Transition and Accountability in Sri Lanka

This is an Archive of a Past Event

Featuring Kate Cronin-Furman, Bhavani Fonseka, and Beth Van Schaack

After 26 years of conflict that saw massive violations of human rights and international law, Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in 2009. For the past six years, the victims have fought for accountability in the face of tremendous odds. A new unity government offers a chance for transitional justice and last month’s UN Human Rights Council resolution suggests a way forward for Sri Lanka with the support of the international community. This panel of experts will explore the range of options available to the government and civil society actors as they pursue justice and reconciliation and the likelihood that the Sri Lankan victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity will have their day in court.

Kate Cronin-Furman is a human rights lawyer and political scientist whose research focuses on the interaction between international norms and politics. Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Transitional Justice, The Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. 

Bhavani Fonseka is a Senior Researcher and human rights lawyer working with the Sri Lanka-based Centre for Policy Alternatives. She has worked on issues related to the rule of law, human rights and humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka for over a decade and is a 2015 Eisenhower Fellow.

Beth Van Schaack is an expert in several areas of international law, human rights, and transitional justice. She is a Senior Fellow at the Handa Center, visiting professor in human rights at Stanford Law School and a senior adviser to the State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice.