« Women and children in the North: Sexual harassment, grievances and challenges » by WATCHDOG

Four years since the end of the war in Sri Lanka, women and children remain as, or more vulnerable and insecure than ever before. With the number of female headed households (i.e. war widows, spouses of the disappeared and long-term detained, teen mothers and wives abandoned by their spouses) and poverty having drastically increased as a result of the war, so have the grievances and hardships they are made to face. The State has set up few (if any) mechanisms/structures to ensure their security, and have nurtured a climate of absolute impunity with regard to how it treats perpetrators, particularly those directly affiliated to the State (i.e. police, military, local authorities).

Via http://groundviews.org/2013/10/31/women-and-children-in-the-north-sexual-harassment-grievances-and-challenges/

source: Groundviews

« Conversion and Anti-conversion in Contemporary Sri Lanka: Pentecostal Christian Evangelism and Theravada Buddhist Views on the Ethics of Religious Attraction » by Neena Mahadev

Abstract

Over the last decade Buddhist nationalist activists have pursued various measures to curb proselytism by Christians who strive to “unethically convert” Sri Lankans born as Buddhists. Sri Lankan Buddhist nationalist discourses reveal suspicions that the act of becoming enculturated into Christianity is detrimental to the person and to the nation in a number of ways. What can such nationalist discourses about “unethical conversions,” and about the instruments used to engender religious attraction, tell us about the politics of perception that inflame antipathies over proselytism, conversion, and apostasy? Analysis of ethnographic material reveals that Buddhist protectionists tend to regard two forms of Christian “gift” to be operative in securing conversions. First, gifts of Christian charity are perceived to be material “allurements” that serve to induce conversions and religious patronage among vulnerable Sri Lankans. Comparatively examining Christian and Buddhist forms of giving (charity and dāna respectively), which engender radically different types of ethical sensibilities about the use of gifts and care as modalities of conversion and religious attraction, helps to illuminate why charity is a significant point of contention between these religious communities. Secondly, Pentecostal Christian charisma—or the notion that God’s Grace is a gift which can be evidenced through miracles of healing—appears to Buddhist skeptics as dubious and harmful means of manipulating Sri Lankans into committing apostasy. Using ethnography to depict how adherents and detractors alike have made spectacles out of charismatic Christian promises of miracles, this essay describes how recent controversies have played out between Buddhist nationalists and Christian evangelists within the Sri Lankan public sphere. Focusing on charity and charismatic miracles as modalities of conversion, this paper illuminates key aspects of the anxieties over new Christian forms of religious propagation, proselytism, and devotion as they have entered into a milieu marked by ethno-religious nationalism, religious protectionism, as well as established ethical sensibilities and religious conventions.

Reference: Neena Mahadev, 2013, « Conversion and Anti-conversion in Contemporary Sri Lanka: Pentecostal Christian Evangelism and Theravada Buddhist Views on the Ethics of Religious Attraction », in J. Finucane and R.M. feener (eds), Proselytizing and the Limits of Religious Pluralism in Contemporary Asia, ARI-Springer Asia Series, Volume 4, 2014, pp.211-235

 

« Remembering Sunila, honouring women’s human rights defenders » by Charlotte Bunch

You could find here a link to read an article where Charlotte Bunch pays tribute to Sunila Abeysekera (1952-2013), a courageous feminist and human rights advocate within Sri Lanka, and a leader in South Asia and globally.

via: Tribute to Sunila by Charlotte Bunch

source: www.opendemocracy.net

« Sri Lanka’s Commonwealth Summit and the international media » by JS Tissainayagam

In the run up to the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka there is burgeoning media attention on the human rights abuses and suspected war crimes the host nation has tried to conceal. Many hope the attention will keep Sri Lanka accountable and also facilitate progress on human rights and good governance. While media scrutiny during the Summit is indeed important, if the regime in Colombo is to be made accountable for its crimes it is vital that the vigilance continues.

