be punished for failure to prevent or repress their commission.
Sri Lanka’s failure to adequately punish crimes committed by peacekeepers on mission may affect the country’s prospects of future contribution to UN peacekeeping contingents. In fact, in March 2016, the UN Security Council requested the Secretary General to assess member states’ response to allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse when deciding whether their troops may participate in current and future UN peacekeeping operations.
The allegations levelled against Sri Lankan peacekeepers and the failure to bring about accountability for these crimes is a also chilling reminder of the widespread impunity for sexual and gender-based crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces during the internal conflict. None of these allegations have been investigated, let alone brought before a tribunal, to hold those responsible accountable. Therefore, if Sri Lanka is serious about addressing the range of allegations brought into light by the UN, it must take steps to ensure that all allegations are thoroughly investigated and that justice is served. The effort ought to be comprehensive and to address crimes committed in both domestic and foreign jurisdictions.

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