I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna (Tamil) people now. Now we cannot think of ‘THEM’. Not about their lives or their opinion on ‘Us’. This was said to have been quoted in an interview to the Daily Telegraph dated 11 July 1983, just two weeks before the Black July 1983 Sinhala mob attack by then President J R Jayawardena.
Thirty seven years have passed without any justice for the victims. Victims still live with the trauma of that genocide.
Tamils in Sri Lanka have suffered numerous pogroms since independence in 1948. Of all the pogroms, the July 1983 one stands out as being the most calamitous with 3,000 Tamils killed, 25,000 Tamils injured, 150,000 Tamils rendered homeless and 8,000 Tamil owned businesses burned down after looting. All these took place in broad daylight with the police and army onlooking and sometimes helping the perpetrators. The perpetrators were the hired Sinhala hooligans who were equipped with electoral lists to identify addresses where Tamils lived.
All the anti-Tamil pogroms in Sri Lanka had the following characteristics in common:
● Invariably, the victims were Tamils
● Whenever Tamils rose against the oppressive measures, the Sri Lankan State response was violence which often ended up in pogroms of genocidal proportion
● All pogroms reportedly had tell-tale evidence of Sri lankan state involvement
● Pogroms caused an exodus of Tamils who now live scattered all over the world.
BTF is in the process of collecting evidence from the victims and witnesses of the ‘Black July 1983’ pogrom to be aired at the virtual event to be held on the 23rd of July 2020. Anyone willing to share their experience is welcome and their anonymity, should they wish so, would be preserved.
This event could be watched live via Zoom, Youtube and Facebook.
Below are the links where the webinar will be broadcast.
Date: 23 July 2020
Time: 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM – Eyewitness Testimonial Screening
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM – Panel Discussion: “Them” vs “Us”
Webinar ID: 872 0509 1034
Phone: 0208 808 0465
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