Lest we Forget Black July-1983

Asoka Weerasinghe . Gloucester . Ontario .Canada

July 20, 2008

Mr. Nevil Hunt
Kanata Kourier-Standard
240 Terence Matthews Crescent, Suite 202 Kanata Ontario K2M 2C4

Dear Editor:

If ever there were a combination of free speech and money for a paid advertisement which would produce an incendiary, provocative, and a sick piece of information in the print media, the *‘Lest We* *Forget Black July – 1983’*, by the Ottawa Tamil Community Associations which appeared in your Community Newspaper on July 18, 2008, was indeed it. This was a classic text-book example of the misuse of the print media to publicly misrepresent Facts in a mischievous and a provocative manner.

I happen to be a Sinhalese-Canadian from the majority (75%) community of Sri Lanka that this advertisement portrays to be a bunch of ruthless and heartless brutes.

Now that you have published a testimony of the *Tamil Truth* of what happened in July 1983 in Sri Lanka, to uphold honesty in journalism, you may want your editorial board or the leader of the Ottawa Tamil Community Associations explain to your readers the reasons that I pose as *Tamil Facts, *which will help them to be judge and jury of this unholy, provocative advertisement.

*1. The Tamil Truth in the advertisement said, ‘Twenty five years ago, this month, a state sponsored pogrom against Tamils in Sri Lanka, widely known as “Black July ‘83”, resulted in the killings of 3000 Tamils and large-scale destruction of their properties. Thousand fled as refugees.
A significant number of Tamils sought refuge in Canada.*

*The Tamil Fact is:* The Tamil separatists were the catalyst for this July 1983 riots as they kicked out 27,000 Sinhalese (my people) between
1971 and 1981, who had lived in the northern Jaffna peninsular for generations, by terrorizing and killing them.

The Tamil separatists were the catalyst of this July 1983 riots as they stoned and chased out 400 Sinhalese (my people) who were undergraduates and lecturers from the mainly Tamil northern Jaffna University Campus, in August 1977. They were brought south, escorted by the army and police in buses lying prostrate on the floor while stones hailed like meteorites at them. The most amazing part of this incident was that not a single Tamil undergraduate or lecturer was harmed by the majority Sinhalese in the Southern University campuses as a repercussion as what happened to their colleagues in the northern Jaffna University campus.

The Tamil separatists were the catalyst of this July 1983 riots when they ambushed and killed 13 soldiers in Palaly in the north on the night of July 23^rd , 1983, and their bodies were brought to Colombo for burial, and people went berserk, as they had enough of this bloody harassment and killings by the Tamil separatists for years. The people had no reason to turn their left cheek one more time to these Tamil separatists any more after decades of killings, terrorizing and harassment, nor did they want to pretend that they were forgiving angels one more time, as they were certainly not.

This riot was a God’s send for the majority Tamil community as 90 percent of the Tamil refugees would not have had a chance in hell if they had tried to immigrate to Canada according to the Canadian Immigration point system rules.

This 90 per cent were all economic refugees as according to Canadian Maclean’s of April 29, 1996 (The People Smugglers), “…more than 8,600 Sri Lankans with refugee claims pending in Canada applied for travel documents to visit Sri Lanka in 1992”, the country that they ran away from saying that they have been persecuted and scared for their lives in Sri Lanka. “The following year, the figure was 5,865. If those refugee claimants feared persecution in their homeland, why were they so eager to return?” Maclean’s asked.

What is most intriguing and sick about this whole scam is that these travel document claims happened during the winter holiday months of October, November and December. Almost all applicants produced a telegram at the Consular Office at the Sri Lankan High Commission sent from their homes in Sri Lanka saying that either their mother or father was dying of cancer and to come home immediately. What was strange about this request was that it was only the Tamil parents who got inflicted by this cancer epidemic during the winter months and not the Sinhalese, Muslim or Burgher parents of Sri Lankans living in Canada.

*2. The Tamil Truth in the advertisement says: The pogrom of July 1983 and the ongoing murder, violence and atrocities committed against Tamils in Sri Lanka have left hundreds of thousands of Tamils homeless and vulnerable in their land of birth. Faced with this desperate plight almost one million Tamils fled the country as refugees to international

*The Tamil Fact is: *It is no good for these Tamils to try and paint themselves as lily-white and victims of the circumstances. Perhaps they may want to explain to your readers why their Tamil separatists massacred and killed vulnerable, innocent, unarmed, Sinhalese villagers by suicide-bombings, shootings and hacking to death, during the wee hours of the mornings while these villagers were fast asleep in their mud huts, or tying their hands behind their backs, asking them to kneel and shooting them through their skulls at close range.

