Panel Discussion: Prospects for Meaningful Accountability for Rights Violations in Sri Lanka

A light sandwich lunch will be served from 1pm.

Kiran Grewal

Kiran is a Reader in Human Rights in the Department of Sociology. A qualified lawyer, Kiran has worked as a scholar, practitioner and activist in the areas of refugee law, sexual and gender-based violence, torture prevention, policing and international criminal law in Australia, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Kiran’s research is particularly concerned with the interactions between legal frameworks and social justice struggles of marginalized and/or subaltern groups. She is also generally interested in postcolonial, subaltern and feminist approaches to human rights, law, sexual and gender-based violence and transitional justice. She is the author of two books: The Socio-Political Practice of Human Rights (Routledge 2016) and Racialised Gang Rape and the Reinforcement of Dominant Order: Discourses of Gender, Race and Nation (Routledge 2017).

Kiran is currently working on a project entitled, ‘The Everyday Life of Human Rights’ focused on subaltern engagements with the language and institutions of human rights in post-war Sri Lanka.

Farzana Haniffa

Farzana is Senior Lecturer at the University of Colombo and Smuts Visiting Research Fellow in Commonwealth Studies at the University of Cambridge.

Gehan Gunatilleke

Gehan Gunatilleke is a DPhil student at the University of Oxford, and a researcher at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. His research focuses on state authority to restrict religious liberty and the freedom of expression under international human rights law. Prior to commencing his DPhil, he obtained an MSt in International Human Rights Law (with distinction) from the University of Oxford on a Commonwealth Scholarship and an LL.M from Harvard Law School, where he was a Fulbright Scholar and a Dean’s Scholar in International Human Rights.

Gehan is a former UN advisor to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, where he specialised in international treaty compliance. He has served on legislative drafting committees that have drafted key human rights laws in Sri Lanka including the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Act. He has also served on national delegations to the UN Human Rights Council and UN human rights treaty bodies. His advocacy work in Sri Lanka has focused primarily on combating ethno-religious violence and campaigning against state regulation of mainstream and social media.

Gehan is currently a tutor in human rights at St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford. He has authored several publications, including ‘The Chronic and the Entrenched: Ethno-religious Violence in Sri Lanka’ (2018) and ‘Contronting the Complexity of Loss: Perspectives on Truth, Memory and Justice in Sri Lanka’ (2015).