Via http://asiancorrespondent.com/115110/sri-lankas-commonwealth-summit-and-the-international-media/

source: asiancorrespondent.com

Appel à contributions et volontaires : Projet « Roots of Diaspora »

Les racines de la diaspora : Les trajectoires migratoires comptent, elles nous forment.

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Racines de Diaspora (Roots of Diaspora) est un projet interactif sur la migration et l’asile politique qui vise à recueillir des histoires personnelles et familiales de la fuite et de l’émigration de Tamouls de Sri Lanka depuis l’indépendance de l’île en 1948. Le projet vise à tracer les itinéraires, les modes de déplacements, les rencontres et les expériences, de près d’un million de Tamouls qui ont quittés l’île de Sri Lanka pour chercher refuge à l’étranger. Le but de ce projet est de cartographier aussi bien les migrations d’avant la guerre, celles qui se sont développées pendant le conflit et enfin celles qui se poursuivent depuis la victoire finale de l’armée sri lankaise sur le LTTE. Ce travail cartographique nous permettra d’avoir une meilleure compréhension de l’impact des politiques discriminatoires et des violences ethniques qui ont affectées la principale minorité de l’île.

Avec ce projet, nous visons à défaire le statu quo diasporique et trouver des réponses à des questions en relation à ce qui s’est passé après le départ définitif de Sri Lanka. Où les Tamouls désiraient-ils émigrer ? Par quel(s) point(s) de transit(s) sont-ils passés ? Comment ont-ils passé les frontières et les obstacles naturels ? Comment s’est déroulé leur voyage ? Comment le contexte géopolitique des frontières et les politiques nationales d’accueil des migrants (et notamment des réfugiés) plus ou moins favorables dans les pays développés ont-ils influencé leurs parcours et le choix de la destination finale Ce sont quelques-unes des questions auquelles ce projet à l’intention de trouver des réponses.  L’objectif est donc de retracer, en replaçant dans leur context historique, les départs, les arrivées et surtout la période entre le départ et l’arrivée des migrants et des réfugiés tamouls.

En tant que communauté, nous avons fait peu d’effort pour collecter et archiver les récits de l’histoire migratoire des Tamouls, de leurs difficultés, de leurs souffrances et de la violence de ce processus auquel ils ont du faire face. Avec ce projet, nous espérons lutter contre le silence qui entoure les questions de migration au sein de la communauté tamoule et nous espérons encourager les conversations et les échanges entre les membres de diaspora tamoule dispersée à travers le monde et préserver ainsi nos souvenirs et nos identités.

Nous souhaitons vous inviter à nous rejoindre à ce projet et à contribuer à cette aventure collective.

Vous pouvez nous suivre sur Facebook : facebook.com/RootsofDiaspora et Twitter : twitter.com/rootsofdiaspora. Un site officiel sera bientôt lancé.

Pour les propositions et autres questions, contactez nous à l’adresse suivante : rootsofdiaspora@gmail.com.

 

Équipe, contributeurs et collaborateurs :

Sinthujan Varatharajah, fondateur de Roots of Diaspora, est le fils de réfugiés tamouls. Il est né et a été élevé en Allemagne. Il est écrivain, poète, photographe et “distortioniste” numérique. Sinthujan est actuellement doctorant en géographie politique à l’University College London et détient une Maîtrise en race, l’ethnicity et Postcolonial Studies de la London School of Economics and Political Science.

Amarnath Amarasingam est né à Mullaitivu (Sri Lanka) et s’est réfugié avec ses parents au Canada, à Toronto, alors qu’il n’avait que six ans. Il est actuellement chercheur post-doctoral au Centre for Refugee Studies de York University et enseigne également à l’University of Waterloo et à la Wilfrid Laurier University. Il est l’auteur de Pain, Pride, and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada, qui va prochainement être publié.

Abinaya Balasubramaniam est une Tamoule de la diaspora canadienne. Née à Jaffna, elle a grandi au Canada. Elle se définit comme un être diasporique, voyageuse et danseuse dont le parcours a influencé son intérêt pour l’activisme social et l’écriture. Elle est actuellement étudiante en Master à l’Université de Toronto. Elle suit un double cursus avec en majeur Equity Studies & Women and Gender Studies et en mineur Diaspora and Transnational Studies.

