Black July remembrance in Colombo disrupted by Sinhala nationalists and Police

12:00 Jul 23 2023 Borella General Cemetry

On 23rd July North and South Brotherhood organised a silent protest commemorating 40 years of Black July. Black July was an anti - tamil pogrom that occurred Island wide in July 1983. After 13 government soldiers were killed by the Tamil rebels, Sinhala mobs attacked, burned, destroyed and looted the houses and business places belonging to minority Tamils. A Sinhala ultra nationalist group named Ravana Balaya, which aligns with the Sinhala Buddhist extremist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) members, obstructed the protest. In a video, one person shouted at the participants demanding not to celebrate tigers, referring to LTTE, the Tamil rebel group who fought a war against the Sri Lankan state, during the period following the Black July. As the Police attempted to control the situation, the group of nationalists asked the Police to disperse the both groups. Soon after, Police dispersed the event. Several protesters including activist Sandya Eknaligoda were injured when Police pushed them off, ordering them to leave. A few days later, Sandya Ekneligoda and several others made a complaint at the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) in relation to their rights violations.
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