4 March, 2024

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40 Years After The Anti-Tamil Pogrom Of July 1983: Root Causes Remain Unaddressed

By Lionel Bopage

Dr. Lionel Bopage

Enough has been written about the anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983, and everyone knows who the perpetrators were. It remained the darkest chapter in Sri Lanka’s history till the end of the armed conflict in May 2009. However, pre-1983 history had seen many campaigns of anti-Tamil violence in 1956, 1958, 1961, 1964, 1974, 1977 and 1981. The anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983 set the stage for the two-and-a-half-decade-long civil war. And the UNP regime led by then President JR Jayewardene set the strategic framework for simultaneously eliminating the political threats posed to his autocracy by the LTTE in the north and east and the JVP in the south.

This strategy ultimately resulted in the death of about two hundred thousand people, mostly civilians, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people who became refugees in their own country and overseas. It gave rise to many thousands of war widows, orphans, and victims of psychological and mental scars. Entire villages with women and children were wiped out. This carnage was unleashed to forcefully establish the dominance of the privileged Sinhala ruling elite over the rest of the populace.

Black July 83 – Boralla | Photo – Chandraguptha Amarasingha

The root causes of the national question that gave rise to this carnage have not yet been addressed by the successive governments of the last forty years. The prelude to it all was a series of discriminatory policies and laws the successive regimes implemented against the non-majoritarian communities, specifically against the Tamil community. Before proceeding to the main objective of this article, it is necessary to provide an abridged context in which the pogrom was launched. 

Via the Ceylon Citizenship Bill 1948, the first regime of independent Sri Lanka disenfranchised a million of Malaiyaha[1] workers of Indian origin. Its alleged intent was to facilitate the acquisition of citizenship, but the actual political intent was to deny citizenship to the Malaiyaha workers. This was because they mostly voted for the left oriented candidates. The enormous contribution many generations of Malaiyaha workers had made to the country’s economy was disregarded. Unfortunately, the country, in particular the Sinhalese, is yet to fully appreciate the massive contribution they are continuing to make.

Thus began the de-democratising politics of the country. Since then, the process of disempowering the Tamil community through legislation, state violence and terror proceeded at the expense of building a Lankan nation and identity. Some believe that this process was pursued to reduce the Tamil population, and their parliamentary representation, in order for the Sinhalese to procure a two-thirds majority in the then Ceylon’s House of Representatives. By doing so, it was hoped that Tamils will not be able to prevent the parliament from adopting any policies that will affect them. However, the competition between various political parties in the South followed a process of ethnic outbidding – a process of compartmentalising communities by their ethnolinguistic and religious backgrounds. To do so, they pledged adopting more and better anti-minority, pro-Sinhala slogans. Sadly, this process continues to date.

Historically speaking, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party established by Mr. SWRD Bandaranaike, and its coalition regime, did start this process with its opportunistic Official Language Act of 1956. Commonly known as the Sinhala Only Act, it replaced English with Sinhala and excluded Tamil in official use. There are still many people who do not realize that this Act compelled Tamils to learn Sinhala in order to obtain, retain or receive a promotion in employment. Prior to that they were learning Sinhala at schools on their own volition. The Act also placed the Sinhalese at a disadvantage by turning them mono-lingual and thus, restricting generation after generation of Sinhalese of their upward mobility. Even now, only those affluent families can afford to send their kids to international schools or overseas to receive an education in English. 

The Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam and Dudley-Chelvanayakam Pacts signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil political leaders were unilaterally abrogated by the government due to pressure from the extremist Sinhala Buddhist nationalists. They have no regard for the plural nature of the Lankan society. For them the country is solely a Sinhala-Buddhist nation. Thus, for the ruling elite and those in opposition, ethnic, linguistic, and religious chauvinism provided a secure way of coming to power and retaining power.

The crimes of July 1983 | pic by Chandraguptha Amarasingha

Sinhalese were continuously relocated from the South to areas where Tamils were dominant – with state-aided programs – causing demographic change for pro-Sinhala electoral advantage. And discrimination continued in favour of the Sinhala ruling elite. In 1972, the regime led by Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike introduced a new Constitution that favoured Sinhalese and Buddhism, and a policy of standardization for university entrance. As a result, Tamil students were required to gain higher marks for university admissions than their Sinhalese counterparts.

These discriminatory measures were implemented in an ongoing environment that involved violence. In the fifties, the Bandaranaike regime used mob violence to suppress satyagrahas and non-violent protests by Tamils. In 1958, the mob violence led to about 300 deaths. Using this as a pretext, the Bandaranaike regime declared emergency and deployed army to the north and the east of the island. Strict orders were given to Colonel Richard Udugama as the Commander to clear the militant elements, even by shooting them[2]. In a similar manner, in 1977, Mr. JR Jayewardene’s regime sent Brigadier Tissa Weeratunga to Jaffna with instructions to ‘wipe out terrorism within six months’. Both Udugama and Weeratunga were allegedly responsible for many atrocities committed in the pre-eighties in the north and east.