Delon Madavan est un Tamoul de la diaspora française. Il est né et a grandi à Paris. Docteur en géographie à l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, ses premiers travaux de recherche portaient sur les conséquences du conflit intercommunautaire sri lankais pour la ville de Jaffna et ses habitants. Il a étudié dans sa thèse l’intégration socio spatial de la minorité tamoule à Colombo, Kuala Lumpur et Singapour. Il est également un des co éditeurs du site en ligne Sri Lanka & Diasporas

Ahila Poolagaindran est la fille de réfugiés tamouls et a grandi au Canada. Elle s’intéresse aux questions liées aux migrations, à l’asile et l’immigration, les politiques publiques et la planification urbaine. Elle est actuellement inscrite en Public Policy and Refugee/Migration/Urban Studies à l’Université de Toronto et a obtenu sa Maîtrise en Development Studies à la McGill University de Montréal.

Jeyabharati Sivan est une Tamoule de la diaspora britannique. Née de parents réfugiés en Inde, elle a été élevée au Royaume-Uni. Elle s’intéresse aux questions liées au développement de projets artistiques, au marketing des arts et elle est impliquée dans la scène artistique sud asiatique londonienne. Elle travaille actuellement comme gestionnaire de licence pour le Financial Times et détient une Maîtrise en études commerciales de la London Metropolitan University.

Nayani Thiyagarajah appartient à la diaspora tamoule jaffnaise. Elle est née et à grandi à Toronto au Canada. Elle est écrivain, réalisatrice de film, artiste et suit une formation pour devenir accompagnante en périnatalité. Elle termine actuellement son Master en Interdisciplinary Studies (Diaspora/Performance/Women’s Studies) à la York University et détient une Maîtrise en journalisme de la Ryerson University  à Toronto.

Ram Sabaratnam appartient à la diaspora tamoule canadienne. Il est né et a été élevé à Toronto. Il s’intéresse à la théorie féministe et à la théorie démocratique et termine un MSc en théorie politique à la London School of Economics and Political Science. Il détient une Maîtrise en Science, Philosophy, and Women’s Studies de la McGill University de Montreal.

Nous sommes actuellement à la recherche de bénévoles pour aider à développer le projet. Si vous avez un intérêt pour les questions liées à la migration et la diaspora et que vous avez des compétences dans les médias sociaux, les relations publiques, la conception de sites Web, la photographie, les interviews, la recherche et l’édition, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter pour nous rejoindre à l’adresse suivante : rootsofdiaspora@gmail.com

Ce projet est géré de manière indépendante et n’est affilié à aucun parti politique, institution académique ou organisme de financement alternatif.

Call for contributions and volunteers: Project « Roots of Diaspora »

Roots of Diaspora: Journeys matter, journeys shape us.

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Roots of Diaspora is an interactive project on refugeehood and migration which aims to collect personal and family stories of flight and immigration of Tamils from Sri Lanka dating back as far as 1948, the year the postcolonial state was born. The project aims to trace the routes, modes of transportations, encounters and experiences of an estimated one million Tamil refugees and immigrants who left the island of Sri Lanka to reach sanctuaries abroad. The aim of this project is to map journeys of pre-war, war and post-war migration to provide visual understanding and context for the impact of racial violence and discriminatory policies on affected communities.

With this project we aim to undo the diasporic status quo and find answers to questions such as what happened following the final departure from Sri Lanka, where did Tamils desire to move to, which points of transit did they go through, how did they cross borders and natural boundaries, what did they experience throughout their journeys, what was the context of borders and geographies then, which policies aided/obstructed their decisions on their final pathways or where did they finally arrive at and how? These are just few of the questions this project intents to find answers to along this journey. The core idea behind this project is to historicise departures, arrivals and importantly the period in between departure and arrival of Tamil refugees and migrants.

As a community we have so far spent few efforts and resources on documenting the many stories of hardship, violence and displacement we have faced. With this project we hope to counter the profound silence surrounding questions of migration amongst the Tamil community and hope to incite meaningful conversations and exchanges between people across different oceans on our diasporic presence, identities and memories.

