26 May, 2019

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Sri Lanka’s Black July: A Family’s Tragedy In Colombo

By Rajan Hoole –

Rajan Hoole

Sri Lanka’s Black July – Part 10 –

We now give the experience of an ordinary family in Colombo. V was then a 12-year-old girl living in a road off Allen Avenue, Dehiwela. Elder to her were two boys Arunan (24) and Ahilan (21). Her father was a registrar at the Supreme Court. Arunan was working for Suzuki Motorbike agents from where he participated in motor races held at Katukurunda and won prizes. Ahilan, who had studied at Royal College, got interested in a Left-leaning political group against his father’s wishes. But later the father too was sympathetic. On the 24th night, the atmosphere at home had been tense. Two of Ahilan’s friends came home and said that the Government is likely to unleash an attack on the Tamils the following day. They also knew about the incident in Jaffna the previous night and how UNP agents had been preparing themselves with voters’ lists. The father had possessed a shotgun from the time he had worked for the Irrigation Department in Kantalai. That night he took out the shotgun and cleaned it.

The next morning, V went to school in Wellawatte. About 9.30 AM, the Principal came to the Tamil medium classes and announced in a discreet voice that the school was being closed. She also advised the girls to remove their ‘Pottus’ and go home. The buses were still running and the Tamil shops were open for business as usual. V went home. Arunan who left for the work as usual with his father in the morning came rushing home around noon, and the father came about 1.30 PM without the motor bike on which he and Arunan used to travel to work together in the mornings. After about 5 minutes, Ahilan and two of his friends came home.

The father had been at Hulftsdorp when trouble had broken out. His colleagues had warned him not to go, but he had insisted on it. He came on his motorcycle accompanied by a police officer, and then sent the police officer back on his motorcycle. Ahilan’s friends had to return to Bambalapitya. The father asked Ahilan to go with them for a short distance.

About 2.30 PM a mob of about 50-100 arrived, mostly ruffians in shorts with long knives used to cut fish and clubs. V later learnt that they had come from Ratmalana in state- owned CTB buses. She also noticed two boys from the locality, one the nephew of a local tough and the other, the son of a bakery owner who used to sneer at her as a ‘Demali’ whenever he saw her on the road.

Soon, the mob was inside the premises and were banging on the door. Her father went out through the backdoor, climbed the back wall and fired thrice below the knees. One man was injured. The mob retreated. Some of them came around and managed to pull her father down into the adjoining compound. The last she saw of Arunan was when he was holding a small axe. She later learnt that Arunan had fought and injured one of the attackers before he was himself killed. Her father had been clubbed to death after which the mob had tried to burn him and only partially succeeded. V later recalled that her father had been rather excited, so that firing and reloading was not easy for him.

V, along with their domestic helper, a boy from Nawalapitiya, hid in the outside toilet. She had been seen. A man who appeared to be a leading person in the mob, though not as villainous looking as the others, came there, got V to come out, and told her, “I too have sisters, I will not harm you, go to Jaffna and do not come back”. Frightened and not knowing what had happened to her father and brothers, V went to the Dehiwela Police station where she knew her father used to know a police officer. She complained to them that a mob had come to attack her house and her family was in danger. The Police told her that they had just heard about it and had sent a vehicle. She then believed them, but later recalled that the policemen had been smiling.

She went back home to find nobody in the compound. The house had been broken into, but had apparently not been looted. She searched and called out for her father and brother, but to no avail. When V stepped out she saw a neighbour watching her. The Sinhalese neighbour told her that the mob had gone because they heard that she had gone to the Police, but would come back, and asked her not to be there. Just then V saw her father’s corpse with his hair partially burnt.

V decided to go back to the police station. But before she went far, a Sinhalese girl who studied in the A/Level class in the same school, with whom she had become acquainted, stopped her. Her family insisted that she stay with them until the situation improves before going to the Police. They later informed V, after visiting the site, that Arunan had also been killed and the security forces had come in the night, put the bodies into the house and burnt her house after they had completely looted it. She also learnt that Ahilan had come back, but had been stopped on the way by a few neighbours who advised him to leave for safety, as the others had done.

Since there was constant fear of the return of the mobs, V’s hosts asked her to stay inside. The lady of the house, a well-built woman, said that if the mobs step into her compound she would chop their legs off. After two days the lady noticed suspicious looking men watching the house probably after some rumour had been passed that they were hiding Tamils. That night the lady told V that if the thugs come in large numbers and forcibly enter the house she might not be able to manage, so she would take both V and the boy to her mother’s place in Kandy where they could stay until the situation returns to normal. “We might be able to find your other brother later and then see what can be done,” she said. V was unhappy about this idea because she was desperate to find her brother. She then suggested that she be taken to a Sinhalese friend of Arunan’s who lived near Thunmulla junction whom she had visited with her brother.

Early on Thursday morning, V’s host took them to the Sinhalese friend’s home in a van, where she found Ahilan who had also come in search of his family. He was accompanied by her cousin who too did not know where his family was. Ahilan was wearing frayed denim jeans and a red cotton shirt, which he had probably got at the refugee camp. Having heard about what had happened to his family, Ahilan did not cry, but bit his lower lip until it bled. The friend’s father who was a doctor in the US had come to Sri Lanka only a few days earlier on a holiday. He looked at Ahilan’s red shirt and denim trousers and asked him whether he were a Communist. He added, “You people get hammered because you go about dressed like Communists”. His son, Arunan’s friend, stood by looking embarrassed. The doctor then pressed a thousand rupee note into V’s hand, which she unsuccessfully tried to decline, and insisted on driving them to the refugee camp at the Bambalapitiya temple. By then Ahilan was actively involved in the running of the refugee camp along with his friends.

V later heard that the mob had also gone to another Tamil house down their road. But fortunately for them, their Muslim neighbours called them, and they managed to crawl through a patch of tall grass in the compound and escape to their neighbours’ unseen. But their house was looted and burnt.

Once in the refugee camp Ahilan asked their domestic help where he wanted to go – to Nawalapitiya or to Jaffna first. He chose the first and Ahilan found a family going to Nawalapitiya with whom he was sent home. The others went to Jaffna.

Subsequently Ahilan and his cousin became active members of the EPRLF. Ahilan drowned in 1986 while crossing the Palk Straits to India after an engine failure had caused the boat to overturn.

The tragedy of this family is not without its ironies which are connected with another tragedy of the Tamil people. Ahilan’s friend who also joined the EPRLF was later killed by another Tamil group – the LTTE – after it banned that group in December 1986. His younger brother was also killed by the LTTE in 1987. The only surviving member of that family is a girl who now lives in Switzerland. After a few years in Jaffna, when Eelam War II began in 1990, V and her mother came to Colombo. They renovated the house in Dehiwela and V’s mother chose to live there. However, whatever hopes there were that the Tamil people would attain freedom and dignity through this suffering were extinguished with the LTTE’s rise to totalitarian power over the Tamils.

Part one – Sri Lanka’s Black July: Borella, 24th Evening

Part two – Sri Lanka’s Black July: What Really Happened At Kanatte?

Part three – Black July: ‘Api Suddha Kara’ – JR’s Failure To Declare Curfew

Part four – Sri Lanka’s Black July: The Cover Up

Part five –  30th July 1983: The Second Naxalite Plot

Part six  – Black July: The Testimony Of Lionel Bopage, Then General Secretary Of The JVP

Part seven – Black July: Thondaman & Muttetuwegama

Part eight – What Was Behind Tiger Friday – 29th July? -The Significance Of The Pettah

Part nine – Tamil Merchants In The Pettah – Post July 1983

*From Chapter 9 of  Rajan Hoole‘s “Sri Lanka: Arrogance of Power  – Myth, Decadence and Murder”. Thanks to Rajan for giving us permission to republish. To be continued..

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Latest comments

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    I know of a septuagenarian academic, now living in Europe after gaining for himself a name as an excellent Professor in leading Universities in Africa. He lost members of his immediately family – all done to death by mob violence in 1958, 1977 and 1983.
    He has close friends in all communities with whom he still continues to communicate and works towards reconciliation. He bears no bitterness
    but hopes things will change to his halcyon days of the pre-1950s.

    Senguttuvan

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    Thank you, Professor Hoole. You are doing a great service and are a great historian of Lanka.
    We need to collect and publish all these diaries and stories of the suffering and violence of the 1983 pogrom against the minority Tamils of Sri Lanka.
    Private individuals should donate land and we should build a people’s “counter-memorial” for the victims of July 1983. We need a counter-history to the Rajapassa/ JRJ distortion of history.
    Perhaps Maharaja the Tamil capitalist can buy or donate land in the heart of COlombo for a MEMORIAL MOUNUMENT TO THE VICTIMS OF 1983? This would serve to challenge the state’s silence on the massacre of innocents that took place then.. and they would not be able to destroy this monument as they did the monument by Jagath Weerasinghe et al. for the victims of the State-JVP violence..