The parliamentary representation of the Tamils was unable to address the issues their constituencies were facing. At the 21 July 1977 General Elections, in the south the Jayawardene-led UNP regime was elected to power with a five-sixths majority, while in the north and east, Mr SJV Chelvanayakam led Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) took the Vaddukoddai Resolution to the electorate, asked for a mandate to establish a separate state, called Tamil Elam, and received an overwhelming mandate. Mrs. Bandaranaike’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party lost all but 5 seats, and Mr. Amirthalingam became the Leader of the Opposition by a quirk of fate – an unthinkable and unacceptable outcome for the majority Sinhalese. This set the stage for the August 1977 anti-Tamil violence, the worst against Tamil civilians until then, hard on the heels of the regime change. The government did little to control this violence as it was state sponsored. And democratic ways of expressing a people’s will was under serious threat.

Under these circumstances, the Tamil youth believed that all democratic means of achieving their legitimate rights and aspirations had been closed, and armed struggle is the only way. The intent of the militant Tamil youth was to free their people from the discrimination they had been subjected to for so long. As such, the taking up of arms by Tamil youth represents nothing more than the failure of the post-independent Ceylon/Lanka to address the most significant issue of building the Lankan nation by uniting communities rather than dividing them along their ethnolinguistic and religious backgrounds.

The first attack on the army was in October 1981, which appears to have been carried out to coincide with the welcome parade arranged for the new Army Commander Tissa Weeratunga, who was promoted to the post for the state terror he had committed in Jaffna. Since then, attacks on army convoys and patrols were on the rise. Whenever the security forces could not track down the attackers, they turned on the civilians. This sort of attacks on civilians has been nothing new. History shows that during many conflicts worldwide, irrespective of who the attackers were, civilians are the ones who bear the brunt of the violence.

In 1983, the infectiously anti-Tamil political leadership within the UNP regime made the situation worse. The pogrom was not spontaneous, but a carefully planned violent attack on Tamils. It was meticulously planned by ministers like Cyril Matthew, monks like Alle Gunawansa Thero who was a close associate of President J R Jayawardene, and other extremists. Most of the time ministers like Cyril Matthew maintained their own armed squads and were operating above the law. One can observe that this trend continues to date. The irony is the Liberation Tigers grew in strength, with many youngsters fleeing the south due to the pogrom joining their ranks.

Prior to the pogrom, there was violence against Tamils in Vavuniya, Trincomalee, and at the Peradeniya campus in Kandy. In May 1983, an army convoy was ambushed and the security forces went on rampage. They shot dead 51 innocent civilians at various places in the Jaffna Peninsula. During another such ambush in June in Vavuniya, the Navy retaliated similarly. Colombo was abounded with rumours that the government was going to wreak a final solution to sort out the Tamil militancy. When 13 soldiers were killed by the LTTE ambush in Thirunelveli on 23 July, the regime found the excuse to launch their long thought-out plan. 

The government not only proscribed the LTTE and other similar organisations but the JVP, the NSSP, and the CP were also proscribed in July 1983, initially under the emergency laws. Later on, the proscription continued under the PTA. This took away fundamental rights of those who were arrested. They could be held without charge or trial for up to 18 months, and confessions obtained under duress were made admissible in Court. This was an extension of what the Bandaranaike regime did in 1972 by establishing the Criminal Justice Commissions Act. The regime’s policy was to somehow or other terrorise the Tamil populace into submission.

I, too, was detained in July 1983, allegedly for leading the anti-Tamil pogrom! Prior to that many JVP comrades in Colombo briefed me as to what happened during the pogrom, such as the use of electoral lists to trace the whereabouts of Tamils, organising mobs to attack them, and transporting them in vehicles belonging to the Ceylon Transport Board and other state agencies. I myself already witnessed what those mobs did in the streets of Colombo.

During my detention I provided the horrific information I had about the ministers and monks who were at the forefront of the pogrom to the CID investigators. Instead of investigating those who were really involved, they endeavoured to change my political affiliation from the JVP to the UNP, led by Mr Jayewardene. Political authorities must have asked them not to arrest those really involved in the violence. There were a few arrests in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, but the Police were asked to release them.

During the pogrom that lasted from July 25 to 29, a total of 53 Tamil political detainees held in the Welikada Prison were also massacred (35 prisoners on 25 July, and 18 prisoners on 27 July). To my knowledge, there have been no effective investigations whatsoever about the Black July pogrom or any of the previous violence launched against Tamils in different parts of the island. There were several mechanisms established that might have addressed some of the issues to a certain extent, such as the Presidential Truth Commission[3], the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, the Office on Missing Persons, the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation etc. However, nothing much fruitful has eventuated from these mechanisms.

Most of these mechanisms became ineffective due to the partisan nature of the established mechanisms, political interference, and disregard for any positive recommendations made. The Commissions have been heavily criticised by international human rights groups, the UN Panel of Experts, and civil society organisations due to their limited mandates, alleged lack of independence, and their failure to meet minimum international standards or offer protection to witnesses. This raises the question of whether these mechanisms have been established to be used as tools by the government to prevent an independent international investigation of the most horrible abuses that occurred.

