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Jul-18-2012 22:31printcomments

Sri Lankan Tamil Vigil to Commemorate Black July 1983

Event will take place opposite 10 Downing Street on Monday 23rd July 2012 from 5pm to 8pm.

29th observation of Black July in London
Vigil will be held across from 10 Downing Street on Monday 23rd July 2012 from 5pm to 8pm.

(LONDON) - The month of July brings back vivid memories of death and destruction to many Tamil people who had survived a massacre in a state sponsored pogrom against the Tamil nation by the Sinhala nation in July 1983. More than 3000 innocent Tamil men women and children were butchered on the streets and in their own homes over a period of 5 days. The Tamil people remember this event as "Black July 1983". This was a turning point in the history of Tamils of the island of Ceylon when a large number of the survivors fled the island fearing for their lives.

The Tamil Nation have been subjected to repeated pogroms unleashed against them by the Sinhala Nation since the island now known as Sri Lanka gained independence from Britain in 1948. In 1958 pogrom 300 people were massacred. in 1961 there were nearly 500 killings and in 1977 more than 1000 people were murdered. With the advancement in communication technology, the international community was also witness to the carnage in 1983 in which more than 3000 Tamil people were massacred, nearly 100,000 people made homeless and billions worth of their property looted and set ablaze in an orgy of racial attacks on defenceless Tamil people.

The attackers, equipped with voters list went round identifying residences of Tamil people and attacked them in their own homes. Tamil people who happened to be out and about were stopped on the streets and were hacked to death or doused with petrol and burnt alive. The scant disregard for the lives of the Tamil people by the Sinhala rulers is reflected in a statement by the then president J R Jeyawadene to a reporter of a London daily when he stated " “I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna (Tamil) people. We cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinions. The more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhalese people will be. Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy.”

In a recent outburst, the Sri Lankan Power and Energy minister Champika Ranawaka said "One Mullivaikkal is enough. Don't try to get 100 more" These threatening comments were in response to a speech by the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R.Sampanthan.


"Mullivaikkal" is in reference to the genocidal assault on the Tamil people's Homeland where more than 40,000 innocent men women and children were massacred by the Sri Lankan state. There are still 146,679 people unaccounted for since the end of that war in May 2009. The UN panel of experts reported in March 2011 that there is credible evidence to institute an inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the conduct of the war. The Sri Lankan regime continues to defy calls for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the war in which it had shelled hospitals, the Red Cross ships and its own designated "Safe Zones" targeting Tamil civilians.

In a recent incident Tamil political prisoners were indiscriminately attacked by the Sri Lankan security forces killing one and injuring many more. The Sri Lankan regime has refused to release the body of the dead to his parents.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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