We want to invite you to join and contribute to this collective journey. Please do lend us your support and keep your ears and eyes open for more news to follow.

We can be found on Facebook: facebook.com/RootsofDiaspora and Twitter: twitter.com/rootsofdiaspora. An official website will be launched in due time.

For submissions, interests and other queries, please contact us under rootsofdiaspora@gmail.com.

Team, contributors and collaborators:

Sinthujan Varatharajah, founder of Roots of Diaspora, is the son of Tamil refugees, born and raised in Germany. He is a writer, poet, photographer, digital distortionist and collector of stories. Sinthujan is currently a PhD student in Political Geography at University College London and holds a MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Amarnath Amarasingam was born in Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka, and sought refuge in Canada with his parents, arriving in Toronto at the age of six. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University and also teaches at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. He is the author of Pain, Pride, and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada, to be published in the near future.

Abinaya Balasubramaniam is a daughter of the Canadian Tamil diaspora, born in Jaffna and raised in Canada. She considers herself a diasporic body, traveller and dancer whose journeys have influenced her interest in social activism and narrative writing. She is currently doing a BA double major in Equity Studies & Women and Gender Studies, and a minor in Diaspora and Transnational Studies at University of Toronto.

Delon Madavan is a Tamil from the French diaspora, born and raised in à Paris. He holds a PhD in Geography from Université de Paris-Sorbonne. His early research focused on the consequences of the Sri Lankan interethnic conflict for the town of Jaffna and its inhabitants. He studied in his thesis the socio spatial integration of the Tamil minority in Colombo, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. He is also one of the co editors of the online website Sri Lanka & Diasporas.

Ahila Poolagaindran is the daughter of Tamil refugees, raised in Canada. She has an interest in Migration, Asylum and Immigration, Public Policy and Urban Planning. She is currently studying Public Policy and Refugee/Migration/Urban Studies at the University of Toronto and has received her BA in Development Studies from McGill University, Montreal.

Jeyabharati Sivan is a daughter of the British Tamil diaspora, born to Tamil refugees in India and raised in the UK. She has an interest in developing arts projects, marketing the arts and is involved with the Southasian arts scene in London. She currently works as a Licence Manager for the Financial Times and holds a BA in Business Studies from London Metropolitan University.

Nayani Thiyagarajah is a daughter of the Yalpanam-Tamil diaspora, born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She is a writer, a performance artist, a filmmaker, and a doula in training. She is currently completing her MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Diaspora/Performance/Women’s Studies) at York University and has a BA in Journalism from Ryerson University, Toronto.

Ram Sabaratnam is a son of the Canadian Tamil diaspora, born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He has an interest in Feminist Theory and Democratic Theory and is completing his MSc in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds a BA in Political Science, Philosophy, and Women’s Studies from McGill University, Montreal.

We are currently looking for volunteers to help the project grow. If you have an interest for migration and diaspora and have skills in social media, PR, webdesign, photography, interviews, research and editing, please contact us under rootsofdiaspora@gmail.com

The project is run independently and is not affiliated with any political body, academic institution or alternative funding body. 

« Sri Lanka’s unanswered questions over human rights » by Fergal Keane reports for BBC

23 October 2013 Last updated at 22:49 BST

« The BBC has spoken to people in Sri Lanka who say they have been threatened with rape and tortured at the hands of officials.

The group Human Rights Watch says rape and sexual violence are widely used against detainees, something the government denies.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister has said the country’s investigations into human rights violations have been adequate.

With less than a month to go until the Commonwealth conference in Sri Lanka, the government there has rejected calls for it to co-operate with an international inquiry into human rights violations. »

Click to watch the video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24648595

source: www.bbc.co.uk

« Rajapakse Administration’s choices with the TNA » by by Harim Peiris

The Rajapakse Administration faces a rather stark choice with regard to the TNA controlled Northern Provincial Council. The desired and preferred option would be, for the Government to be generous and cooperative with the NPC and provide it with the space and facilitation required to address the effects of the war on the Northern civilians as the former principle theatre of the conflict. This requires basically an attitude similar to that of the victorious allies in the Second World War, who had both the Marshal plan for Europe and very generous political arrangements for the defeated Japanese including retaining their Emperor in whose name the war had been fought. Initial indications are that the Rajapakse Administration is open to this possibility, once it gets over its own ideological hang-ups.