Five thousand or more Tamil civilians were barbarously killed with several hundred made to disappear. Thousands injured and some of them killed while undergoing treatment. Mobs have set Tamil people alight while being alive. Many hundreds of women had been raped. Tens of thousands properties such as homes, businesses and industries belonging to Tamils were attacked, destroyed and set on fire while the security forces were looking on. Over two hundred thousand civilians including business leaders, professionals and others became displaced and had to seek refuge elsewhere[4]. More than a hundred thousand fled to India as refugees, some of them still living in Indian refugee camps under squalid conditions and extreme difficulties.

Despite President Jayewardene and his regime laying the blame for the pogrom on the Sinhalese people[5], many Sinhalese risked their lives to find shelter and save Tamils who had been the victims of the mob attacks by the extremist elements. The nationalists of the extreme kind, and chauvinists, would have been supportive of the violence, but the majority seemed to have become powerless bystanders. However, under the international gaze (especially for India and its people), the regime first attempted to shift the blame on the Sinhalese people as a whole[6], and then on some of the leftist political entities.

The regime did not stop the process of de-democratisation. The sixth Amendment[7] to the Constitution was enacted on 8 August. The parliamentarians that represented the Tamil people in the north and east of the country were forced to cease serving as Members of Parliament.

The main reason for the non-occurrence of mob violence after 1983 was the escalation of the state’s war efforts. One could consider the whole July 1983 episode as an exercise launched by the state to escalate and legitimize its war in the north and east of the country. Since the pogrom days, the occurrence of brutal events in the northeast became more frequent and continuous. The armed conflict came to an end with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009.

Sri Lanka is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Convention defines Genocide as “an act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national ethnic, racial or religious group”. Those who say that there was no genocide in Sri Lanka has never presented any facts or pertinent arguments to debunk the widely held belief. The definition does not refer to the numbers killed, but the intent of the processes undertaken – such as making people to disappear and killings that were carried out in state prisons, setting the Jaffna Public Library ablaze , destroying cultural and religious symbols of the Tamil people, and the policies implemented to creating conditions to prevent the survival of a community – such as economic blockades curtaining the supply of essential needs of life.

None of such incidents are known to have been properly investigated and the perpetrators punished, rather almost all defendants were released on some spurious technical grounds. If we holistically look at the discriminatory policies and activities adopted by successive governments, they will definitely fall within the scope of the definition of genocide. The anti-Tamil pogrom planned and executed in July 1983, and other actions taken and not taken by the governments since then, fall within that scope.

One million Tamils were displaced since the pogrom. Most of them settled overseas, largely in Western countries. They were mainly professionals and experts in diverse spheres of knowledge such as medicine, engineering, accounting, teaching, law, science and commerce. Sri Lanka lost their valuable contribution to its socio-economic, health and infrastructure development. Many countries gained from Sri Lanka’s loss with such professionals making a vast contribution to the prosperity of their adopted countries. It is not only the Tamil youth that attained such a transformation but also the Sinhala and Muslim youth who encountered state terror.

What enduring loss the pogrom has caused to the peoples of Sri Lanka! Is there any wonder that Sri Lanka has become such a failed state? 

During an official visit to Australia in February 2017, Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, the current President and then Prime Minister, asked the Lankan diaspora, both Sinhalese and Tamils, to come back and help Sri Lanka to revive. One wonders if he had any idea about the damage the 1980s regime, of which he was part and parcel as a minister, had done to these people in terms of the trauma inflicted on the first Tamil generation and the second Sinhala generation – who had to flee their motherland fearing death and destruction.  

Is it justifiable for the government of Sri Lanka to simply ask for their return, without first addressing the state of affairs in the country and make appropriate conditions for their return? Many of them have been yearning to return to their land of birth and serve the people and the country. But the conditions are not ripe yet. The state needs to ensure that all citizens of Sri Lanka irrespective of their caste, creed, ethnicity, language and religion will be treated with equality and dignity in an environment of tolerance, understanding and safety.

The economic dividends many people in the South expected did not materialise but percolated upwards. The state has not entirely compensated for the colossal damage the pogrom had inflicted. With nearly a million Tamil people relocating, a majority of Tamils in the country live outside the north and east. Most of the advocates for separation appear to be operating from the overseas. And authoritarianism, family bandyism[8] and cronyism are once again attempting to masquerade as patriotism.

With the fundamentalists and extremists escalating ethnic and religious tensions once again aimed at diverting people’s attention away from the current poly-crisis, it is difficult to predict what the future holds. After the Holocaust, not many believed that fascism would survive. But all over the world the dark spectre of fascism and Nazism is raising its ugly head once again with a hue and cry. With the ruling elite and their henchmen trying to find new enemies in Sri Lankan and overseas, one cannot expect a rebuilt and reconciled nation in the near future.

All decent people working towards a better, fairer, and reconciled future for themselves and their future generations will hope that there will never be another pogrom like July 1983. Nevertheless, there is an intrinsic danger of recurrence of the likes of the July 1983 pogrom, and all Sri Lankans should be conscious of the need for eternal vigilance in this regard.

As I have pointed out to the Truth Commission in October 2001[9]:

“In approaching the issue of reconciliation and nation-building, it is critical to appreciate the fact that human rights violations did originate with colonialism and evolved to the current extent during the last five decades since the independence. Under all circumstances special privileges, oppression and exclusion result in the revolt of the oppressed at the first opportunity available. The oppressive state then resorts to force to maintain its unjust rule. Repressive regimes are needed to prop up doctrines of racial superiority, pursuit of narrow interests and special privileges for any one family, class, religion, language or race all premised on the exclusion of the majority of Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and other peoples.