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      Very Good suggestion Dilhara but if a Tamil did that, He’ll be classed as a Traitor and being on the LTTE Payroll. Our President MR may do this Monument himself to show the world the Genocide committed by JR and the UNP regime Upon our fellow Sri lankans which Damaged our Country’s reputation. I’m sure MR will do it if You Dilhara or Douglas Devananda or MEP ministers suggests to him. This is a vote winning ploy for the Govt and I’m sure MR will take it seriously. This is Your idea I’m sure you can do it. Good Luck Dilhara!
      I read it with great interest the testimony of Lal, Manel and the vivid description of Mohd Hisham.
      I had the privilege to help only 2 though I was high up in the Govt and couldn’t do much.
      I heard the VENUM SPAT AT THE DEFENCELESS SRI LANKAN REFUGEES in the Camps on the night of 29/30th July 1983 by the president and senior Ministers.
      “Your Kuttimani and others have been dealt with Appropriately.”
      -Most of the refugees in Colombo wouldn’t have known who Kuttimani was.
      “There is a Foreign Conspiracy behind the attack on the Tamils.”
      “India will take 14 days to come to your Rescue, if the Sinhalese wanted, they can Annihilate You in 14 minutes.”
      (Why India? Why the Sinhalese want to Annihilate their Fellow Sri Lankans? – You tell me). I think, this was from Gamini or Lalith, but it’s true.
      The Best is Yet to Come: “If You Want WAR, Let’s Have War; If You Want Peace, Let’s Have Peace.” – President and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces; at the Raped, Bruised, Shocked, Hurdled like animals and the defenceless Sri Lankans. In any Civilised Country, He would have been Court Martialed; tried in Hague and Executed.
      NOT A WORD OF SYMPATHY OR REMORSE from and Sinhalese.
      Why? Even after 4 Years, We are yet to invite Our Sri Lankans Back Home from India. We won’t let them go to the West or Australia, but live as Refugees indefinitely in India at India’s expense. Yet we get up Tight if India or the West sheltering Our Refugees to Devolve Power so that Our Sri Lankans could come home to Sri Lanka. No,No, No! they are “interfering in Our Internal Affairs Just because We are a Small and Peace Loving Nation.”

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      Very Good suggestion Dilhara but if a Tamil did that, He’ll be classed as a Traitor and being on the LTTE Payroll. Our President MR may do this Monument himself to show the world the Genocide committed by JR and the UNP regime Upon our fellow Sri lankans which Damaged our Country’s reputation. I’m sure MR will do it if You Dilhara or Douglas Devananda or MEP ministers suggests to him. This is a vote winning ploy for the Govt and I’m sure MR will take it seriously. This is Your idea I’m sure you can do it. Good Luck Dilhara!
      I read it with great interest the testimony of Lal, Manel and the vivid description of Mohd Hisham.
      I had the privilege to help only 2 though I was high up in the Govt and couldn’t do much.
      I heard the VENUM SPAT AT THE DEFENCELESS SRI LANKAN REFUGEES in the Camps on the night of 29/30th July 1983 by the president and senior Ministers.
      “Your Kuttimani and others have been dealt with Appropriately.”
      -Most of the refugees in Colombo wouldn’t have known who Kuttimani was.
      “There is a Foreign Conspiracy behind the attack on the Tamils.”
      “India will take 14 days to come to your Rescue, if the Sinhalese wanted, they can Annihilate You in 14 minutes.”
      (Why India? Why the Sinhalese want to Annihilate their Fellow Sri Lankans? – You tell me). I think, this was from Gamini or Lalith, but it’s true.
      The Best is Yet to Come: “If You Want WAR, Let’s Have War; If You Want Peace, Let’s Have Peace.” – President and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces; at the Raped, Bruised, Shocked, Hurdled like animals and the defenceless Sri Lankans. In any Civilised Country, He would have been Court Martialed; tried in Hague and Executed.
      NOT A WORD OF SYMPATHY OR REMORSE from and Sinhalese.

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        NOT A WORD OF SYMPATHY OR REMORSE from any Sinhalese.
        Why? Even after 4 Years, We are yet to invite Our Sri Lankans Back Home from India. We won’t let them go to the West or Australia, but live as Refugees indefinitely in India at India’s expense. Yet we get up Tight if India or the West sheltering Our Refugees to Devolve Power so that Our Sri Lankans could come home to Sri Lanka. No,No, No! they are “interfering in Our Internal Affairs Just because We are a Small and Peace Loving Nation.”