Via http://groundviews.org/2013/10/24/rajapakse-administrations-choices-with-the-tna/

source: Groundviews

« ‘Diaspora Diaries’: Exploring Connections and Interactions with Sri Lanka » by International Alert

The diaspora is diverse, and the complexities of the history and root causes of the conflict are often lost in media reporting. The plethora of experiences in diaspora communities, within and between ethnic groups, is also often unexplored. Diaspora individuals frequently have complex relationships with the land of their heritage, shaped by years of conflict both in Sri Lanka and within the diaspora itself. Viewpoints and political stances differ within communities, families and generations, not just between them.

Via http://groundviews.org/2013/10/24/diaspora-diaries-exploring-connections-and-interactions-with-sri-lanka/

source: Groundviews

« Diaspora Diaries: Reflections of the filmmaker » by Kannan Arunasalam

The Sinhalese felt the war is over and terrorism defeated, so what was there to talk about? The Tamils felt that by even taking part in my film they were implicitly agreeing with the government. That somehow all projects aiming at understanding the other were aligned with the Sri Lankan regime. Clearly, they saw little progress was being made to tackle the problems for Tamils in Sri Lanka and the question of accountability should trump any other efforts. I understand that. I didn’t agree with them, but I respect their right to hold these views and their decision not to take part. Clearly, they saw little progress was being made to tackle the problems for Tamils in Sri Lanka and the question of accountability should trump any other efforts. I understand that.

Perhaps at some point in the future both groups would be ready to talk to me and others whose approach to the conflict was different to theirs.

But I had also been moved by Ethir’s firm stance. Even if you agreed that reconciliation was the right approach, just talking about it wasn’t enough.

Via http://groundviews.org/2013/10/26/diaspora-diaries-reflections-of-the-filmmaker/

source: Groundviews

Conférence de Kannan M. (IFP) sur la traduction tamoule de Persepolis de M. Satrapi le 13 novembre 2013 de 11h à 12h30 à l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3

Vous trouverez dans le fichier attaché l’annonce et le résumé de la première séance du séminaire « Mondes indiens », qui se tiendra le mercredi 13 novembre 2013 de 11h à 12h30 au centre Censier de l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 (salle Las Vergnas). Le séminaire accueillera Kannan M., Chercheur au département d’Indologie de l’Institut Français de Pondichéry, pour une conférence en anglais intitulée : The Tamil Translation of Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and the Perception of Iranian Culture in Contemporary India.

Kannan_13112013_Séminaire_Mondes indiens

30 Years Ago: Audio recordings of panel discussions

To complement the launch of 30 Years Ago and focus on some of the issues the project is anchored to and inspired by, four panel discussions were on the 24th and 25th of August at Park Street Mews, Warehouse D in Colombo.

The inaugural session featured Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon and Dr. Devanesan Nesiah, both of whom have been featured on Groundviews previously writing or speaking about Black July (see here and here). The panel was the very first time appeared together to talk about their unique experiences around the violence in 1983.

The other panels featured some of the Sri Lanka’s best known artists, gallerists, writers, dramatists, activists and journalists.

Details of the panels and the audio recordings are now posted on the 30 Years Ago website.

source: Groundviews

CFP: « From Violent Conflict to Peaceful Coexistence: A Dialogue on Justice, Memory and Social Reconstruction » by International Centre for Ethnic Studies, 27, 28 February, 1 March 2014

Post-Conflict and Transitional Justice

 

Scholars have long attempted to understand, theorize and interrogate the ways in which societies emerging from violent conflict – whether from armed hostilities or prolonged periods of unrest – come to terms with their past. These studies have focused on issues of reconciliation, memory, governance, justice and transition and have given rise to the particular discipline of Transitional Justice.

