Everyday Violence in Sri Lanka

Another new article has been published at the JCA’s publisher’s website. “Acute and Everyday Violence in Sri Lanka” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2017.1336783) is authored by Vidura Munasinghe of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and Danielle Celermajer of the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Old Teachers College, University of Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia.

Both are associated with the Enhancing Human Rights Protections in Security Contexts at Sydney. The abstract for the paper states:

Police torture in Sri Lanka has been subject to extensive investigation and condemnation but remains a widespread and seemingly entrenched practice. Seeking to understand the resistance of such practices to existing interventions, this article locates the police’s use of torture within a broader geography of social violence in Sri Lanka. We discuss the findings of extensive fieldwork conducted in the north-west of Sri Lanka where we examined not only police behaviour and interactions between police and the broader community but also the social dynamics relationships more generally. One significant finding was that violence against certain types of people, including police use of torture against such people, is generally accepted, even as the police are broadly criticised in the community for their unethical and ineffective behaviour. Another significant finding was that the society is riven with social hierarchies and that patterns of domination are embedded in social, political and symbolic systems. We conclude that police torture needs to be understood against the background of broader cultural practices whereby social subjects are disciplined and policed to produce appropriate citizens and punish social boundary violations.

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