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    I think this Weliweriya Genocidel Massacre was planned, implemented and executed by Gota / BBS combination using the newly formed “death squad special operation force” which is directly working under DS Gotabaya Rajapakse and BBS.

    Also Gota used criminal Gangs to penetrate into protesters and instigate violance using sticks and molotov cocktails to intimidate police and armed forces.

    These criminals are similar to Hulsdorf Gang who occupied the roads with sticks and poles to intimidate CJ Shirani Bandaranayake’s supporters and the public during her impeachment trial.

    This is another Gota’s Planned conspiracy to supress and murder unarmed innocent civilians who were asking for clean water.

    Gota’s newly formed “Personal death squad force”…..”Gotas special buffalo sloja force” is “wheels within wheels” inside the army, and it is they who are responsible for the murder of people at Weliweriya.

    This was mentioned by the new Army commander who said other than the Four security divisions that provided Security……there was another shadowey security force was operating from behind that were shooting live bullets using special hi-powered weapons at the unarmed protesters.

    http://www.hirunews.lk/

    Aloso the civilians said there was a special outside gang who were involved in throwing molotov cocktail at armed forces and police arousing violance. Also these gangs carried poles and sticks to intimidate police and security force.

    This newly formed Gota/ BBS “death squad armed force” and the Criminal Gangs as well as the “Criminal Special operation Commando unit” are working hand in glove with Gota and BBS.

    These are the criminal death squad gangs that give cover to both Gota and the BBS where ever they go.

    It’s hi time to Impeach both Gota and BBS in the International criminal court, and proscribe BBS as a terrorist organization.

    Therefore Gnanasara cannot deny it’s existance and deny the article published at Ceylon Today.

    The Rajapakse three Musketeer criminal Jokers are ruining our country and it’s time to kick them out before they carry out next Genocide.

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      “I think this Weliweriya Genocidel Massacre was planned, implemented and executed by Gota / BBS combination using the newly formed “death squad special operation force” which is directly working under DS Gotabaya Rajapakse and BBS.”

      Jayantha,

      Please look up the word Genocide before using it.

  • 1
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    This terrible tragedy — multiple tragedies in a single family — is almost unbearable to read right thru. I had to force myself to go to the bitter end. Surely no one can read this & ‘answer back’ / retort
    by citing tragedies the majority community has undergone. That even a single series of deaths of this nature could have taken place in our land must force us to fall silent. I wonder where V is now. What she is doing. If she married, has children. I wonder if she has ever written about her life.

    During that black week, our maid (Sinhala from Galle, 35 years old, originally a labourer) arrived one morning from her Attidiya (Dehiwela) home, in tears. She told us she had people being burnt on her way. Stupidly, I asked, ‘Roslin, were they Tamil?’

    Her response: ‘They were human beings!’

    • 0
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      Correction: She had SEEN people being burnt on her way

  • 0
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    What went wrong, again and again? As a child in 1958 I witnessed our wonderful Tamil neighbour arrive home in a van with his face slashed. My family was influential to the degree that enabled us to get him help to survive. He carried the 6 inch scar of brutality along his face forever. The gentleman, wife and two little daughters were in and out of our home as they wished, and hospitality and goodwill between our families had no boundaries. I am yet to comprehend why some hold prejudiced views of another culture and resort to thuggery, brutality and the inhuman behaviour that has polarised communities! The Sinhalese are seen as the villans, the Tamils are seen as the victims and this picture is repeated over and over. However, I feel that as far as those who undermine inter-communal relations are active on both sides of the divide. The projection of victimhood for political gain is dishonest. The prevailing attitude amongst Tamil politicians of preserving the Northern Province for Tamils only is the main factor in the on going mistrust. Both communities should open their hearts and minds and re-examine their attitudes. I long for the days Sinhalese and Tamils can live side by side; care and share.

    • 0
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      Lal,
      “Northern Province for Tamils only” it is not true. What fair minded people object is forceful Sinhalisation.

  • 0
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    Rajan,
    I commend you for keeping memories of ‘Black July’ alive.

    The travails of the Tamils in Sri Lanka have never ended. It is current today. Commenter Senguttavan who talks about reconciliation is in dreamland. Reconciliation for him is for the Tamils to reconcile themselves with the genocide that they suffered – an acceptance like it is the lot of the Tamil people – like fate.

    Real reconciliation is between two parties who can stand side by side on an equal footing. No reconciliation occurs if one party thinks it is superior to the other.