Transitional Justice [TJ] refers to the processes, methods and practices used by societies seeking to overcome legacies of mass human rights violations or authoritarian governance. These processes may be judicial or non-judicial: ranging from truth-commissions, prosecutions, reparations, vetting, guarantees of non-recurrence and institutional reform.

Recent decades have seen the wide diffusion of the practice of TJ through the work and influence of a loose network of lawyers, politicians, activists and victims. The emergence of a number of influential INGOs specializing in the field has contributed to the globalization of TJ. The establishment of an International Criminal Court [ICC] has supported the internationalization of formal justice mechanisms. The United Nations has also played a key role in the formulation and diffusion of TJ. The Human Rights Council’s creation of a mandate for a Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence is a recent example of the UN’s interest in the area.

Accompanying this proliferation of post-conflict and TJ practice is the normative and empirical research generated by scholars who have engaged critically with the subject.  This research has produced a rich body of interdisciplinary scholarship around the normative and empirical claims within post-conflict and TJ discourse. TJ has thus become a site of contestation between the discourses of human rights and development, law and political science, the domestic and the international.

This scholarship has also spawned a tradition of critical work challenging the dominant assumptions within TJ discourse. In their seminal piece in International Security, Snyder and Vinjamuri famously initiated a longstanding debate on the efficacy of traditional TJ mechanisms such as prosecutions and truth-commissions in situations of political turmoil. Others have sought to problematise orthodox TJ’s conception of victimhood, questioning if its legalistic understanding of victims as those directly affected by violations of civil rights excludes victims of other types of deprivations, and gives rise to hierarchies of loss. Another type of critique views the globalization of TJ practice as limiting indigenous initiatives and imposing western, liberal and/or Judeo-Christian norms upon other cultures. These place-based perspectives urge a more victim-centered and less legalistic approach to TJ.

 

Post-Conflict and Transitional Justice in Asia

While Asia has not experienced the proliferation of TJ processes to the degree witnessed in Africa, Europe and Latin America, recent developments in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste demonstrate that local and international factors have compelled countries to adopt TJ practices.

In Cambodia, a hybrid tribunal functioning under the aegis of the United Nations and the government continues to prosecute senior Khmer Rouge leaders for their alleged crimes, while in Bangladesh, the International Crimes Tribunal has prosecuted and convicted several individuals for the atrocities committed during Bangladesh’s war of liberation. Debates around reconciliation in post-war Nepal have included questions of TJ, with Nepal’s government committing publicly to evolve a TJ mechanism in line with international standards. India has also attempted – through domestic and civil society processes – to reckon with the outbreak of racial violence in Gujarat.

In Sri Lanka, while offering divergent accounts of the conduct of Sri Lanka’s armed forces during the last stages of the war, reports by the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts and the domestic Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission [LLRC] appeared to agree on critical aspects of TJ such as the importance of ensuring truth, justice and reparations in respect of the past. Japan and Korea have also attempted in some measure to reckon with their legacies of violence and activists and academics continue to urge accountability for past abuses in those societies.

Despite this recent trend towards the implementation of TJ processes in Asia, Asian scholarship has yet to evolve a systematic exploration of TJ praxis in the region. This under-theorisation leaves a number of questions unanswered.  Do TJ processes in Asia possess unique distinguishing characteristics?  What role do Asia’s religious traditions – particularly Buddhism and Hinduism – play in shaping TJ discourse and practice?

The ICES has a long commitment to the values of pluralism, inclusivity, dissent and critical scholarship, particularly in respect of Asia.  Building on this legacy, this conference is intended to address two specific needs: first, expose the Asian scholar and activist audience to contemporary debates in the global post-conflict TJ discourse, and second, generate original Asian scholarly contributions to the existing corpus of post-conflict TJ scholarship.

The ICES will invite globally renowned TJ scholars and practitioners to present their perspectives on major theoretical and practical issues within contemporary TJ discourse. In addition, we also call for original contributions from Asian scholars, activists, practitioners from the public and private sectors, and students.

