TAMIL STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM IN SRI LANKA
A PHOTO ALBUM
1983 - ACTS OF GENOCIDE
Tamils everywhere on the island were attacked by mobs of Sinhala rioters in July & August 1983.
"Clearly this was not a spontaneous upsurge of communal hatred among the Sinhala people - nor was it as has been suggested in some quarters, a popular response to the killing of 13 soldiers... It was a series of deliberate acts, executed in accordance with a concerted plan, conceived and organised well in advance."
- Paul Sieghart; 'Sri Lanka: A mounting tragedy of errors';
International Commission of Jurists Report, March 1984
"The impact of the communal violence on the Tamils was shattering... The evidence points clearly to the conclusion that the violence of the Sinhala rioters on the Tamils amounted to Acts of Genocide."
- The Review, International Commission of Jurists, December 1983
A Sinhalese mob stopping cars looking for Tamils
"Motorists were dragged from their cars to be stoned and beaten with sticks... Others were cut down with knives and axes."-London Daily Telegraph 26 July 1983
A Burnt Out Mini Bus
'A mini bus full of Tamils were forced to stop in front of us in Colombo... A Sinhalese mob poured petrol over the bus and set it on fire. They blocked the car door and prevented the Tamils from leaving the vehicle...'
- Mrs. Eli Skarstein (a tourist from Norway) reported in the London Daily Express
29 Aug 1983
Dr. Rajasunderam, Mr. Kuttimani and Mr. Thangathurai, were among the 52 Tamil political prisoners murdered under government custody in a maximum security prison.
Kuttimani, a nominated member of Sri Lankan parliament... was forced to kneel in his (prison) cell by his assailants and ordered to pray to them. When he refused, he was taunted by his tormentors about his last wish... He had willed that his eyes be donated to someone so that at least that person would see an independent Tamil Eelam. The assailants then gouged his eyes... He was then stabbed to death and his testicles were wrenched from his body.'
-Madras Hindu 10 August 1983
A Sinhala mob looting a Tamil shop, with uniformed policemen looking on
"Army personnel actively encouraged arson and looting of business establishments and homes in Colombo and absolutely no action was taken to apprehend or prevent the criminal elements... In many instances army personnel participated in the looting of shops."-The London Times 5 August 1983
Buildings on Fire, Cars overturned and looters walking away with goodies
"Throughout the early hours of the violence it was clear that neither police nor defence forces had been given orders to re-establish control... At one point several army vehicles drove through the city, packed with troops who shouted encouragement to the rioters."
-London Daily Telegraph 26 July 1983
Tamil properties thrown out of shops and being burnt
"Mobs of Sinhala youth rampaged through the streets, ransacking homes, shops and offices, looting them and setting them ablaze, as they sought out members of the Tamil ethnic minority."
- London Daily Telegraph 26 July 1983
A Burnt Tamil Home
Any business, any house belonging to or occupied by a Tamil has been attacked...-London Guardian 28 July 1983
A Burnt Tamil textile shop
In Pettah, the old commercial heart of the city, row after row of sari boutiques, electronic dealers, rice sellers, car parts stores, lie shattered and scarred... Government officials yesterday estimated 20,000 businesses had been attacked in the city-London Guardian 28 July 1983