    I don’t believe that the Sinhalese have any idea what reconciliation is. For them Tamils and other minorities are not equal. They believe that being Sinhalese, imbued with mythological fare such as having the blood of lions, endowed with the sacred sanctity of Buddha, makes them far superior to any other race in the world, leave alone Sri Lankan races. For them a Muslim is a ‘thambiya’, a Tamil is a ‘para demala’, a Burgher is a ‘lansiya’, all derogatory terminology.

    A point in hand is the disdain with which they denigrate the Muslims at present just as they did with the Tamils. The impunity with which they can mount attacks against minorities – the belief that Buddhism is far more superior to any other religion – the belief that Sinhala culture is far more elevated than any other cultures permeates all Sinhala psyches. Denigrating and annihilating all minority cultures is the force that bonds Sinhala people together.

    So how can reconciliation be possible?

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      /*
      Real reconciliation is between two parties who can stand side by side on an equal footing. No reconciliation occurs if one party thinks it is superior to the other.

      So how can reconciliation be possible?
      */

      I know what you mean. Although I suggest you show it by example instead of whining about it.

      Show how its done by treating the Tamil “low castes” and Indian Tamils with dignity and equality first; I am sure the Sinhalese will follow.

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      Gonbella reads me wrong. My family and my business premises were subject to brutal attack in 7/83. My young family escaped death by
      minutes when Sinhala friends came to our assistance. Our lives were
      scarred since then. We have not recovered from the shock.

      I was quoting another in my earlier comment.

      Senguttuvan

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        My apologies Senguttuvan, however I did not read wrong. I do feel deeply for your tragedy and all others who suffered like you. And the tragedy of the Muslims that is unravelling.

        I only spoke about reconciliation. Based on my own experiences from day one of my life in Sri Lanka I feel the hatred against minorities in the Sinhala psyche is so deeprooted, real reconciliation is only but a dream.

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      Lets face it Abrahamic faiths and Muhammadanism in particular are not religions but political organizations. Otherwise, how could Muhammadans include in their scriptures – the Koran and urge its adherents (Muslims) to kill or tax those that refuse to become Muslims. Amazingly, all Muslims are forced to read these verses aloud five times a day. The only thing is, they do their screaming in Arabic. Therefore, we do not understand what they scream about through their hooters.

      Sinhala Buddhists can be accused of only one ‘Black July’. Did not LTTE gave us back with interest for it for thirty years. To their credit, Sinhalas never attempted to repeat black July ever again. And for that reason, not just Tamils, most Muslims too opt to live among Sinhalas than live in areas controlled by LTTE. That’s the truth. But tell us bella, how many mayhem worse than ‘black-july’ Muhammadanism have inflicted on non-believers through out their history the world over. Read Wikipedia and learn how Muslims expanded their so-called religion.

      What nonsense this bella is talking? Sinhala Buddhists are not thought to be superior to the others. It is the Koran that degrade others (non-Muslims). You talked about derogatory terminology of Sinhalas. True we call you Tambiya. That’s a negligible derogation when compared to the terms that Koran uses for non-Muslims. Is it not there in Koran where Muhammad comparing non- Muslims to animals; namely dogs, pigs and etc? How many different cultures Muslims may have annihilated and indeed vanquished to spread their religion throughout history?

      Sinhalas were by far the majority in this country but they were not the majority of the civil servant throughout 150 years of the British rule. Tamils were identified as a clever race and Sinhala Buddhists as modaya. Sinhala Buddhists were forced to be the underdogs. So it i natural for Sinhalas to demand their rightful place after the independence.

      What do you mean attacks against minorities? Tell us where in Sri Lanka did Sinhala Buddhists killed that many Muslims as Tamil Tigers did?

      Had not Sri Lanka Muslims killed fellow Muslims than that were killed by others in any race riot in Sri Lanka. Like all over the world, Sri Lanka Muslims have killed fellow Sri Lanka Muslims but belongs to a different sect. Did not Saudi controlled ACJU Wahhabis of Sri Lanka Muslims destroyed Sri Lanka Ahamadiya Muslim mosques in Kathankoody, Beruwela, Ukuwela etc, etc. Did ACJU Wahhabis not dug graves of Ahmadiya saint Abdullah or Rah. Was it not Sinhala policemen who saved Ahmadiya mosques and the lives of Ahmadiya Muslim men and women from Wahhabi murderous?

      gonbella,Go in front of a mirror and do some soul searching for a change, eh.

