Black July in Sri Lanka, Yesterday and Today
USTPAC marks 31st anniversary of anti-Tamil violence in Sri Lanka, highlights the denial of justice to the victims of Black July and urges international action.
WASHINGTON, July 30 2014: July 2014 marks the 31st anniversary of “Black July 1983,” the pogrom against the Tamils living in Sri Lanka, carried out with total impunity by Sinhala Buddhist mobs with the encouragement and support of the Government of Sri Lanka. Unites States Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC) joins Tamils in the United States and the rest of the world, and somberly remember and commemorate these dark days with religious observances and reflection.
Approximately 3000 Tamils were murdered in the pogrom — some burnt alive –, tens of thousands of Tamil homes and businesses destroyed, hundreds of thousands of Tamils displaced, made refugees and forced to live in makeshift camps. July 1983 was preceded by many acts of violence against the Tamils, their culture and their heritage, including the destruction of the Jaffna Library and its valuable collection of ancient Tamil documents.
“Black July was a watershed event that signaled to the Tamils that they would have only a subservient place in a Sri Lanka ruled by the majority Sinhala Buddhists, for their exclusive benefit,” stated Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham, President of USTPAC. “The message of exclusion and subservience was reinforced by the then President J.R. Jayawardene, who made a televised speech even while the violence was going on, not to speak a word of sympathy to the Tamil victims, but to justify it as something the Tamils deserved,” observed Dr. Arulanantham. more »»
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Working with many organizations at UNHRC, and helped pass resolution calling for justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation and assuring Sri Lanka stays on international agenda.
54 co-sponsors on US House Resolution 177 – calling for an independent international investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity & a new US policy.
5 or more One Minute Speeches on Tamil issues in Congress 2010, 2011, 2012.