From Violent Conflict to Peaceful Coexistence: A Dialogue on Justice, Memory and Social Reconstruction

27th, 28th February & 1st March 2014
International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka

Scholars have long attempted to understand, theorize and interrogate the ways in which societies emerging from violent conflict – whether from armed hostilities or prolonged periods of unrest – come to terms with their past. These studies have focused on issues of reconciliation, memory, governance, justice and transition and have given rise to the particular discipline of Transitional Justice.

While Asia has not experienced the proliferation of TJ processes to the degree witnessed in Africa, Europe and Latin America, recent developments in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste demonstrate that local and international factors have compelled countries to adopt TJ practices.

Despite this recent trend towards the implementation of TJ processes in Asia, Asian scholarship has yet to evolve a systematic exploration of TJ praxis in the region. This under-theorisation leaves a number of questions unanswered. Do TJ processes in Asia possess unique distinguishing characteristics? What role do Asia’s religious traditions – particularly Buddhism and Hinduism – play in shaping TJ discourse and

The ICES has a long commitment to the values of pluralism, inclusivity, dissent and critical scholarship, particularly in respect of Asia. Building on this legacy, this conference is intended to address two specific needs: first, expose the Asian scholar and activist audience to contemporary debates in the global post-conflict TJ discourse, and second, generate original Asian scholarly contributions to the
existing corpus of post-conflict TJ scholarship.

Concept Note