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Tamils mourn Black July in London – Asian Image

[MISC, Thursday, 30 July 2009 13:45 No Comment]

Thousands converged in Trafalgar Square to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the Black July 1983 riots in Sri Lanka.

During the riots over 3,000 Tamils were killed and over 150,000 made homeless in Sinhala State sponsored anti-Tamil pogroms.

The stage, situated at the foot of Nelson’s column, adorned with red and yellow flags symbolising the national colours of the Tamil homeland, boasted a striking banner saying “Black July 1983 – 26 years Sri Lanka’s Genocide of Tamils continues”.

The event was held to mark the only anti-Tamil pogrom during Sri Lanka’s 61-year oppression that was recognised as an act of Genocide by the International Commission of Jurists in 1983. However, this year’s remembrance was far more sombre given that from the start of this year history was allowed to repeat itself, this time conducted in devastating proportions.

Tamil community organisations jointly hosted the remembrance rally, which commenced at 2pm. The crowd observed a two-minute silence in memory of the lives lost and lay flowers on mock tombs as a show of their respect for those who have perished in the ongoing genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Speakers included Jeremy Corbyn MP, Gareth Thomas MP, Mr Robert Evans – Former MEP, Navin Shah AM, Mr Andrew Judge (Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Labour – Wimbledon) and members from the Tamil Councillors Association.

Matt Foot of CAMPACC, Maria from Peace Strike, Sara Callaway from Global Women’s Strike and Tim Martin of Act Now also lent their voices to raise awareness of the ongoing plight of Tamils languishing in Nazi-style detention camps, where over 300,000 civilians remain imprisoned.

Many volunteers, mostly second and third generation Tamils, engaged with tourists and passers by handing them leaflets and giving them an insight into the Remembrance event being held.

[Full Coverage]

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