“The discriminatory regime against its vast majority of peoples and its violent consequences are not an aberration by a few individuals or groups. It has been systematic, deliberate and a matter of policy. Over the years, a system of government has been built in which there is no accountability and transparency; security considerations and military operations are given the highest priority. These circumstances resulted in curtailing individual and group rights of all peoples.

“Therefore, the basic premise in correcting those historical injustices is for the majority of Sri Lankans to pay allegiance to developing, with appropriate consultation and without harming the interests and rights of individuals and groups, a democratic constitution and a culture of tolerance, respect, fairness, equality and dignity of individuals and groups that goes with the constitution. The civic society has to take responsibility for promoting and utilising to the maximum effect the rights that have been attained, and ensure that transparent and accountable government becomes the realpolitik.”

Conclusion

The anti-Tamil pogrom of July 1983 harmed the Tamil people who lived in the South simply because they were Tamils. The intention was to destroy the economic base of Tamils in the South, specifically in Colombo and other urban centres, and for the Sinhala ruling elite to acquire that base. Neo-liberal political and economic greed has no bounds. Nevertheless, we need to strive for the right of any citizen of Sri Lanka to live wherever they chose to if they can afford.

The pogrom was, among other things, a reflection of the economic war of the Sinhala ruling elite to destroy the economic bases held by other nationalities, whether they are Tamil or Muslim, or Chetty. The pogrom, and its extension of nearly 25-year armed conflict, destroyed the Tamil economic base in the South as well as in the North. And successive governments employed their powers for direct oppression. So, why should one be surprised when the Tamil community demands devolution, decentralization, and even separation?

The country has sunk to the rock bottom of economic crisis and moving deeper and deeper into debt with the acquiring of more and more foreign loans. Large chunks of these debts include monies borrowed for the financing of the long and destructive civil war. Already the state has mortgaged future generations to diverse creditors, both domestic and overseas. Despite the impermanent respites like the one Sri Lanka is passing through now, the burden will be back with utmost severity. The state has no genuine intention of resolving the national question and as such, the economic crisis, as the two are intertwined, and are of use to the ruling elite to maintain their corrupt practices. 

The ‘Aragalaya’ protest movement last year, was an expression of the aspirations of the majority of Sri Lankans for democratic and better governance and an inclusive and tolerant society. Those aspirations are yet to be realised with the state building vast barriers to curtail their vision for Sri Lanka. Still, I believe there will be many opportunities to fight for achieving their goals. But ending the colonial constructs that all successive regimes have been making use of to thwart peoples legitimate aspirations is the first step. Such aspirations need to include tolerance, reconciliation, transparency, accountability, inclusivity, and protection of everyone’s human rights. 

Unless the people decide to get rid of the colonial constructs imposed upon them in respect of economy and the form of the state, the future will continue to remain gloomy.

[1] Poor and illiterate Tamil plantation workers of Indian origin brought to the island by the British to do slavish work in their tea estates.

[2] Kumarasingham H. 2013, A Political Legacy of the British Empire: Power and the Parliamentary System in Post-Colonial India and Sri Lanka, Ch 6, 168

[3] The commission estimated nearly 300 people were killed and 18,000 properties destroyed and recommended compensation. To my knowledge, no compensation has been made and not a single criminal proceeding followed.

[4] The total loss has never been assessed.

[5] Dissanayake T. D. S. A. 2004, War or Peace in Sri Lanka. Popular Prakashan, 78. 

[6] Saying that it was a spontaneous reaction of the Sinhala people against the killing of the 13 soldiers in Jaffna.

[7] 3. “(1) No person shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.” https://www.lawnet.gov.lk/sixth-amendment-to-the-constitution-2/

[8] A term commonly used in Sri Lanka in the past, to refer to ruling clans such as the Bandaranaike and the Rajapaksas.

[9] Cooke M C 2011, The Lionel Bopage Story: Rebellion, Repression and the Struggle for Justice in Sri Lanka, Agahas Publishers, pp. 525 – 563

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Latest comments

  • 14
    1

    A masterpiece!

  • 9
    0

    The root cause of that riot was JRJ. Premedasa asked him not to bring the bodies of te soldiers killed to colombo.he agreed and later preme heard he is bringing to colombo.A leader should lead,not be led by the army and other influencers.JRJ was a weak leader while premedasa was a strong leader.He would never have allowed that riot.Even chandrika was a strong leader. When she was injured by the LTTE bomb blast she immediately put in a curfew even though people were red hot with anger.

    The moral of the story is leadership is everything.If a leader is a puppet of others he or she cannot claim to be a leader,but instead a follower. Asia always has to have strong leaders.Then only asians will follow the leadr obediantly.Even if there is a whiff of weakness in the leader they will exploit it to the maximum.That is the difference between asia and europe.Europe does not like strongman type of leaders.Maybe visions of hitler is still o their minds,while asia respects lee kuan yew,mahathir type of leaders,but do not necessarily love them.They may be disliked,but nobody will disobey them.

