North East Tamils mourn ‘Black July’

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 July 2004, 07:12 GMT]
Tamils in northeast province Sunday observed a day of mourning to mark the pogrom against Tamils by Sinhala extremists assisted by the then Sri Lanka Government twenty one years ago on 23rd July, 1983. Several Tamil and civil group organizations in Jaffna called for people to close down shops and conduct prayers. More than thousand innocent Tamils in the southern part of the country, majority of them in Colombo were killed, many burnt alive or hacked to death, in daylight in the presence of State security forces during the ‘Black July’.

Black flags were seen hoisted on closed business establishments. Public transport almost came to a standstill in the Jaffna peninsula, Mannar, Vavuniya in the north, Batticaloa and Trincomalee, sources said.

The pogrom was triggered by a landmine attack by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Thirunelvely in Jaffna town on 23 July 1983, which killed 13 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers. The post Black July witnessed an exodus of tens of thousands of Tamils to western countries and neighbouring Tamilnadu state in India as refugees.


NE Tamils mark 'Blak July'
Shops were closed in Jaffna town to mark 'Black July'.
NE Tamils mark 'Blak July'
Deserted Jaffna town, 25 July 2004.



53 Tamil political prisoners including Tamil political activists Kuttimany, Thangathurai and Jegan were massacred by Sinhala prisoners inside the Welikada jail on July 25 and 27, while serving sentences.

Sinhala prisoners assisted by prison officials killed Mr.Kuttimany after gouging his eyes out. Mr.Kuttimany before being sentenced to death in a politically related case informed in open court that he wanted to donate his two eyes to a blind person.


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