Selected papers will be divided for presentation into thematic panels, and will address Asian perspectives on the relevant themes.  We welcome papers dealing with any of the conference’s themes that seek to critically engage, interrogate and analyse post-conflict TJ processes in Asia, the reception and diffusion of TJ processes and theory in Asian societies, and the interplay between TJ and Asian socio-political constructs.  In this regard, we are particularly interested in comparative analyses of the post-conflict justice experiences of countries, and the applicability of these experiences for Asian societies.  We are also interested in papers that seek to interrogate and rethink dominant orthodoxies within TJ discourse, particularly from an Asian perspective.  The following are non-exhaustive groups of questions that papers may address under each theme.

 

Transitional Justice, Peace, Development

To what extent are TJ mechanisms essential in the transition out of conflict towards peace?  Do TJ processes support – or undermine – prospects for peace and national reconciliation?  To what extent may sequencing and timing of TJ processes address perceived tensions between TJ and peace?  Could and to what extent does economic development substitute TJ processes?  What is the relationship between TJ processes and the legitimization of a new regime? How may TJ processes open the door to examining the structural causes of abuse, and their more systemic impacts?  What is the relationship between individual and collective justice claims, or between civil and political rights violations and economic and social rights violations?

 

Prosecution and Truth-Telling

To what extent does the pursuit of non-judicial truth-seeking mechanisms assist in the institution of criminal prosecutions, and vice versa?  Does an honest truth-seeking mechanism sans criminal prosecution satisfy a state’s moral and legal obligations to deal with the past?  What does ‘truth’ in truth-telling entail, and are there different versions of the truth?  How do the demands of international law for investigation and prosecution relate to domestic political movements for truth and/or justice?  To what extent does prosecution act as a deterrent at an individual and institutional level? Do prosecution and truth-telling mechanisms fulfill the expectations of victims, or do they reinforce false expectations?

 

Forms of Exclusion and Transitional Justice

To what extent is TJ gendered, and what does it mean to evolve a gendered critique of TJ processes?  Do TJ processes in Asia adequately reflect the experiences of ethnic minorities, women, sexual minorities, youth and the disabled and how may these deficits – if any – be addressed?  Do TJ practices transform – or entrench – patriarchal and other systems of oppression? To what extent do domestic and international laws address gender violence as a weapon of war?

 

Religion

What doctrinal approaches do Asia’s major religious traditions offer in respect of concepts of truth justice and reparations, particularly in the aftermath of atrocities? How do religious traditions and teaching mediate the tension between ideas of justice, farness, and consequence with notions of compassion, forgiveness, restoration and mercy?  Is cultural difference an appropriate factor in prescribing certain types of TJ processes over others?

 

Internationalization

What is the role of international pressure in shaping TJ processes and reconciliation?  To what extent do international mechanisms differ from domestic mechanisms in generating impacts within the country?  What are the limitations of international TJ mechanisms and how may they be overcome?  How does the application of the complementarity principle affect domestic political will to undertake TJ processes?  Are hybrid mechanisms appropriate alternatives to purely international – or purely domestic – processes?  Is TJ an essentially western imperialistic project?   How may concerns over cultural and political neo-liberalism be addressed in the design and implementation of TJ processes?

 

Civil society, community-based approaches and Transitional Justice

What role should civil society actors properly play in post-conflict TJ processes, and to what extent do civil society actors ‘represent’ victims? How should TJ processes navigate potential tensions between the demands of different types of civil society actors, or between civil society actors and victims’ political representatives? What factors influence the nature, ideological biases and quality of civil society contributions to TJ discourse in specific contexts? Are there any commonalities, or divergences, that characterize community-based approaches to TJ in Asian post-conflict contexts? How do these community-based approaches that draw from local traditions interact with more formal TJ processes? Do these approaches tend to enhance – or compromise – reconciliation within the community and victims’ rights?