    • 3
      0

      cont
      The pressure was on JRJ from the army and he gave in because he did not want to be humiliated if they did not obey them.Premedasa would have sacked the army commander and other senior officers if they refuse to take his orders.he would have tolerated no other leadr than himself.

      Europe does not like strongman type of leaders.Maybe visions of hitler is still o their minds,while asia respects lee kuan yew,mahathir type of leaders,but do not necessarily love them.They may be disliked,but nobody will disobey them.

      The pressure was on JRJ from the army and he gave in because he did not want to be humiliated if they did not obey him.Premedasa would have sacked the army commander and other senior officers if they refuse to take his orders.he would have tolerated no other leadr than himself.

  • 7
    0

    Helpless, Hopeless and finally Worthless.

  • 12
    1

    ” Entire villages with women and children were wiped out.”
    Sinhala Buddhists call these war criminals “Ranaviruwo” and the skinheads say special prayers.

    “Commonly known as the Sinhala Only Act, it replaced English with Sinhala and excluded Tamil in official use.’
    This has a direct correlation to the current state of public service.

    “Sinhalese were continuously relocated from the South to areas where Tamils were dominant – with state-aided programs – causing demographic change for pro-Sinhala electoral advantage. “
    Has this helped the Sinhalese ? This is like putting an idiot into a class of smart kids. The idiot is still going to be an idiot ignored by the smart kids. So what does he try to do? The looser tries to bully them to be recognized.

    • 2
      8

      B
      “Commonly known as the Sinhala Only Act, it replaced English with Sinhala and excluded Tamil in official use.”
      Tamil was not altogether denied a place in official use.
      Now Tamil is an official language. Are things any better?
      Much of the fault lies with the Tamil middle classes’ preference for English since colonial days.

      • 6
        0

        “Tamil was not altogether denied a place in official use.”
        They worked in English more than they worked in Tamil but the change the govt did did not create an environment for Tamils to be in public service. There on Tamil recruitment to public service was reduced to a negligible level. Today your seeing the result. Even if you go to Tamil areas there are less Tamils than Sinhalese in public service.
        “Now Tamil is an official language. Are things any better?”
        What good does it do to close the barn door after the horses have left the barn?
        “Much of the fault lies with the Tamil middle classes’ preference for English since colonial days.”
        This was no fault. It was forward thinking way ahead of time. Why are the Sinhala Buddhist even the lower middle class sending their children for private tuition to learn English. Even they know Sinhala is a garbage language you cannot use in any other part of the world. If you want to succeed you got to learn some other language.

  • 15
    0

    Nathan

    Until now we have had many war crimes deniers, including “High Profile” Dayan Jayatilleka, ……. Today we witness July 1983 Pogrom deniers, please watch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7DKrWo_1Cc&t=72s

    කවුද යකෝ කොටි | බොරැල්ලේ නිහඬ විරෝධතාව ගැටුමක් දක්වා අරන්ගිය මොහු කවුද? | බොරැල්ල උණුසුම්
    Yako who is the tiger?
    Who turned the silent protest in Borella into a conflict?
    Borella is boiling

    You see I have been blaming Sinhala/Buddhist of Killing innocent Tamils, in 1983. Today I learned they were all Tiger. Its a good strategy, blame the victim.

  • 10
    0

    Nathan

    Until now we have had many war crimes deniers, including “High Profile” Dayan Jayatilleka, ……. Today we witness July 1983 Pogrom deniers, please watch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7DKrWo_1Cc&t=72s

    කවුද යකෝ කොටි | බොරැල්ලේ නිහඬ විරෝධතාව ගැටුමක් දක්වා අරන්ගිය මොහු කවුද? | බොරැල්ල උණුසුම්
    Yako who is the tiger?
    Who turned the silent protest in Borella into a conflict?
    Borella is boiling

    You see I have been blaming Sinhala/Buddhist of Killing innocent Tamils, in 1983. Today I learned they were all Tiger. Its a good strategy, blame the victim.

    The Kondakaara (perhaps Wimal’s cousin) the truth sayer says no Tamil was hurt during the war in Wellawatte. However the police arrested many innocent people through out the island and some of them are still missing. I love to hear from that Ganu whether Tiger killed more than 60,000 Sinhala Speaking innocent people between 1987 and 1991.

    • 4
      0

      NV,
      Seen full video!
      Heard ‘Kondakaara’ and ‘Feminine Consort’ alluding DIASPORA, are who “ATE” (?) USD resources of SL and caused CURRENCY EXCHANGE CRISIS, responsibility – Diaspora!?
      Whom is this ‘Kondaya’ cum female accomplice trying to DEFEND in this PROCESS!!??
      The main culprit who STOLE 20% Countries’ Development Loan by DECEIT – silent and none clamouring for investigations”!!???”
      Trying to REINCARNATE CRIMINALS LOOTED COUNTRY left right and centre – No need naming – because NOW it’s a well-known FACT without ANY DOUBT at all!!!???
      If public CLAIM they aren’t aware of “Bootleggers’”, CLEAR SIGN these pertinacious SB’s aren’t enlightened, following GRETAEST ENLIGHTENED SOUL – Prince Siddhartha, ‘Gautama the Buddha’!!???
      This is with all the cruelty – Deprivation, Starvation that these SB’s underwent, are ON-TRACK to RECOMMIT Renaissance the same sinful for 3rd time – “Robber and Looter Gang” – as SINNERS haven’t cleansed their ill-aboding and Sinful past!!! Karma, unfinished to move-on to next Phase!?
      So be it!!!
      Please don’t by any means enable “EATING INTO THEIR MUCH-VALUED USD RESERVES”!!??? Let THEM preserve USD reserves & ‘LIVE THEIR LIVES VERY PEACEFULLY’ (SAMAYA!!!) THEY DESERVE IT!!!???
      They vigorously seek re-immersing the 2019/22 experience once again as 2022 April to December wasn’t sufficient space!!!???
      THAT’S Lankans!!!???

