I demand a trial by combat

poetic-truths:

Black July -1983 (31st anniversary of the riots)

Black July is the common name used to refer to the anti-Tamil Pogrom and riots in Sri Lanka during July 1983. The riots began as a response to a deadly ambush on 23 July 1983 by the LTTE, that killed 13 Sri Lankan Army soldiers. Beginning in the capital Colombo on the night of 24 July 1983, the riots spread to other parts of the country. Over seven days mobs of mainly Sinhalese attacked Tamil targets, burning, looting and killing. Estimates of the death toll range between 400 and 3,000. 8,000 homes and 5,000 shops were destroyed. 150,000 people were made homeless. The economic cost of the riots was $300 million.

Timeline

July 24 (Day 1): At 1 o’clock in the morning of July 24, the army rounded up hundreds of Tamils in Trincomalee, Mannar, and Vavuniya in the Northeast who had fled the anti-Tamil riots of 1977 and 1981. These Tamils were forcibly taken and left without possessions in the central hills.

Before the riots broke out in Colombo, the army in Jaffna went on rampage killing 51 innocent Tamil civilians. In Trincomalee, similar violence broke out as members of the Navy randomly shot at civilians and burnt down Tamil property.

July 25 (Day 2): After the midnight lull, mobs were led by people with voter registration lists in hand torched Tamil homes, looted and destroyed Tamil businesses. All traffic was searched, and any Tamils found were killed, maimed, or burned alive. Cyril Matthew, Minister of Industries, was witnessed directly pinpointing shops to be burned down.

Many policemen were deployed throughout the city; however, they tacitly stood and watched on. Witnesses recall lorry loads of armed troops leisurely waving to looters who waved greetings back. Curfew was only declared by the President late in afternoon after the worst was over. However, the violence continued unabated. Tens of thousands of Tamils who were homeless, sought refugee in schools and places of worship.

In Wellikade prison, 35 Tamil political prisoners who were awaiting trail under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, were massacred by Sinhalese prisoners with the complicity of jail guards using spikes, clubs and iron rods.

The violence spread rapidly throughout the country.

July 26 (Day 3): Government imposed a strict censorship of media reporting on the anti-Tamil violence. Word spread of Sri Lanka’s state of disorder as eye witness accounts and photographs taken by returning tourists illustrated the scale of violence. They described how Tamil motorists were dragged out of their vehicles and hacked to pieces while others were drenched with petrol and set alight in full view of the security forces. The International Airport in Colombo was closed.

July 27 (Day 4): 17 more prisoners at Welikade Prison were hacked to death just two days after the prison massacre. The surviving 36 prisoners are transferred to other prisons. Rioting continued and the curfew is extended. Witnesses of the violence reported that charred corpses of Tamil victims lined the streets of Colombo, some mutilated with X’s.

July 28 (Day 5): President J.R. Jayewardene addressed the nation for the first time since the anti-Tamil pogroms, only to fan the flames of anti-Tamil sentiments by stating that anyone who advocated for separatism would lose all their “civic rights”. He states, “….the time has now come to accede to the clamour and natural request of the Sinhala people to prevent the country from being divided.” Vigilantes set up make-shift roadblocks in villages across the island, searched cars and buses for Tamil passengers. In one incident, a Sinhalese mob burnt to death about 20 Tamils on a minibus as European tourists look on in horror.

July 29 (Day 6): Tamils in Colombo began evacuating by cargo ship to the Northern city of Jaffna. Hundreds more internally displaced persons waited anxiously for the next cargo ship to transport them to Jaffna.

July 30 (Day 7): Violence began to dissipate. There was an extreme food shortage in Colombo and across the island as a result of the week long violence.

Post-Riots: Tamils fearing persecution, flee their homeland (in what is known as “the scattering” ) for Western countries. Tamils began to seek refugee in places such as Canada, Europe, Australia and the U.S. Canada introduced a “Special Measures” program for Sri Lanka allowing family members of those affected by the Anti-Tamil pogroms to join relatives already in Canada.

Prosecutions and compensations

Thus far, no restitution has been paid or any criminal proceedings against anyone involved begun.

Sources:

http://www.blackjuly83.com/EventsofBlackJuly.htm

http://pact.lk/24-july-1983/

of course let’s not forget the good folks (Sinhalese, Muslims and Burghers) who sheltered Tamils, both strangers, neighbours and friends. they stood up to the mobs and put their own lives at risk to help their fellow citizens. unfortunately, extremist elements continue to arise in sri lanka (BBS) and we have recently seen the effects of their actions in aluthgama. we must always speak out against injustice and opression whether in our country or anywhere in the world.   

#well after that a 26-year war did ensue so restitution would be hard to get
hkirkh:

FYI, there is an aquarium where you can shake hands with otters.

hkirkh:

FYI, there is an aquarium where you can shake hands with otters.

(via flamingbently)

Air Algerie loses contact with flight over Africa

breakingnews:

AFP: Air Algerie said on Thursday that it had lost contact with a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers about 50 minutes after take-off.

The commercial flight makes the trip four times a week. According to Spain’s Swiftair, the operator of the flight, 116 people were on board.

housewifeswag:

look at dis rolly baby

housewifeswag:

look at dis rolly baby

(Source: cute-overload, via thefuuuucomics)