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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 17:41

Varying Opinions About TJ Process in Sabaragamuwa

Academic Staff of Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka attended an introductory session on Transitional Justice (TJ) organized under NPC’s project Initiating Multi Level Partnership Action for Conflict Transformation (IMPACT).

At the end of the session, participants were asked for their opinions and feedback. All 13 participants said the workshop clarified what TJ was. Four said they would be a resource person to educate DIRC members on peace and reconciliation related topics.

Most believed that all four pillars of TJ – truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence -were applicable to Sri Lanka and should take people’s opinion into consideration. They also thought that the opinions of parliament members needed to be changed.

Some participants thought that institutional reform should be given priority, while others believed reconciliation was most important to avoid another war. Some felt that punishment could not be avoided and that international involvement was necessary up to a certain level to ensure impartiality. Several participants felt that the government was not doing enough to discuss the issues with the people and that structures such as the judiciary, Police Commission, and Auditor General’s department were not independent.

Five out of 13 respondents supported to the current TJ process and none of them objected to it while eight did not object or support it. Some said the process should be improved because the implementation process was weak, with the public not aware of what was happening or going to happen. Others said equal rights of victims must be ensured.