  • 4
    1

    History will judge JRJ to have been one of the worst leaders this country has ever had. His failure to secure the lives and property of his citizens in 1983, has left an indelible black mark on this nation and its’ inhabitants. The exodus of thousands of Tamils in the aftermath of that despicable act of wanton murder and plunder left a gaping hole in this country’s educated human capital. Today, we have a direct descendant of that very same JRJ in the hot seat. Addressing root causes – don’t hold your breath.

  • 9
    2

    A true masterpiece, an absolute gem. But, can Sinhala Buddhists think otherwise? It’s proven and proven again that they are not even going to consider to give an inch to Tamils. Tamils are still living under a complete military occupation, their homeland is encroached in daily basis by Buddhist monks war criminal military, archeological chauvinists and forest department run by racists. Sinhala Buddhist racist monster is back at its best. From Kurunthur Malai to Kankesanthurai, they are spearheading their onslaught on Tamils. Since independence to late 70s, Sinhala Buddhist rulers pushed Tamils to pick up arms to fight for themselves, fight for their survival. After 40 years of bloodbath, the situation hasn’t changed, only got worse. Where are they pushing Tamils now?

  • 4
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    What is the BEST way to commemorate this “1983 Ethenic Cleansing”?

    Yesterday there was a peaceful march organized by an organization called “SYO” (Socialist Youth Organization” – affiliated with JVP/NPP). The theme of the march was: “Peoples Brotherhood”- (Towards Unity of All People) They were marching to Viharamahadevi Park to have a meeting. An outnumbering Police Force was lined up on the marching route. Suddenly the Police contingent used “Tear Gas” and “Water Cannons” to disperse the crowd. However, the march continued and held their meeting as scheduled. It started with a cultural display of “Drum Beatings” by South and North artists. I saw this meeting and pageant on YouTube.

    Whatever the political affiliations are, it was a remarkable way to commemorate this “1983 July Ethenic Cleansing” and START a way towards the UNITY of all the PEOPLE. The speakers at the meeting were: Youth, Scholars, and Artists of all communities ( Sinhala, Tamil; Muslims spoke in their own languages) and Religious Leaders (Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim). Thank you SYO for the HEROIC and EXCEMPLARY way you commemorate this “BLACK SPOT” in S/L history.

    However, I am away from S/L and have a very special reason to be away. That is to be with my daughter who was born on 28th July 1983 – what a Commemorative Gift. That is a BIG STORY to tell that has many commemorative incidents connected with it.

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    The true nature of “Sinhala” pols, “Tamils” are expecting solutions from …… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPcRBxfRrIw

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      nimal fernando

      He is right, the police couldn’t or wouldn’t deal with the four.
      It was like watching American professional Comic wrestling television shows.

      The serious question is who is controlling/instructing the police?
      What the hell is Tiran Alles doing?
      Is he there to save policemen’s bum or serve the people?

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        Dear NV: Thiran Alles will do the right thing at the right time. May I remind you how he negotiated with Emil Kanthan of LTTE to accept “Millions” (in Rupees & Dollars) from Basil Rajapakse and in fact handed over that money (brought to his office in suitcases by Basil) in his own office?

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          Douglas,
          are you suggesting that he is going to carry Money bags to the North!?
          For whom may ask, because LTTE is BOMBED, Destroyed and gone to meet the creator!!???
          This time for the voters!!!???

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            Mahila: Last time it was to PREVENT voting. This time it would be to ENFORCE voting.

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7DKrWo_1Cc&t=72s

    Thank you for posting this. Tonight, the Evil Emperor will handpick a few Ladies and gentlemen of NPP, JVP, NSSP, LSSP, the socialist groups & will have arrest. Those are just the leftovers from last year’s Protest. Nothing special. Following morning Evil will pose the silent, enlightened Buddha pose. Colombo media will mellow this for a few hours. Then things will be back to usual in Langkang, that is the Sinhala Buddhists’ “Pitchaikku Thalam” (Song of beggars). One important observation from this incident portrays that Socialists understand that allowing last year’s protest is allowing the country to die under the choke hold of the “So called Jathi Vaathiya”. The saving of Langkang depends on how much the other Sinhalese understand the concept of fighting for the justice for Tamils is fighting for the economic recovery of Langkang. Evil’s agents argue not to defame Evil. How much of a remembrance of JR’s 1983 genocidal pogrom defames Evil? The truth is the Jathi Vaathiyas are trying to send a message that Evil cannot get along with Indian PM Modi. So, they sought the Black July observance as a good instance to communicate with Mr. Modi, over the public channels. Remember, Evil is the solution provided by Sinhala Buddhist for the “protest” against the Hitler, who was throne in the last election.

