Remembering the 1983 Holocaust of Tamils in Sri Lanka
For the past 30 years, we have come together to recollect and reflect on the horrific event in the history of the Tamil Nation. Throughout the world we mark the remembrance of the 1983 holocaust of Tamils known as Black July. The events of July 1983 are poignant for the entire Tamil population around the world where over 3000 Tamils were slaughtered and up to 150,000 left homeless.
This year in the UK the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) have arranged for a continuous awareness campaign from 23rd July to the 27th July. This involves youths aged 13-30 carrying a torch, passing iconic London landmarks. The first day of the torch relay started outside 10 Downing Street and went to the London Eye before reaching Westminster Abbey. The torch was passed from one youth to another at each major landmark. This campaign being held in Central London has created and will continue to create awareness between different nationals as these landmarks are visited by numerous foreigners’ everyday as well as increasing awareness to professionals within the UK.
In addition to this, we must continue to raise awareness not just for the silenced lives in July 1983 but also to those lost and disappeared over the past 30 years in different parts of Sri Lanka.
30th year Black July remembrance relay promptly began at Westminster Abbey at 1.30pm with Gopinath lighting the torch. The torch was then taken from Westminster to Victoria station where it was handed over to Nirosh, who then carried the torch to Hyde Park via the Wellington Arch. A few members from the Tamil community and other general public joined the relay at Hyde Park, from there the torch then headed to Oxford Circus via the Sri Lankan high commission. Throughout the relay members of TYO UK, members from the Tamil community handed out leaflets to raise awareness about the on going genocide in Sri Lanka. The relay ended for the day, on 24 July 2013, at around 7.30 at Covent Garden.
Day 3 of the 30 year Black July Remembrance Relay started in front of Covent Garden at 12pm. The liberation Torch was passed the Australian High Commission on route to Victoria Embankment. The torch then passed various historic tube stations and ended up at Tottenham Court Road at 6pm. Throughout the relay TYO UK members continued to create awareness by distributing leaflets and explaining to members of public about the on-going genocide.
30th year Black July remembrance relay commenced today at Tottenham Court Road at 12pm with Jey lighting the relay torch. The liberation torch was then carried via Goodge Street to American Embassy where it was then handed over to Camalita. Along the route the torch bearer and the team passed many embassies and historic stations such as Regent’s Park station, Baker Street station and Edgware Road station. The torch was then carried to Hyde Park Corner where Camalita handed it over to Sinega. In front of Buckingham Palace the torch was then passed to Sivendran who carried the flame towards Westminster Abbey. The liberation torch was then handed to the final torch bearer for the day, Sathiyendran, who completed the last leg at No 10 Downing Street at 6pm.
Throughout the relay both members of TYO UK and the Tamil community handed out leaflets to raise awareness about the on going genocide in Sri Lanka and explained to the members of public about the Black July anti-Tamil pogrom. The awareness campaign has reached out to many members of public and has been immensely successful throughout the course of the relay