TORTURE: Asian and Global Perspectives
THIRST FOR DEMOCRACY: Torture neither promotes democracy nor supports the rule of law. On the contrary, torture, whether openly or clandestinely used, undermines democratic governnance.
WHAT WENT WRONG? - In the last hundred years, many laws have been passed and many international conventions have been signed by the government on behalf of the State in acceptance of the prohibition of torture. But torture continues to be practiced widely in Sri Lanka, even today.
In July 2012, the Asian Alliance Against Torture and Ill-treatment hosted an unprecedented event in Hong Kong. Several Asian parliamentarians and leading human rights activists were invited to deliberate on ways to combat the practice of torture and ill-treatment in Asia.
Nothing can justify torture under any circumstances. But torture is still an endemic issue for mankind, confirming that many countries are not keen to criminalize torture. Many state and non-state actors provide justifications in this regard, while thousands of people continue to become victims of this inhuman practice, which has its origin in the jungle age and system. Time is compelling us to engage, to recognize, and eliminate torture through the current political track rather than conducting a distant analysis of the past.
We are on the edge of the new era of extremism and fundamentalism which constantly challenges and curtails the personal liberty of the people, and that reduces mankind's desire for freedom to little more than a dream. We are in the miserable position of not just trying to fight these enemies, but also of just trying to understand what threat they really pose. It has become increasingly clear in recent years that the concepts and mindsets of previous decades are no longer suitable to explain or counter modern extremism.