Jul 1 – 31

The countdown of generational first-hand stories: ‘Black July’ 35 years later

by Thiru K. Thirukumaran

Here we are again at another anniversary of the pogrom in Sri Lanka known as ‘Black July’.

The violence was a harbinger that dissipated Tamil life in the city of Colombo especially, and to the generation of that my father. It escalating a brutal war along with triggering an island-wide mass migration of Tamils for 30 plus years is history.

My father’s generation was an important component and formed a significantly affluent presence in the other ways also diverse as Tamils living in Colombo. The generation of my father, having been born in the north during pre-independence Ceylon or shortly thereafter, then notably in vast numbers moved to Colombo. There they built their professional education/career/entrepreneurship, family, indulging in the arts and spiritual part of their enriched lives. And they are diminishing in number in the capital city nowadays. [DailyFT]

“Black July”: Thirty-fifth Anniversary of 1983 Anti-Tamil Pogrom


One of the darkest chapters in the sphere of Sri Lankan ethnic relations was the widespread anti-Tamil violence that occurred thirty – five years ago during the fourth week of July in 1983. Although the tragic history of post – independence Sri Lanka records that the Tamils of Sri Lanka were subjected to mass –scale mob violence in the years 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983, the anti-Tamil violence of July 1983 was the most horrible of them all. It remains etched in memory even after 35 years as “Black July 1983”. I have written about the dark happenings of July 1983 extensively in the past. However I intend re-visiting the events of “Black July” briefly in these columns to denote the 35th anniversary of the terrible pogrom. [dbsj]