2ND LEAD (Adds details, corrections)

South African Tamils observe Black July

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 July 2007, 17:25 GMT]
Several hundred South African Tamils filled the Bayview Arutpa Kazhagam Hall in Chatsworth in Durban Friday evening to express solidarity with the NorthEast Tamils, and to pay respect for the victims of the pogroms against Tamils in Sri Lanka in July 1983.

SouthAfrica Participants



Guest speaker, Prof. Karthi Govender of the South African Human Rights Commission, compared the Sri Lankan conflict with other contemporary conflicts.

PDF IconProf Govender's talk in full
"..Very often when genocide is committed it is committed on the basis of cultural and religious basis and differences. People engage in genocide to demean and devalue existence of another culture and religion," Prof Govender said.

He said that conflicts normally reach a "tipping point," a state when both sides have reached a threshold in exhaustion, opening the only road available towards peace. Mr Govender said that when the Right Commission with a Tamil delegation some time back [before the Rajapakse presidency] he thought that tipping point had been reached in Sri Lanka conflict.

"But it is a great tragedy when the parties were so close to a settlement the process broke down," he said.

SouthAfrica Dr Deena
Rev. Dr. Deena Muthen, Alpha Revival ministries
SouthAfrica Nacobo
Mr. Paulas Ngcobo, member of KZN provincial legislature
SouthAfrica ProfKarthi
Prof. Karthi Govender, South African Human Rights Commission
SouthAfrica stage
Govender further said that both sides need leaders who have "the courage to lead and the courage to compromise." He said that the conflict will eventually stop and that "we need to look forwards to that time and plan how we ensure that the people who govern, do so within the rules."

Mr. Paulas Ngcobo member of KZN provincial legislature, spoke on behalf of Finance Minister Zwele Mkhize.

"This is a great gathering of men and women who are prepared to fight for their fellow human beings linked by language and culture. Under the apartheid regime, interfaith gatherings galvanised many of us into action," Mr. Ngcobo said.

"We shouldered the burden ourselves to defend our human rights. This gathering should be viewed as an indication that we have committed citizens who are prepared to promote peace and stability in the world, across continents."

"Most importantly, this gathering serves as a reminder to us as government that we must continue to respond with greater commitment and urgency to rid the world of moral injustice and discrimination."

Rev. Dr. Deena Muthen from Alpha Revival ministries, Mrs. K. Sothinathan, president of the Arutpa Kazhagam, and Mulana Ismail Sheik of Bayview Mosque rendered prayers at the event.

A video screening of documentary on Black July featuring eyewitness accounts and personal experiences shared by survivors of the riots in 1983 now living abroad, was shown to the participants.

After the 1983 pogroms, around half a million Tamils fled to western countries from Sri Lanka.

More than 90% of the Tamils living in South Africa are of South Indian origin.

The event was organised by the Tamil Coordinating Committee - South Africa (TCC-SA).


External Links:
TR: Prof Govender's speech at South Africa Black July


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
28.07.16 23:42  
Colombo continues to dilly-dally on processing political prisoners‘ cases
27.07.16 23:14  
UNP answerable for 1983 genocidal pogrom: Batticaloa UNP Organiser
26.07.16 23:38  
JUSU opposes police cases against Tamil students, SL military steps up surveillance
25.07.16 21:12   Photo
2009 genocide justice not going to come from UNP of 1983 pogrom: Shivajilingam
24.07.16 23:00   Photo
Saiva priests protest against Colombo constructing fishing jetty near Nakulesvaram temple
23.07.16 23:09  
Ethnic discrimination in student enrollment exposes reconciliation farce: Tamil academic
22.07.16 19:47   Photo
Tamil student leaders in Jaffna condemn SL Governor Cooray’s remarks in Colombo
21.07.16 01:26  
University engineers not learning lessons
21.07.16 00:21   Photo
Tamil politicians blame SL Military for enticing Sinhala students with triumphalist chauvinism
20.07.16 16:39   Photo
Tamil fishermen rise up against Colombo's move to permanently militarise Pa'l'li-munai in Mannaar
20.07.16 15:21   Photo
NPC demands CoI to go beyond criminal investigations on Jaffna University clash
19.07.16 23:15  
Sinhala-Tamil student clash in Jaffna exposes dangerous proportions of military occupation
18.07.16 18:01   Photo
‘SL President sanctioning 67-feet Buddha statue off Jaffna is act of aggression’
17.07.16 23:46  
Eastern University instructs assaulted Tamil student to attend investigations in Colombo
16.07.16 13:37   Photo
SL military-backed Sinhala students clash with Tamil students in Jaffna University
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=22847