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      “Socialists understand that allowing last year’s protest is allowing the country to die under the choke hold of the “So called Jathi Vaathiya”. “

      Please read it as “Socialists understand that allowing last year’s protest dying is allowing the country to die under the choke hold of the “So called Jathi Vaathiya”.

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    So the claim of people who lost their lives at Wellawatte isn’t true and you demand Death Certificates (DC), which was not issued by authorities, as the Corpus was not available for post mortem!!??
    Very convenient and now demanding the DC’s??? Deniers and more denials!!!
    By 2083, the whole year of 1983 would become extinct NOT ONLY JULY OR 25TH OF MONTH!?
    Liars and charlatans only abound in Sri Lanka – wonder of Asia!!!
    Don’t waste any more valuable time with these scoundrels and starvation is the best way to hound them off the face of the earth!!!???
    Probably, God knows best, better than humans do!!!

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      Dear Mahila,
      I read your posts with growing consideration all these days. In July 1983, I personally knew some Sinhalese hoodlums who were involved in day-light killings that day.

      And how some of them were robbed of their wealth and brutally left in Petaling Jaya
      If anyone with any sense doesn’t agree that it is a true injustice to humanity, he or she must be mentally ill. Our people are experts to twist the truth again and again, I really dont know why ?. Truths will never be hidden forever.

      Some good old friends of mine offered their homes to accommodate a dozen or more of our Tamil friends and acquaintances, because my families and others were then “Buddhists” but not “Sinhala Buddhists”: they had some respect for the “true teachings of Buddhism which promoted non-violence”.
      ,
      We do not want to be suspicious of these wanton killings by our Sinhalese against Tamil Sri Lankans.

      And similar to how they reacted after the April 2019 EASY Sunday disaster or worse, the gangsters were even more convinced of how the plight of our Sinhalese sons of bitches are. Unfortunately who was behind them if not brutal political movements (vanguard dogs and JVP killer units), our Gontadiayas like Sinhala man aka pompous idiot of the CT are publicly working for their comeback thinking that there is something special in the small brains of JVPs.

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        My Dear LM: Do you think JVP was behind the “1983 Attacks on Tamils”?

        This was raised at the “Batalanda Presidential Commission”. In giving evidence, Ranil W stated that there was no evidence that JVP was involved”. I am personally aware how ultra-Buddhist Sinhala Nationalists were involved and masterminded the attacks in this “Massacre” of Tamils in 1983. I know and personally identified several UNP Youth leaders who came in a lorry and surrounded my house alleging that I was protecting two Tamil House Maids inside. There were around twenty-five gangsters among whom I saw those UNP Youth Leaders. They alighted from the lorry and instructed the gang to leave my premises. It was no doubt a fact that I rescued the two Tamil Housemaids of my neighbor and provided safe hiding. But the gang set fire to that beautiful house of my dear neighbor. Their lives were saved because they have gone abroad with a request to look after the welfare of the two housemaids. I did my best. It was “Providence” to meet those UNP Youth Leaders at that critical moment. If not I would not be living to tell this incident. Neither my family along with those two Tamil housemaids.

        This commotion injected so much fear and emotional distress into my wife who was to deliver my daughter in two weeks’ time.

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      “Very convenient and now demanding the DC’s??? Deniers and more denials!!!

      We will give Death Certificates for each and every Tamils, it is about 200,000 from 1948, who were killed by Sinhala Buddhist Appe Aanduwa and its agents. Further we will have the reason of death investigated and have necessary justice served to the families as soon as the Evil Emperor stops the blockading that he is placing on our right to administer our judicial procedures. He is placing a blockade on our right, only to save the mass murderers and their stolen properties. Our right to administer our judiciary procedures is clearly recognized in the current constitution. Though we will straighten the Sinhala Buddhist Aanduwa’s miscarriage of justice to us, as soon as Evil stops trying to protect the Rowdy Royals, but this foolish person is no one to demand from us a death certificate for those who were killed by him and his acolytes. His foolishness and defective cunningness falsely encourage him to be first in demanding the Death certificate, so he believes then the murders his party committed are covered by white cloth. Our call is not to this person or Evil Emperor to investigate Genocide, but to International Community. Unfortunately, who too has been reluctant and neglecting their due responsibility, as much as the Sinhala Buddhist governments.

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    “We tried to save the Tamil houses in our area, but failed,” he told me when I met his two weeks later. “A crowd came searching for Tamil houses. We told them that there were no Tamil houses in the area and sent them away. A little later, the crowd came back led by a policeman attached to the Dehiwala Police Station. He showed us the electoral list and scolded us for trying to protect the Tamils. He took the crowd to your house,” he said.
    My neighbours also told me that the police constable had told them that the Tamils should be driven out. After burning the three houses on our road, P. T. de Silva Mawatha, he announced to the crowd in Sinhalese, “Api suddha kara,” meaning they had done the cleansing there.
    My house burnt for three days, neighbours said. A fisherman, Simon, who supplied us fish, told me that he was with the crowd that burnt my house. “They first broke open the door,” he said, “and entered the house. Two of then smashed the showcase in the sitting room. They pulled out the books and spread them over the hall set. They poured petrol on the books.”
    Simon said the police constable then told the people to remove whatever they could. “Within 10 minutes the people looted everything,” he said. “Then they set fire.”

