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Testimony Under Threat: Women’s Voices and the Pursuit of Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7167-609X
2019 (English)In: Human Rights Review, ISSN 1524-8879, E-ISSN 1874-6306, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 361-382Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper foregrounds how women’s public testimony as part of a formal transitional justice initiative is shaped by the particular context in which a commission operate, including the political and security environment. While the literature has engaged with the gendered predicaments of truth commissions after peace agreements and during transitions away from non-democratic rule, the function of such initiatives in more authoritarian and in immediate post-war contexts is generally overlooked. I examine women’s testimonies from Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and contend that pervasive militarization and insecurity, and the conduct of the Commission, influenced the stories that came forth. Women’s testimonies in the war-torn areas primarily represent pleas for information about missing family members and reflect important silences about the women’s own experiences of abuse, including ongoing post-war insecurities. The analysis raises questions about what may be expected from transitional justice efforts in difficult post-war contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 20, no 3, p. 361-382
Keywords [en]
gender, Sri Lanka, public testimony, LLRC, human rights, transitional justice
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-379415DOI: 10.1007/s12142-019-0549-3ISI: 000480737000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-379415DiVA, id: diva2:1296535
Available from: 2019-03-15 Created: 2019-03-15 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved

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