Memories beneath the surface.. #BlackJuly 1983

Although thirty years have passed since the anti-Tamil pogrom of 'Black July' 1983, stories of the thousands of Tamil victims are yet to be unraveled. The thousands that fled, many not to return for years and decades to come, all too often buried their painful memories as they struggled to make a new life for themselves in new lands as refugees. Silenced Voices by is a noteworthy archive. Yet it is striking that thousands of individual stories, of the many ordinary Tamils, remain unheard. Thirty years on, these stories are starting to trickle out - even then, not from the victims themselves, but from their friends and loved ones, and most of all, their children and grandchildren. As the Tamil nation marks this poignant anniversary, we have endeavoured to collate the small snippets of the nation's memories, that have been shared with the world via social media sites. Despite the time that has passed however, there is little doubt that the personal anguish remains. Whilst those that shared their families' memories were keen for the stories to be heard, many we approached asked that they remain anonymous, out of respect for the deep privacy of their parents and grandparents in relation to their own experiences of Black July. *Names changed on request, to protect victim's privacy. Gajan* @Gajan98*, UK : My parents refuse to talk about the details. But someone warned them, and they fled. When they returned, there was nothing.. #BlackJuly Selvan Ratnarajah*, Australia: "30 years ago this day my dad was dragged out of his car in the heart of Colombo whilst a government-incited mob baying for Tamil blood attempted to pour kerosene on him and set him alight. 3 months after the July 1983 pogrom which left up to 3000 Tamils dead and 150,000 homeless, the entire Rajasingham* / Ratnarajah* clan had left Sri Lanka forever and 3 years later I was born in Sydney – still very much a Tamil but an Australian. And that has made all the difference."

Calls From Back Home: Telling the Stories of the War Diaspora

First published in The Aerogram on 17th July 2013. See here for original article. Text reproduced in full below. Photograph The Aerogram When my Amma calls me on the telephone, she sometimes fills the distance that separates us by reading me her poetry and asking me for translations and opinions. She often wants me to translate her own writing from our shared mother tongue, Tamil, to German or English. This leads to inevitable debates on words, meanings, worlds and linguistic displacements. Many of her poetry and short stories center around themes on war, resistance, diaspora, feminism, her...

Tamil Eelam team departs from 'unforgettable' tournament

Emotional scenes followed Tamil Eelam's thrilling victory as the team said goodbye to the Isle of Man and to each other for the year. The team, made up of Tamil youth from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK, were forced to say farewell to each other on Monday as players departed to their respective home countries to return to work or study. Fan video of the team celebrating after receiving the third place cup. Many European players who were formerly acquainted as football rivals in the Tamil sports scene, left with the promise of reuniting with their teammates at some of...

Karumpuli Naal marked in Canada

Photographs Tamil Guardian Canadian Tamils came together on Friday July 5th to mark Karumpuli Naal remembering the lives of the elite LTTE force - the Black Tigers. Starting with the lighting of the lamp and the raising of the Canadian and Tamil Eelam flag, the event included a moment of silence, following by the lighting the lamp of sacrifice. Over 200 hundreds Canadian Tamils laid flowers as a mark of respect.

Tamil Eelam celebrate 3rd place finish after stunning 5-0 victory

Tamil Eelam secured 3 rd place at the Tynwald Hill International football tournament in a rampant 5-0 victory against Raetia. {more}

Tamil Eelam footballers celebrate Isle of Man national day

After a glorious win for Tamil Eelam on Thursday , the team had a day off to rest, train and explore the local culture. Friday saw the visiting teams celebrate the Tynwald Day festival, a Manx national holiday. The Tamil Eelam team, attending in their team tracksuits, generated interest around the open air festival as locals flocked to the players to congratulate the team and express their support. Tamil Eelam players get involved in local festivities As testament to the popularity of Tamil Eelam on the island, the team's official Tynwald Hill merchandise has been selling the fastest, with...

Tamil Eelam football players arrive in London

Tamil Guardian went to catch up with Tamileelam's UK football players joined by players from Germany and France who arrived on Tuesday. Their teammates from Canada, Italy and Switzerland are expected later this week. The team welcomes many new faces this year, including a number of professional footballers that have played in the German and Italian football leagues.

Tamil genocide exhibitions held in Canada

A series of mobile exhibitions, portraying the genocide of Tamils, were held in several locations in Canada. The ‘Thazhumbakam’ (Tamil Genocide Memorial Museum) exhibitions, showed various aspects of the structural genocide through paintings.The exhibitions were held in McMaster University, Carleton University, Ryerson University Library, York - York University, Waterloo University, the Civic Centre in Markham and in Toronto’s Queens Park. Thazhumbakam, an initiative by the Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance, aims to “broaden public understanding of the history of the Tamil Genocide”, including “...

Ellaalan commemorates Mullivaikkal with his first single

The run up to this year’s Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day has seen the Tamil nation express itself through various creative avenues, from marches through city centers, to choreographed dance, to haunting works of poetry. The latest avenue of expression to be explored is the world of hip-hop. A British Tamil rapper, Ellaalan, has produced his debut rap song in collaboration with producer Santhors. The new single ‘Viduthalai Part II' , underlining the rapper’s discontent with the Eelam Tamil situation, was released on Friday. *Warning: explicit language*

British university sports league ends year in style

As another academic year draws to a close at universities in Britain, just before they went off to hit the books and study for exams, Tamil students from across the country came together to celebrate the climax of another thrilling season of university sports. Held at the Kanchans Banqueting Suite in London, the event was the culmination of another even-more competitive season of football and netball, as teams from Tamil university societies battled it out to be crowned champions. After a tough season, that saw a huge amount of talent on the football pitch, the final match came down to Queen...