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    Mine was one of the twenty-odd houses of the media personnel ‘purified’ that Monday morning. Three of those houses belonged to members of the Daily News. I was the Deputy Editor (News), K. Nadarajah the Features Editor and P. Balasingham Local Editor. The houses of R. Sivagurunathan, Editor Thinakaran, R. Sivapiragasam, Editor Virakesari, Ponmani Kulasingham, Director, Tamil Service, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation were also torched. All these houses, situated at different parts of the Colombo city, were set alight about the same time, between 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 a.m.
    Similar destruction was caused to the homes of other professionals – doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, businessmen. Tamils are convinced that the riots were organized to destroy the professional, business and the economic base of the Tamil community.

    Tamils are also convinced that this destruction was organized by the ‘very top’ They reject completely the theory that the holocaust was the spontaneous outpouring of Sinhala fury, a reaction to the Thirunelveli ambush. Tamils believe the killing of 13 soldiers served only as a trigger, One of my friends was a neighbour of Montague Jayawickreme, Minister of Plantation Industries in the Jayewardene government. Jayawickreme spent the weekend in his estate and returned to his Colombo home on Monday noon. He went out to help his Tamil neighbours and told them, “Jayewardene has unleashed his hounds and now he cannot call them back.”

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    Jayewardene’s ministers and their men were seen that morning in various parts of Colombo directing their thugs. Industries Minister Cyril Mathew was seen in Colombo Fort, Prime Minister R, Premadasa’s trusted lieutenants, especially pavement hawkers, in Pettah, Colombo Mayor’s thugs and municipal labourers and UNP municipal council members Transport Minister M. H. Mohammed’s men in Borella, District Minister Mallimarachchi’s goons in Colombo north and Deputy Minister Anura Bastian’s strongmen in Colombo South.

    The experience of another friend, Kumarasamy, who came to our house on Tuesday, was somewhat different. He was in his room at Ratnakara Place in Dehiwala when the mob surrounded his house. Some youths caught him, dragged him to the road and asked him to sit down. Some assaulted him, which others prevented. There was a dispute among them as to what they should do to him. A few suggested that they should burn him to death. Two youths then walked away to the petrol station to fetch petrol. Others stood guard around him.
    One youth bent down and whispered into his ear, “You fool. Why are you sitting like this? Get up and run.”
    My friend obeyed. He got up and ran. He ran to a policeman who was standing on the top of the road. The police constable sent him to the refugee camp and he came to our house the next day.

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    I am recounting these selected incidents to disprove the theory of collective Sinhala fury advanced by Jayewardene and his followers. There were numerous instances where good-natured Sinhala people helped to save the Tamils even at the risk of their lives. They were threatened. They were told that they would be killed and burnt along with the Tamils whom they were protecting.
    A top government official, Bradman Weerakoon, who served as secretary to six prime ministers, and a trusted advisor to Jayewardene, who sheltered his neighbours in his home received threatening telephone calls. He told me he took the neighbours to the refugee camp. “Not that I was scared,” he said. “But I had to safeguard the lives of those whom I sheltered. I did not want to take any risk.”

    My conclusion, after living through it and seeing it from close hand, is that it was an engineered event.
    – S Sabaratnam, former Daily News Deputy Editor

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    L. Piyadasa in his book Sri Lanka The Holocaust and After provides evidence to show that the Government had made preparations to attack the Tamils long before the Thirunelveli ambush. The book supports the evidence I had collected about the use of electoral lists to identify the shops and houses of Tamils. A Tamil officer who worked at the time of the riots at the office of the Registrar of Companies told me that a copy of the list of companies was obtained from his office.
    Proof for the suspicion of top-level connivance comes from the very behaviour of Jayewardene on Sunday night and on Monday. On Sunday night, though officials and advisors were disturbed about the unfolding events at Borella and Maradana, Jayewardene was calm and unruffled according to DIG Edward Gunawardene.
    This is the impression Edward Gunawardene records in his book Blood & Cyanide about Jayewardene, whom he met him around Sunday midnight. He said:
    The President was keeping up with his family. Dressed in an elegant maroon dressing gown he was seated in an armchair listening to the various officials who dropped on and off. He was calm and unruffled in the face of all the reports coming in from different parts of the country. Rumour of army involvement and vacillation on the part of some units were certainly giving him concern.

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    There isn’t any point discussing the past but to think about what to do now in order to get rid of the crooked people in power and their suckers.
    We need 5 honest people to form a ruling council that is supported by the Security Forces to rule the country for two years. They should make sure that the Tax payers money and the money given by other countries are utilised properly. Stop all the pensions and benefits given to the MPs PMs & Presidents

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      N
      Does it mean that we incinerate all books of history?
      True, there is no point in keeping complaining about the past while doing nothing to put things right.
      But there is need to study the past for the purpose as well,

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