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        Some extreme followers of Islam have and will continue in violent ways against others. Does not mean all Muslims are like that.
        Anyway, lets not look at others and try to forget the horrendous behavior of some of the Sinhalese and their politicians and monks. I’m a Sinhalese and have to admit that the story of V (all such horror stories) rips my heart into pieces. It makes me angry too. Angry that one group of people are allowed to kill and destroy the lives of another group of people like this. The riots against the civilian Tamils in SL should not have happened, they could have been stopped easily by the governments of the time.
        Let’s also not compare with the acts of the LTTE , they were terrorists through and through and ended in the way they began, death to all of them.
        But, the riots against the Tamils were different. Homes were invaded by Sinhalese mobs, civilians clubbed to death, set on fire while still alive. What barbarity is that? It was allowed to happen by those in power. JRJ should pay for his crimes through all eternity.
        I can’t imagine what I would be now if I had been in V’s position then. Probably so emotionally damaged and destroyed. I can’ t imagine the horror of losing a beloved father and a brother like that.
        All these years I tried to understand the ferocity and revengeful attitude of parts of the Tamil diaspora in supporting killers and terrorists like the LTTE . Perhaps I can understand it a bit better now.
        I hope for their own good, these parts of the diaspora will move on and find peace and not continue in vengeance. Seeking vengeance destroys the seeker too. Hope they can seek for justice in a non-vengeful way.
        As for extreme and fundamental Sinhala Buddhists, sit back and watch. Another monster has arisen in SL to destroy everything thing scared and democratic in the country. The Rajapakse’s have turned their guns on to the Sinhalese themselves.
        SL will never know peace. Sad , sad situation for the country. There is so much blood spilled in the land and we have not done any soul searching about that but continue to analyze the crimes of other groups and people. What the extreme Muslims do around the world or what the LTTE did in the past is not what matters here, what matters here is that we change our mindsets and learn to live in peace with all peoples of SL and learn to oppose the extreme behavior patterns of the leaders of the country(both political and religious) . The future looks awfully gloomy for my beloved country, and I’m not talking about finances.

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    THE ABOVE INCIDENT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE AND BELIEVE ME I WAS A HELPLESS WITNESS TO IT AS I TOO LIVED DOWN WAIDYA ROAD DEHIWELA AND I HAD JUST BROUGHT A LADY COLLEAGUE OF MINE AT DUBAI BANK TO MY HOUSE IN MY MOTOR BIKE. ACTUALLY WHAT HAPPENED WAS THAT ON THIS FATEFUL DAY WE WERE IN THE BANK WHEN NEWS BROKE OUT THAT A MOB WAS COMING TOWARDS FORT FM PETTAH. ALTHOUGH IT WAS A MUSLIM OWNED BANK FM DUBAI, MOST OF THE EMPLOYEES WERE HINDUS AND I DECIDED TO HELP OUT IN EVERYWAY POSSIBLE. ALONGWITH ANOTHER COLLEAGUE WHO HIMSELF WAS A TAMIL BUT FLUENT IN SINHALA, WE BOTH CARRIED ABOUT EIGHT YES EIGHT COLLEAGUES ON MY KAWASAKI 100cc MOTOR BIKE AND DROPPED EVERYONE EXCEPT THIS LADY REFERRED TO ABOVE AS WE HAD TO SHIELD AND COVER HER AS SHE WAS DEFINITELY A TARGET FOR THE MOB WHO WERE LOOKING OUT FOR TAMILS AND EVEN THOUGH WE WERE STOPPED BY THE MOBS ALONG GALLE ROAD, WE (MYSELF AND MY SINHALA SPEAKING COLLEAGUE (MURALI) MANAGED TO REACH THE LADY COLLEAGUES HOUSE IN KIRULAPONE WHERE HORROR OF HORRORS HER HOUSE WAS ON FIRE, I GOT OFF AND WALKED TOWARDS HER HOUSE WHEN A NEIGHBOUR TOLD ME THAT THE TWO CHILDREN WERE SAFE AND FOR ME TO COME LATER TO TO FETCH THE KIDS WHICH I DULY DID AFTER SAFELY DROPPING OFF THE LADY (NIRMALA SORNALINGAM) AT MY HOUSE DOWN WAIDYA ROAD AT GREAT RISK TO ME AND MY FAMILY INCLUDING MY TWO MONTH OLD DAUGHTER, THIS IS WHEN I SAW THE INCIDENT AND YES THE POLICE WERE WITNESS TO THIS INCIDENT. ANYWAY AFTER A FEW DAYS I DROPPED OFF NIRMALA AND FAMILY AT THE BAMBALAPITIYA TEMPLE AND HAVE NEVER
    EVER SEEN OR HEARD OF THEM EVER SINCE . I WAS INFORMED THAT ONE OF THESE KIDS SANGEETHA IS MARRIED TO A VERY POPULAR INDIAN ACTOR BY THE NAME OF VIJAY. AND BY THE WAY THE THUG AND HIS NEPHEW AND ALSO THE BAKERY OWNERS SONS ARE STILL LIVING. I AM GLAD THAT I TOO WAS ABLE TO NARRATE THIS TRUE EYEWITNESS STORY. BY THE WAY MY FRIEND MURALI AND I LIVE OVERSEAS.

