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British Tamils remember Black July

Amongst the London2012 Olympics tourists by Whitehall in Central London, Tamils came together to remember the massacre of Black July.

Holding a silent vigil, Tamils held a minutes silence and lit candles in remembrance.

Addressing those present, R. Jeyaraja of the British Tamil Forum, recounted the horrors of 1983 including the Welikada riots where Tamil political prisoners were allowed to be slaughtered by Sinhala inmates.

Jeyaraja pointed out that the pogrom of Black July was not an isolated event, but a continuum of genocide that reached a peak in 2009 but is on-going.

Echoing his thoughts, Jan Jananayagam of Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) said,

"It's crucial to acknowledge that Black July was not a one off aberration."

"Increasingly, it is accepted that this particular horrific destruction of the Tamil community on the island, forms part of the annihilatory trajectory that continues to this day."

"In the slow burning crisis caused by increasing militarisation in Sri Lanka, the UN mechanism is already hugely dysfunctional. It is hard to imagine this weak mechanism coping with crises such as Black July. Yet the factors that lead to such crises are very much alive. It with this in mind that the Tamil diaspora must demand immediate solutions to the asylum crises in their countries and in the wider international communities."

"We must demand that Europe, Canada and Australia live upto their international obligations and accept a fair quota of UN recognised refugees."

"We must seek viable alternatives to people dying at sea in their desperation to reach a safe haven. Tamil civil society organisations are prepared to assist these countries in their integration efforts and if needed, economically."

See here for full address.

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