On November 30, 1984, they killed unarmed civilians including men and women at Dollar and Kent farms in the east of that island; They shot and killed 120 Buddhist devotees on May 14, 1985 at the Buddhist Sacred City of Anuradhapura. These innocent people were unarmed and were meditating under the Sacred Bodhi tree; They massacred by shooting 33 novice Buddhist monks and their mentor Chief Priest Ven. Hegoda Indrasara who were traveling in a bus at Aranthalawa on June 2, 1987; On February 2, 2008, a massive bomb blast by the Tamil Tiger separatists killed 20 and injured 50 others traveling in a bus at Dambulla; Two of their suicide bombers assassinated India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as well as President Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka; A Tamil Tiger sniper bullet snuffed Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadiragama who was also a Tamil. These are just the tip of the thousands of heinous and cowardly barbaric acts by these separatist Tamil Tigers. Thus the authors of your advertisement have no reason to belly ache about the Sri Lankan government or its majority populace, the Sinhalese, of which I happen to be one of them. They shouldn’t pretend to your readers that they are lily-white, neither innocent babes in the woods, nor kids playing ‘cops and robbers’ with pretend guns and bombs, and that they are the victims in this whole messy episode.

Sure, almost one million Tamils fled the country mainly as economic refugees, but they better explain to your readers why that over a million Tamils still live in the south among the majority Sinhalese, intermarrying, as well as owning 85 percent of prime real estate in Wellawatte in the capital Colombo, which is the Rothwell Heights of our capital region. They sure don’t have a problem in Sri Lanka or else they would have bought a plane ticket, got on the plane, destroy their passport before they landed at Toronto or Montréal International Airports and claim that they are refugees from Sri Lanka running away from persecution.

*3. Tamil Truth in the advertisement said, “The present government of President Rajapaka is bent on completing the annihilation of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. International community, including Canada has accepted and provided safe haven to almost a million Tamils who have been fleeing Sri

*Tamil Fact*: This statement is partly correct. Yes, the Rajapaksa government is hell bent to annihilating Tamil Tiger terrorism in the North and East of Sri Lanka and liberating the Tamil citizens who are suppressed under the fascist jackboots of the Tamil Tiger terrorists, bringing about law and order to the island, and assure the Sinhalese and Muslims in the rest of the island that they too have a right-to-life, not allowing the Tamil Tigers plucking infants from their mothers arms and bashing their heads on rocks and splitting them into two.

Last year the Government forces liberated the entire Eastern province from the Tamil Tigers, and held local government elections and now ruled democratically by the breakaway Tamil Tigers group that gave up terrorism in 2004, under the guidance of their former terrorist leaders Karuna and Piliyan. And what did not happen this time around was that no one’s hand was chopped off for dropping a ballot into a ballot box as was done by the Tamil Tigers to one Tamil who defied their orders to boycott the last Presidential election. The Government forces are on the way to liberate the Tamil people from the Wanni region in the north of the island from the clutches of the Tamil separatists. And that liberation after 25 years of war is imminent, which your advertisers have difficult to admit and accept.

*4. Tamil Truth said: Tamils in Sri Lanka are longing to live in peace and dignity in their homeland*.

*Tamil Fact:* Sure over a million Tamils live in dignity in the south of Sri Lanka among the majority Sinhalese community. These advertisers should go and ask the Tamil doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, university professors, business entrepreneurs, restaurateurs. CHEO’s of major companies, owners of hotels and prime real estate in the capital Colombo, why they too haven’t bought a plane ticket to flee the country as refugees.

I will bet my last dollar that every one of them would say, *“Why should we as we are living in peace with dignity in Sri Lanka, and this is our home and the Sinhalese are our friends. Our ladies can walk down any street with their heads held high, identifying themselves as Tamis with a crimson thumb print between their eye-brows and no Sinhalese or an Armed forces personnel would harass them.”*

All what I demand from the Tamil Community authors of the advertisement is honesty as the story that they portray to your readers is a Halloween ghoulish tale, completely different in chapter and verse of the truth, as it is perverse and a bunch of humbug, as the *Tamil Facts* as I have presented proves and say so.

My response with *Tamil Facts* to the *Lest We Forget Black July – 1983 *advertisement, I hope will help your readership to be judge and jury of this strange and disingenuous *BLACK JULY* *COMMEMORATION* Gong Show at Ben Franklin Place, where they hope to portray themselves as victims – when it is hardly so.

Asoka Weerasinghe

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