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      Thank you CT for enabling the filling out of narratives by providing this space.

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    There was no Black July 1983.

    There were only 2 Black August in 1977 and 1990 against Sinhalese and Muslims.

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      Muliyawaikkal!

      Unless your extraordinary comments are meant to be ironic or sick jokes, I challenge you to come out from behind your pseudonym &
      JUSTIFY them.

      Perhaps you might also spend a bit of time trying to find out when the descriptor ‘BLACK’ first appeared in our local(English, to start with, anyway, as this is the lingo u r using here) press in association with reference to what has become known as July ’83 or July 1983 or Black July or whatever here.

      The presence in our recent history of other black months/years, etc.,
      in no way negates the horrendous events of July 1983, that many of us who were living here then (old enough, conscious enough, & sensitive enough to have been aware of), came to call ‘BLACK’.

      This adjective, is, in fact, quite inadequate, to describe that time. The more I look back, the more my own memory is filled out by published writings, the more despairing I feel that even now, after 30 long years of bloodshed, such BLACK days, weeks, months, years, RIMES, are not behind us for good.

      Perhaps Muli-malli(nangi?) feels too that BLACK is an inadequate term & that is why he protests. Otherwise he is just walking with hob nailed boots over graves & one day the spirits of those he denies will come to ha8unt him in some way.
      No, I dont believe in ghosts or an afterlife or even another incarnation.

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      Muliyawaikkal (aka Lorenzo at LW)

      You have a penchant to lie.
      Why were they throwing soap bars at you and your family during July 1983.
      Was that another figment of your imagination?

      btw- LTTE remnants have chosen an idiot like you to infiltrate LW, equally amusing the comments and the vulnerability of LW

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        Chandra, You seems to be very good at blowing your fake whistle to fix patriots to your imaginary devilish slots. Tell us your real identity so we can unmask you or aka what?

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      MULLI:

      You have now given up that Ghost of Water shortage.

      But for your information.

      There may have been 2 Black Augusts against Occupying Sinhalese and Spying Muslims. I think your memory is failing you so check the dates and that may be due dehydration brought on by Water shortage.

      But the above is nothing compared to

      Black:

      JANUARY
      FREBRUARY
      MARCH
      APRIL
      MAY
      JUNE
      JULY
      AUGUST
      SEPTEMBER
      OCTOBER
      NOVEMBER
      DECEMBER

      Against innocent and defenceless Tamils for the last 63 years

      If another month was available on the Calender I am sure your race would have utilised that also.

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      Moda raja! Aren’t you?

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        Yes you stupid idiot and a fool

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    I support the move to have all these incidents recorded somewhere for
    posterity sake.
    I happened to be a Jaffna Tamil who faced murder in DERANIYAGALA – a
    place that is in the Political scene these days. 9 Tamils merchants
    were murdered on 29-7-83 between 10 and 12 O`clock that day, followed
    by my son Ravi aged 20+ who returned from Bambalapitiya Camp burnt alive
    on Udapolla Estate, where I served as Chief Clerk.

    Now that we are safe in Europe, I could help the Professor with
    the detailed story, (ardneham12@gmail.com)

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      I’m so sorry about your loss.

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        You are not sorry Nona don’t bloody pretend . You are relishing you Sinhala Nona. You don’t understand the meaning of sorry if your race did they would have said SORRY for the Tamil misery for the last 63 years. I lost three members and I am still grieving

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    More Tamils were killed by LTTE and it exceeds all Tamils killed in all anti-Tamil riots.

    When IPKF left many EPRLF members also left and live in Orissa. Their female family members became a target of LTTE. Six torture camps for those women ran under the “WHITE” demon Adele Balasingam. All these women were raped, tortured and killed by LTTE. When LTTE was chased out by the army from Jaffna few old women were liberated by them to tell the horrors of Adele balasingam and the LTTE.

    Many of the victims were from LOW caste Tamils of Jaffna. That may be a reason, no one talk about them now. Some of the children of those vitims are now with EPDP.

