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British Tamils gather in Trafalgar Square for 40th anniversary of Black July

In rememberance of 40 years since the anti-Tamil pogroms of 1983, British Tamils assembled in Trafalgar Square.

Remembered as 'Black July,' an exhibition displaying the impact of the pogrom on the Tamil people was set up, detailing the lives lost, homes demolished, businesses destroyed and people displaced by the riots. 

The event commenced with the raising of the Union Jack and the Tamil Eelam flag. 

Black July survivor Thanikasalam Thayaparan was a university student at the time. He explained his experience, "The Sri Lankan government hunted Tamils down to kill them." He likened the government to harmful bodily pain, "To cure appendicitis, the appendix must be removed."

London based barrister Toby Cadman, an international law specialist and co-founder of The Guernica 37 Group, expressed his condolences, stating, "When you have a history of violence you do not address, the cycle continues." 

PEARL's Advocacy and Research director Ahrabi Rajkumar shared her thoughts, "Tamil people still remain strong in their demands for an international, independent mechanism for justice and accountability for the Tamil genocide and a sustainable political solution in the form of the right to self-determination."

Lecturer and writer Dr Madurika Rasaratnam also spoke on the ongoing injustices faced by the Tamil people, "After 40 years, Sri Lanka is bankrupt, both economically and politically."

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