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Making torture possible: The Sri Lankan Conflict, 2006-2009

Barnes, J. (2013) Making torture possible: The Sri Lankan Conflict, 2006-2009. Journal of South Asian Development, 8 (3). pp. 333-358.

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The escalation of the violent conflict in Sri Lanka since 2006 has put the spotlight on the role torture played as a military strategy against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Despite Sri Lanka being a State Party to major United Nations treaties on human rights, the Sri Lankan government secretly used torture to gain confessions, intelligence and to punish the LTTE. Torture techniques were brutal, including burnings with soldering irons, beatings and electric shocks. How was this use of torture possible? Using a discursive practices approach, I examine how a ‘reality’ was constructed that placed the LTTE outside moral boundaries and made the use of torture possible.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: Sage Publications India
Copyright: Sage Publications India
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