 

Constitutional transitions and political and institutional reform

How may post-conflict constitution building set out to address the causes and manifestations of violent conflict? How may political and constitutional reforms be crafted in ways that contribute to TJ processes, and similarly, how do TJ processes impact on the preparation, negotiation and implementation of constitutional and political reform? Do well-designed ‘constitutional transitions’, in which formerly disenfranchised and subjugated groups struggle and achieve a measure of political power, substitute formal TJ processes?

 

Memorialisation

Memorials have been used to foster healing and promote social reconstruction after violent conflict. Memorials take a variety of shapes and forms and remember those who suffered or died in a conflict. Through this recognition and acknowledgement they seek to promote reconciliation and co-existence, provide symbolic reparations to survivors and to create a more accurate account of the past. This session will interrogate memorialisation through case studies that will look at process, impact and the politics. In particular, the session will look at the following questions: how does TJ manage the politicization of memory, and have initiatives for memorialisation exacerbated cleavages in society?  What tools must TJ use to navigate the challenges of memorializing in societies where memories are the site of ethnic or religious contestation?

 

Reparation and economic justice

What are the challenges to designing and implementing an equitable reparations program?  To what extent does the legalization of reparations requirements strengthen – or weaken – a society’s struggle for restoration? Are such economic justice mechanisms substitutes or complements to judicial accountability?  Should these mechanisms be driven by victims’ right to reparation, citizens’ interest in financial accountability or the broader interests of addressing resource disparities?

Through this conference, ICES hopes to encourage the production of a critical mass of Asian post-conflict TJ scholarship, and help build an academically interdependent community of TJ scholars in the region.  In addition, ICES hopes to help TJ practitioners and opinion makers in the region access the debates and tensions confronting the practice and theory of TJ in the rest of world.  With this in mind, we anticipate that the conference will result in the publication of a dedicated volume.

Parallel to the conference and within the conference venue, ICES will provide a space within which artistic expressions relating to post-conflict justice may be exhibited. We invite proposals for installations or other projects in this regard.

Abstracts of approximately 500 words are invited by 1st December 2013.

 

International Centre for Ethnic Studies

2 Kynsey Terrace

Colombo 8

Sri Lanka

icesjustice@gmail.com

www.ices.lk

Northern Provincial Election 2013: Mainstream print media front-page coverage (CPA)

7 Ocotber 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election in Sri Lanka was held on the 21 September 2013 for the first time in twenty-five years. The TNA won a total of 30 seats including 2 bonus seats in the 38 member council. The voter turnout was as high as 67.5%, which was quite unexpected due to what was believe to be a widespread disillusionment with the election process and serious intimidation of voters leading up to and on election day.
The frontpages of mainstream print media were monitored on 22 and 23 September to study the coverage given to this election and the results. Unsurprisingly, even amongst non-State / privately owned media, the Sinhala newspapers carried relatively fewer articles, lead news stories and editorials in comparison to Tamil and English newspapers, which featured a lot more coverage around the eelction and its significance for the Tamil people in the North.
Of particular significance in State-owned newspapers is the lack of coverage even in the Tamil Newspapers over the election result and its significance. Thinakaran, the only State owned Tamil newspaper, did not publish any lead news around the results on the 22 September, the day after the election. The State-owned English newspaper, Daily News and Sinhala Newspaper, Dinamina published lead news on the 22 September. Even the few articles published in Thinakaran on 22 and 23 September were clearly biased towards and promoting the government’s perspectives and opinions.

Read and download the full report here.

source: Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)

Appel à contribution des ateliers de l’AJEI : Travail, mobilité et mobilisations en Asie du sud

Vous trouverez en pièce jointe l’appel à contribution des  16ème Ateliers Jeunes Chercheurs de l’Association Jeunes Études Indiennes (AJEI).

« Travail, mobilité et mobilisations en Asie du sud »
Delhi, Inde (du 11 au 14 Février 2014)

En collaboration avec le Centre for Informal sector and Labour Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Les propositions de communication peuvent être envoyées jusqu’au Vendredi 8 novembre (ateliers@ajei.org).

AJEI – Appel a contribution (fr) – 2014

AJEI – Call for Papers (Eng) – 2014

Association Jeunes Etudes Indiennes

http://ajei.hypotheses.org/