AJAR President Patrick Burgess delivered a series of training on transitional justice and its relevance to the Sri Lanka context between 29 January and 6 February 2016. The training, organized by AJAR’s partner, the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, were between one and three days duration and took place in Colombo and the former conflict areas of Jaffna and Trincomalee. A total of 300 participants attended the events.
One of the sessions was presented to policymakers including government ministers and members of parliament. Others included inter-religious groups from across the country. Another event was a three-day training for 60 participants including senior representatives of the army, air force, navy and national police service as well as government officials and civil society leaders.
Burgess reflected on the initiative:
“There is a massive divide between the movement that is happening on transitional justice approaches at the international and senior leadership levels and the degree of understanding of the population. Unless this gap is bridged there will not be a sufficient foundation to support the transitional justice mechanisms that are being discussed. This could lead to a deepening of divisions and politicization of the process.”