Thursday, August 20, 2015

International Truth & Justice Project Sri Lanka

Truth & Justice Project 
Sri Lanka

We hope to secure justice for the victims of war crimes and post-war crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka. Our lawyers and country experts have been documenting evidence from survivors outside the country for many years and now arguably have the largest collection of sworn witness statements pertaining to recent years. Apart from focusing on the final phase of the civil war, we have also produced groundbreaking reports documenting the extent of sexual violence and torture in post-war Sri Lanka. To date the identities of many members of the group have remained confidential in order that they can do their work more discretely without endangering the lives of witnesses. Our team includes prosecutors and investigators with decades of experience working on bodies like the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, as well as country experts, specialists in gender based violence and transitional justice as well as many courageous Sri Lankans who have assisted us both inside and outside the country.

When it was set up in 2013, ITJP brought together many individuals already working on documentation for Sri Lanka. The organisation is administered by the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa. The Foundation was established in 1996 by Nelson Mandela's government and the European Union to address the legacy of apartheid, and assist with building a human rights culture in South Africa through distributing EU funds in South Africa to civil society. It currently employs 40 people in South Africa and is run by transitional justice expert Yasmin Sooka.

Our executive director, Ms Sooka, was a former member of the South African Truth Commission and was appointed by the United Nations as one of three international Commissioners to the Truth Commission in Sierra Leone. She was appointed as one of three international legal experts who advised the UN Secretary General on accountability in Sri Lanka, co-authoring the key report on the final phase of the war as part of the UN Panel of Experts.

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