Marking the 38th anniversary of the Black July massacre in which over 3,000 Tamils were slaughtered, German Tamils gathered in the city centre of Berlin to remember this act of genocide.
Speaking at the memorial, Sankar, from the People's Council of Eelam (VETD), noted how the horrors of Black July led to a mass exodus of Tamils from Sri Lanka. “Thousands came to Germany every year, mostly via East Berlin”, he notes. Today there are an estimated 60,000 German Tamils living all over Germany.
The struggle of refugees
“Our parents have to fight for recognition and their right to stay for many years”, Sankar highlights.
His speech notes that Germany continues to fail to recognise the Tamil genocide and has only accepted a small number of Tamil asylum seekers, most of which were provided only humanitarian protection. He further highlights that dozens of German Tamils, North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden- Württemberg, have been subject to deportation during two raids just this year.
Sankar further notes that whilst the UN and European parliament have expressed alarm over Sri Lanka’s deteriorating human rights conditions, Germany remains silent.
“Germany did not recognize the genocide of the Tamil people in 1983, 2009 or 2021. Germany also does not recognize the number of enforcedly disappeared Tamil, with over 146,000 counted and registered people” he notes.
He went on to accuse Germany of placing “geostrategic and economic interests” over “moral concerns and ethical principles”.
“We accuse the German government and German foreign policy of deliberately playing down the crimes against our Tamil people!”, he stated.
He concluded his speech demanding an end to deportations and calling for “an international investigation into the crimes against the Tamil people!”