What are atrocity crimes, why and when do they arise, and how can peacebuilding practice help to prevent them? This report delves into the conceptual foundations of reconciliation and atrocity prevention in the context of Sri Lanka’s history of conflict and ongoing reconciliation process, analyzing institutional-level reconciliation efforts and drawing from a randomized field experiment in an interpersonal reconciliation program. It suggests that by understanding the conditions under which reconciliation is most effective, peacebuilding practice will be better placed to achieve its goals after violent conflict.
The Sri Lankan government expects to decide within six months the shape of special courts to address war crimes committed in the country’s 26-year civil war, its foreign minister said at the U.S. Institute of Peace. The courts will include “international participation”—with foreign professionals perhaps serving as investigators, judges or prosecutors—said Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. But in a reflection of the political sensitivities of the post-war reconciliation effort, Samaraweera...
Apology. Confession. Truth-telling. Forgiveness. These are elements of reconciliation, perhaps the most important underpinning for turning a violent conflict into durable peace. Yet building peace is complicated by a reality that human cultures have no agreed definition of reconciliation. Indeed many may resist it as an imposed Western value, USIP scholars said.