Memory for change
The present discussion paper serves as a basis for the Asia Exchange Meeting “Memory for Change”, which is being organised by Impunity Watch (IW) in Bangkok, Thailand from 1 until 7 November 2014.
The Exchange Meeting seeks to explore with civil society organisations and victims’ groups from Cambodia, Burma/Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Timor Leste and Thailand how memorialisation can be used as a complementary or alternative transitional justice process (TJ), and/or as a step towards institutionalised processes of TJ such as trials and truth commissions....
Let the victims speak: A voice from Peru on the Commissions on Truth and Disappearances
from the article by Eduardo González Cueva:
On April 24, seven and a half years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Parliament voted to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and a Commission of Investigation on Disappeared Persons (CIDP).
Given the long wait, some expected victims’ organizations and human rights groups to be ecstatic; but in fact, the opposite is true. They have strongly rejected the bill because—they claim—it will allow the commission to recommend amnesties for perpetrators of gross human rights violations.
Girl's death 24 years ago haunts quest for justice in reformist Myanmar
....The authorities haven't forgotten either. Political reform in Myanmar is fostering greater openness about past atrocities but little accountability, especially when the country's still-powerful military is involved. Today, Win Maw Oo's impoverished and long-suffering family remains under police surveillance.
Bougainville wants restorative justice approach to settling violence in south
The autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville hopes to resolve a long standing impasse in the south of the main island by taking the traditional Melanesian approach of reconciliation.
Despite six years of autonomy, few government services are available around the district of Konnou because the security of workers can’t be guaranteed.
Toward Transformative Mediation: Restorative justice practice in South Korea
from the article by Jae Young Lee:
Growing interest in Restorative Justice has been emerging in Korea among scholars, law practitioners, and civil society groups since as early as the late 1990s. However, its practice was very limited until a recent experimental project from 2006-2008. During those three years, Korean Institute of Criminal Justice (KICJ) and a civil organization called Conflict Resolution Center under Women Making Peace carried out the first formal Restorative Justice project in Korea called Victim-Offender Dialog, particularly designed for juvenile cases. Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, Seoul Family Court, and Juvenile Protection Institution referred juvenile cases to Conflict Resolution Center to be dealt with a conference where conflicting parties and trained mediators sat together.
A new commission for restorative justice to deal with difficult past practices of abuse and violence in Sri Lanka
The communiqué from the Presidential Media Unit announcing a probe into the violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct has incorporated several new words and phrases which are not yet familiar terms in the political discourse in Sri Lanka. A few such words and phrases are: the need for restorative justice; a probe of violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct; no recurrence of such tragic conflict in the future; institutional, administrative and welfare measures already taken in the post conflict phase and which should be further taken in order to effect reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation; legislative and administrative measures that may be necessary to prevent such situations in the future; assessing the lessons learned from the recent conflict phase; identification of any persons or groups responsible for such acts, (and) payment of compensation for victims.
For a long period the government took up the position of burying the past as the best policy to be used in order to avoid the surfacing of the unhealed wounds. However, such a view, which has been taken in other places after the country has faced mass atrocities has not been an enduring policy. It simply becomes necessary to deal with the past. The only issue is how daringly such a task will be faced. This of course depends on the political will of the country's leaders and the civil society leaders of the time. If the country is blest with an enlightened leadership politically as well as other areas of intellectual life it becomes possible to take far reaching actions in dealing with past atrocities and violence and violations of human rights.
Looking to the future: Justice and reconciliation in Cambodia
As my plane touched down in Cambodia almost a month ago, I was prepared to witness the detrimental affects that genocide had on the country. Two weeks of classes prior to my arrival made me expect the worst. Ready to walk into Cambodia circa 1979, I imagined Phnom Penh as I had seen it in pictures; a desolate city with blank, desperate expressions upon the faces of all of its war weary inhabitants, bodies lying on the side of the road, bomb shells littering the countryside. To my surprise, Phnom Penh was a noisy, bustling city packed with people and motorcycles speeding by. The people on those motorcycles mostly looked happy, with their families and loved ones enjoying an evening ride. Although poverty is all around, the city seems to overcome this with the bustling activity of its inhabitants and the fixed smiles painted on their faces. I realized that I was no longer in a country enveloped in a culture of fear and constant war; it was clear to me that a new dawn was rising in Cambodia, and that the youthful and motivated population were ready to pick up the pieces of its shattered past.