Black July 1983 – Them Vs Us 2020 Panel discussion “Them Vs Us”

The British Tamils Forum will be holding our annual panel discussion on the Black July anti-Tamil Pogrom of 1983. In  previous years the remembrance event was held in the UK Parliament. The event will not take place in the Parliament due to Covid-19 outbreak. However virtual teleconference on Zoom will take place on the 23rd of July 2020 between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm.

Them Vs Us

In our panel event this year the theme of the event will be “Them Vs Us”. The Sri Lankan State has created, sustained and escalated a systemic genocidal agenda that has spanned decades and is ongoing against non-Sinhala non-Buddhist communities, all in order to create its monotheist, monolinguist, mono ethnic state. The Tamils of Sri Lanka have suffered historically and July 1983, marked as a cornerstone in this cyclical violence, is a keynote in proving the political intent which drove the pogrom.

We have chosen the Them Vs Us theme to reflect this systematic process, and to drive the message to survivors across the world of this and other pogroms to recall their experience as a message to the international community. That message being an indicator, that this is what happens in Sri Lanka, and of the political Buddhism which is driving it.

Testimonies from the Survivors of Black July 83 pogrom

We have started documenting various aspects of the genocide as part of any future judicial process. Documentation of credible evidence is important to prove the intent of genocide. The panel discussion will hold short viewing encompassing messages from 6:00 pm until 6:30 pm, from survivors across the world of the anti-Tamil pogroms held in Sri Lanka. By taking their messages we wish to signify the true intent that rang out during the island wide violence which took place during Black July. The Victim Community is the foremost in the world to deliver this message. We hope to use this opportunity to document, preserve and bring out their experiences to the world.

Therefore, we have started to reach out to survivors of the Black July anti-Tamil pogrom of 1983, and survivors of other atrocities which took place in Sri Lanka in a similar manner.

We will facilitate the recording of witness statements and care will be taken for any confidentiality issues. Further details will follow.

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