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In an investigation of narrative representations that voice anomalies and irregularities in the prosecution of Tamil political prisoners in Sri Lanka, the paper sets in conference stories of torture and trial in Para Paheer’s The Power of Good People, and Visakesa Chandrasekaram’s Tigers Don’t Confess and The Use of Confessionary Evidence under the Counter-Terrorism Laws of Sri Lanka. The paper investigates the judicial space in which these cases were tried as a corollary of the state of exception practiced in Sri Lanka resulting from long term use of emergency regulations and counter-terrorism laws. By drawing on constitutional changes and amendments from 1978 to the present – and by referring to the state’s intimidation and undermining of the judiciary – I investigate the process by which exception was sustained as a governing philosophy in Sri Lanka, and locate the judiciary as an organ compliant of government. The paper also holds to discussion the fate of Tamil political prisoners eleven years after the conclusion of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009, the slow progress of post-war reconciliation, and the challenges they face in ongoing imprisonment.
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