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      Actually, it’s SriLankan Military which killed more people than any other groups:

      1971 – 10,000+ Sinhalese were killed by SriLankan Army
      1989 – 30,000+ Sinhalese were killed by Srilankan Army
      2009 – 40,000+ Tamils were killed by Srilankan Army….

      Overall, we Srilankans are good at killing each other.

      :-)

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      You moron how much were you paid to write this. You are not Tamil you are bloody Sinkalam hiding under a Tamil name. You are not going to fool us

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        Why should he be paid for truth? Tamil killings date as far back as Indian invasions and our Kings! From then, the motto has been that there were only 2 good tamils, in the coffin & in the frame.

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    I think accounts of sinhala family fates at LTTE hands are very much worse and therefore should be published as well for equality!

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      The LTTE was a terrorists group and were annihilated. What they did was horrific, but they were terrorist and they all paid for their crimes with their lives. But what about the Sinhala mobs that entered homes and killed Tamils and burnt them alive? what punishment for them, what punishment for the wicked leaders of the day?

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        Dear Madame Dostara Nona,
        In Awesome Asia aren’t we?

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    I have no sympathy for Tamils. They know that UNP is behind all this atrocities.Even tho All the Tamils are voting for UNP. Why they can’t stop voting to UNP. Another issue is TNA. They have no solution. Just talk about racism and nationalism. If they win the election they will get the diplomatic passport and settle their family in foreign country and settle them self in colombo and do nothing to tamil people. Voting pattern shows what they want and they get what they want.

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      I hope you are not Murasoli. Man you are confused and muddled.

      Just compare the two.

      I have no sympathy for Tamils

      against

      If they win the election they will get the diplomatic passport and settle their family in foreign country and settle them self in colombo and do nothing to tamil people

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      “Another issue is TNA. They have no solution. Just talk about racism and nationalism.”

      So the UPFA has a solution, is it? Yes, we see their “solution” being touted by people like BBS and Gotabhaya. Doesn’t really seem like much of a “solution” when everyone except sinhala buddhists are told: “you’re all third class citizens here, you can do what we tell you to do, and that’s all. Ask for more freedom, and we’ll chase you out of the country”

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    Perpetrators have to be punished to protect the society, otherwise the chaos will cary on. The LTTE got paid for their atrocities. But the government got away from the killing of thousands of innocent Tamils in 2009. Seems like they will get away from the killing of the people who have ask drinking water. We are smart enough to connect the dots. I can imagine what horrible things would have happened to the unarmed Tamils in May 2009, by getting some understanding of how much the Tamils have suffered after thirteen soldiers have been killed in 1983. How many soldiers have been killed by the LTTE between 1983 and 2009. You do your maths, and work out what would have happened to the Tamils in 2009. I didn’t want to write about it then, because Indians, diaspora leaders and the Westerners would have taken advantage of my writings. Now the innocent civilians are dying for no reason. I am compel to write about this injustices to protect the innocent; otherwise my knowledge and experiences all are in vain.

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      Hi Antany,

      I feel sorry for you as you were prevented from excelling in your writing talent.
      But if you were smart enough you should have written your thesis and if any one like the Indians, diaspora leaders and the Westerners copied you could have charged them for what we call PLAGIARISM and taken to the International Court of Justice.

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      Dear saint antony or peter or both,
      To me you seem to have little knowledge and no experience at all. The man who knows he knows is the greatest halfwit on earth! Were your great grand parents ethically converted my dear?

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      Don’t worry about other’s problems like drinking water and better concentrate on your maths. Can you really the dots? You sound as blind as Barton to me!

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    Mr.Hoole,

    Reading through the account first I thought you were sympathetic to the Tamil suffering but you saved your best till last.

    “However, whatever hopes there were that the Tamil people would attain freedom and dignity through this suffering were extinguished with the LTTE’s rise to totalitarian power over the Tamils”.

    My friend can you tell me in simple words as I am not well educated and find it difficult to understand complex words as to how this suffering was going to be extinguished.

    With my limited intellectual ability am I right in thinking that some how this suffering would have come to an end ( May with the involvement of EPRLF using Ahimsa) just like that had the LTTE not intervened to jeopardise it.
    Please enlighten me and a big Thank You

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      Lets have a drink of blood honey!

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    Hi Hoole,
    Most of these so called victims of yours had the chance of migration not to mention the compensation. But almost all the poor border lads and lasses and their kith & kin just faded away. No hard feelings eh!

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