Braving the seas: Sri Lanka's post-war troubles

Event details

Public Lecture

Date & time

Monday 11 November 2013


Lecture Theatre 1, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
ANU Canberra


Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena - Advocate, Supreme Court of Sri Lanka; Senior Columnist, The Sunday Times, Colombo


Nick Cheesman
+61 2 6125 0181

Four years after the war in the North and East ended in Sri Lanka, heightened repression of ethnic and religious minorities has impeded the country's post war growth. A militarised, politicised and corrupt police force whose endemic use of torture in law enforcement under extraordinary powers through special anti-terrorism laws has resulted in the serious breakdown of law and order. Political subversion of the judiciary following the arbitrary impeachment of the Chief Justice this year has ruptured public confidence in the proper functioning of the legal system.

This public lecture will look at why thousands still flee Sri Lanka, some using legal routes but many others braving the high seas despite the terrible dangers that this involves.

About the speaker

Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena is a prominent lawyer, media columnist and human rights defender currently serving as deputy director of the Law & Society Trust in Colombo, and as head of its civil and political rights programme. She has worked as a senior legal consultant for the International Commission of Jurists, for whom she wrote Still Seeking Justice: Rule of Law, the Legal System and Commissions of Inquiry in Sri Lanka (2010). She has published widely on a diverse range of topics, from habeas corpus to violence against women, and is a senior legal columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper.

Jointly presented by: Department of Political & Social Change and Regulatory Institutions Network, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

This public lecture is supported by the Research School of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University.



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