"Motorists were dragged from their cars to be stoned and beaten with sticks… Others were cut down with knives and axes.". Description of massacres of Tamils by racist Sinhalese mobs. London Daily Telegraph 26 July 1983
This week Tamils around the World are holding events to remember the victims of the vicious anti-Tamil pogroms that spread throughout Sri Lanka in July 1983. After a group of Sri Lankan soldiers were ambushed and killed by the armed Tamil nationalist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) mobs of chauvinist Sinhalese (the majority ethnic group in Sri Lanka) burned down Tamil homes and businesses, beat, murdered, burned and raped Tamil civilians. It is estimated between 1000 and 3000 people were killed, with many more injured. Tamils fled to other countries, such as New Zealand, to seek refuge and a full scale civil war, that continues to this day, broke out between the LTTE and the Sinhalese dominated Sri Lankan government. The events are now known as Black July
This year the Sri Lankan government has told foreign governments to prevent their Tamil immigrant communities from marking Black July because the commemorations are a 'front' for 'terrorism' and glorifying the LTTE. [Lanka wants blackout on Black July]
The Wellington Tamil Society is holding a public meeting this Friday on the role New Zealand can play in bringing peace to Sri Lanka. [More]
In Auckland this Saturday the Tamil Community are holding a remembanrance service from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mt Albert Road, Three Kings. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
Links: Radio Netherlands 25th Anniversary of Black July | Photos of Black July Violence | Sri Lankan State Terror Through the Eyes of A Dissident