Monday, 15 February 2016 17:10

NPC Promotes Concept of TJ Through Training Workshops

NPC conducted a series of training workshops on Transitional Justice (TJ) for policy makers, civil society leaders, security forces personnel and government officials in Colombo, Jaffna and Trincomalee.

One of the workshops was for members of NPC’s District Inter Religious Committees to lay the groundwork for further sessions in the districts so that the concepts of TJ could be brought to the grassroots level.

Some 255 participants attended the workshops, which are funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and GIZ/FLICT to promote people’s participation in the TJ process.

TJ expert and trainer Patrick Burgess, who has been involved in helping countries establish Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs) around the world, gave participants an extensive grounding on what TJ meant and how it could be administered.

Through video clips, group exercises and drawing from his knowledge of TJ mechanisms from around the world, Mr. Burgess touched on a wide range of topics including the four pillars of TJ (truth seeking, justice, reparations and institutional reform); International Humanitarian Law as it pertains to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide; the International Criminal Court, international, national and hybrid tribunals and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs).

The three-day workshop for trainers was addressed by South African Ambassador Geoffrey Doige who explained his county’s experiences with a successful TRC and by Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran who spoke on the political challenges of Sri Lanka’s TJ process.