The Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), the sister organisation of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) announces the publication of Narrative of Justice in Sri Lanka as told through the stories of torture victims. The book contains 736 pages.
This book records the stories of 400 cases of torture out of over 2,000 cases which were researched and published by the AHRC and the ALRC over the last ten years. The victims of torture were interviewed in great detail and assisted to pursue their complaints to the Sri Lankan authorities. The ALRC researchers have studied each of these cases through long years while the victims were pursuing their grievances before local authorities and courts.
"This book tells a grim story of the actual situation and of the way the criminal justice system works, or in fact, does not work in Sri Lanka. Through the stories of torture the victims reveal the extremely cruel and brutal methods used by the police and other law enforcement agencies and what it more striking is the narrative of the utter neglect that seems to pervade the police, who are supposed to be investigators into crime, the Attorney General's Department, which is supposed to prosecute competently and impartially and the judiciary which is supposed to protect the citizens of the country. The weight of evidence that is presented by this book on the complete failure of the system demands a response from the Sri Lankan government as well as its basic institutions such as the police, the Attorney General's Department and the judiciary", said Mr. Basil Fernando, the Director, Policy & Programme Development of the ALRC who is also the editor of this book.
Fernando further said, "No study of human rights in Sri Lanka would be complete without reference to this publication. This is the most comprehensive book, not only on the practice of torture but also the widespread impunity that prevails in Sri Lanka".
He went on to say that the study of law in Sri Lanka requires a change. The legal texts that are supposed to say what the law is should be contrasted with the actual situation that prevails in the country. This book graphically exposes how far Sri Lanka has drifted away from the rule of law and how far the people of Sri Lanka are denied of their basic protection.
Copies of the book may be obtained from the Asian Legal Resource Centre.
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About the AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
About the ALRC: The Asian Legal Resource Centre is an independent regional non-governmental organisation holding general consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It is the sister organisation of the Asian Human Rights Commission. The Hong Kong-based group seeks to strengthen and encourage positive action on legal and human rights issues at the local and national levels throughout Asia.