Today, June 26, is United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. As Prajnya’s observance of this date, we have curated a small blog symposium on ‘Gender, Torture and Transitional Justice.’
Where we sit, in southern India, these sometimes seem like distant, irrelevant topics–a view made possible by our unflagging commitment to denial. Across the Palk Strait, denial is not an option. Sri Lanka is in the process of charting a transition out of war. Where that transition will lead depends largely on the outcome of the lively discussions underway there about issues of transitional justice.
This is one reason we partnered with the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka to put together these blogposts on gender, torture and transitional justice. NPC has been working with grassroots communities to promote dialogue for over two decades and in recent years, has used this network to promote a discussion about transitional justice and the shape and form of the peace that is being built in Sri Lanka.
This is not to say these issues are not important in India. Torture, and gender-based violence as torture, are not unknown in India. And whether or not we consider ourselves conflict-torn or post-conflict, the values of truth, accountability and justice, apply to our political discourse and practice just as well. For Prajnya, that is why it was important to create and curate this resource.
What is a blog symposium and why do we bother with it? A blog symposium is nothing but an invited collection of blogposts on different aspects of a particular topic or issue. The writers have different backgrounds, different expertise and quite likely, different points of view. Our only filter was that the posts had to address the broader symposium rubric. We are not concerned with presenting a single consensus “correct” view.
Rather, Prajnya’s purpose is to offer information and a range of views so readers, especially those reading about the issue for the first time, can start to find their way through the debates. This is intended to be, not the last word, but the first set of resources you access on a topic.
The last post in this blog symposium is an Annotated Bibliography that we hope will be useful to you for further reading.
Blogposts in this symposium (links will be added when they are all published):
- GENDER, TORTURE, AND POLITICAL RECONCILIATION, Colleen Murphy
- CUSTODIAL TORTURE: A SPECIAL HELL, Nitya Ramakrishnan
- IMPUNITY AND TRUST: TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE IN SRI LANKA, Nimalka Fernando
- WOMEN AND MISSING PERSONS, National Peace Council of Sri Lanka Team
- CRIMINAL TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF CONFLICT-RELATED SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST MEN, Anjali Manivannan
- WOMEN’S PARTICIPATION IN TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE: STILL FAR TO GO, Sumadhu Weerawarne-Perera
- RE-IMAGINING JUSTICE: THE COURTS OF WOMEN STORY, Corinne Kumar
- Annotated Bibliography on Gender, Torture and Transitional Justice, prepared by Mangalam Sridhar
Posts 1, 2, 5, 7 and the Annotated Bibliography were commissioned by Prajnya. Posts 3, 4 and 6 were commissioned or authored by the National Peace Council.
Prajnya would like to thank the National Peace Council team for its openness and cooperation.