Monthly Archives: July 2004

Black July – The Ghosts of Chemmani

Review – From  Pogroms to Massacres and Mass-Graves by Marwaan Macan-Markar, Sunday Leader, June 20, 1999 [Editorial comment:  Tamils have endured a multitude of atrocities under the rule of the majority in Sri Lanka. It is critical to review these historic events (massacres and mass graves)  since the latent emotions –  based on myths or… Read more »

Black July – Riots That Led to War

Twenty years on by Frances Harrison, BBC, July 23, 2003 BBC correspondent in Colombo Twenty years ago, this week, saw the outbreak of anti-Tamil riots in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo that changed the course of the nation’s history The riots, triggered by the killing of a group of soldiers in the Tamil north of… Read more »

Black July – Culture of Silence

The Accomplice in Crime The Shameful Shadows of Macabre July ’83 By Oswald B. Firth OMI, July 29, 2004 Director, Centre for Society and Religion Editor Social Justice How could a community of people, steeped in the traditional values of compassion and ‘ahimsa’, ever break loose into uncivilised behaviour? “We shall have to repent in… Read more »

Black July – The Politics of Apology

A Personal Reflection by Reverand BJA (UK), July 29, 2004 Without restorative justice there is no constructive peace. As a teenager then, I remember hearing the words of Kasi Anandan: ‘ We can’t trust the Sinhalas. They will never give us our rights. The change of government is like the snake shedding its skin. But the… Read more »

Black July – Editorials on Black July 1983

by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 27, 2004 Now, after 21 years, only one of the ten editorials [that which appeared in the Economist, August 6, 1983, under the caption ‘Not just the Tamils’] stands apart from the rest for its clarity of thoughts and time-withstanding precision. The editorialist presented four pragmatic options to solve the… Read more »

Black July – Broader Vision of the Massacred Political Detainees

[On 24 February 1983, Nadarajah Thangathurai, one of the first Tamil freedom fighters incarcerated by the Sri Lanka government, was sentenced to life imprisonment. On the first of March 1983, he made a statement from the dock of the courthouse, which to this day remains one of the best testaments to the Tamil sentiments in… Read more »

Black July – An Exodus to the Homeland

by Anonymous, July 26, 2004 People rush to their homes for security when they are threatened.  As is obvious, their homeland is the land where their home is located.  Their homeland, or country, nourishes them, providing for their economic and cultural sustenance. Is it that simple, or do we need a legal and anthropological analysis? Multiple workshops… Read more »

Black July – Eyes Of Kuttimani

A Tribute to a Brave Leader by Thanjai Nalankilli, July 25, 2004 Kuttimani (photo – center), a nominated member of Sri Lankan parliament… was forced to kneel in his (prison) cell by his assailants and ordered to pray to them. When he refused, he was taunted by his tormentors about his last wish… He had… Read more »

Black July – Prison Massacres

THE WELIKADE PRISON MASSACRES OF 1983 by S.A. David, President of the Gandhiyam Movement, July 25, 2004 An Eye-Witness The Sri Lanka government rounded up hundreds of Tamil Activists resisting the government attempt to establish a mono-ethnic-mono-religious [Sinhala-Buddhist] state in Sri Lanka. Most of them were engaged in non-violent programs to provide alternate opportunities to… Read more »

Black July – Pogrom in a Divided Country

By Richy Markandu, July 25, 2004 23rd-24th of July are the dates unforgettable in the minds of Tamil ethnic minority of Sri Lanka. These are the days when political member gangs of Sinhalese ethnic majority with the help of government armed forces chose to vengefully attack Tamils ethnic minority, their businesses, homes, temples in south… Read more »

Black July – A Colombo Student Recollects

My experience on July 24th, 1983 – a Colombo Student Recollects by Bala, July 24, 2004 [We urge the readers to write down the facts known to them so that future researchers may be able to use them to evaluate the events that shaped the history of the Tamil people. We must realize that we… Read more »

Black July – Commemoration 1983

Today Tamils all over the world will psychologically relive the events of July-1983. For those who may have forgotten the historic turning point, we do not need to define it in many words, just one picture should tell the story. For the benefit of the new generation of Tamils, Sangam will retrace relevant articles related… Read more »

Black July – Revisited

STATE TERROR BLACK JULY OF 1983 REVISITED By Ana Pararajasingham, July 23, 2004 In late July 1983, Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital literally burst into flames as angry mobs of Sinhalese went on a rampage burning, looting and terrorising the occupants of Tamil homes in an orgy of violence unparalleled in the Island’s history. The Government… Read more »

Pirapaharan 2, Chapter 10: Indira’s Double Track Policy

By T. Sabaratnam, July 19, 2004 (Volume 2) The Overt Track The second fortnight of August 1983 is as important to the Tamil freedom struggle and the history of Sri Lanka as the last ten days of July and the first 17 days of August.  Indira Gandhi put into action during these two weeks her… Read more »

International Community and Proxy War Against Tamils

By Rajkumar Sivapatham, July 17, 2004 [Editorial comment: Present  proxy war against Tamil freedom struggle is nothing but another obstacle along our path to freedom. Proverbial ploy: “Rocking the cradle ( peace talks) and pinching the baby (proxy war)” is not rocket science to Tamils. Nevertheless the writer expresses his unhappiness and enlightens us on… Read more »

Greasing Up to the Power

By George Monbiot, The Guardian, UK, July 13, 2004 [An editorial comment: Modern media can not be expected to play an objective role in presenting the grievances of a community with weak lobbying power. Monbiot’s analysis of power structures that distort and subjugate people around the globe is very eduational. It is relevant to the… Read more »

Sri Lanka Scene: War Fear Returns to Sri Lanka

By: T. Sabaratnam, July 14, 2004 Weekly Review Around noon on Tuesday traffic braked to a sudden halt along busy Dickman’s Road in Bambalapitiya when someone said that there was a parcel bomb on the pavement. Crowd gathered at both ends of the road and prevented even pedestrians walking along it. Police was called as… Read more »

20 Years since Minister Devananda’s Major Dance

In terrorism by Sachi Sri Kantha, July 14, 2004 Twenty years and two months ago, – in May 1984 – there was a daring kidnapping episode in Jaffna involving two Americans. It was the first of its kind in Sri Lankan soil, and fortunately until now, has never recurred. A newly-wed American couple, the Allens… Read more »

The Presidential Ploy: War for Peace Again?

By Wakeley Paul, July 13, 2004 How much longer does the President think she can piggy bank on the eternal Sinhala ploy to stymie the surrender of power to the Northeast? How long can the Tamils and Muslims wait to be freed from our tormented hopes and the Sinhala domineering past?  Even the extremely limited… Read more »

Current Impasse in the Peace Process

An open letter to the President & the Opposition Leader of Sri Lanka Her Excellency, Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumarathunga The President of Sri Lanka His Excellency, Ranil Wickramasinghe The Opposition Leader of Sri Lanka Your Excellencies, Re: The current impasse in the peace process The long awaited, and often sighted reason for the government not willing… Read more »