Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home Whats New  Trans State Nation  One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search
Home >  Tamils - a Trans State Nation  > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Indictment against Sri Lanka > Black July 1983: the Charge is Genocide - Preface, Prologue & Index > Black July 1983 - The Record Speaks


Black July 1983: the Charge is Genocide

Having effectively disenfranchised the Tamil people, the government then went on to announce that it proposed to expropriate all damaged property...

Having effectively disenfranchised the Tamil people, the government then went on to announce that it proposed to expropriate all damaged property. The Economist reported on 20 August 1983:

"...the soft spoken Cambridge educated Finance Minister, Mr. Ronnie de Mel is too sophisticated to use the term on the tip of many Sinhalese tongues these days, the need for a 'final solution' to the Tamil problem. But even for him, the 'only solution' is to 'restore the rights of the Sinhala majority'.. this is what the Sinhala mobs set out to do when they put their torches to thousands of carefully targeted Tamil factories and shops. Now the government is about to advance this process by expropriating all damaged property. Many Tamils will assist them by leaving the country."

"The result will be a decisive shift in the balance of economic power in Sri Lanka from Tamils to Sinhalese. The stated aim of the government's take over of riot ravaged homes and businesses is to prevent distress sales and to promote an orderly reconstruction programme. Government funds are to be injected into salvageable industries with export earners a top priority. In exchange, government will take a share of equity and appoint directors. In theory, former owners will be free to buy back government shares in time. But ministers do not disguise their redistributive intentions."

''Many are talking about following Malaysia's example of writing preferences for the majority community into commercial law. The trade minister has already reorganised rice wholesaling to break the Tamil grip... Ravaged city centres such as the Pettah commercial district in Colombo are to be redeveloped; when prime sites are reallocated, former occupants will not necessarily get them back..."

''Now Mr.Jayawardene's government has announced that the state will take over the damaged property, including housing and industrial premises, in the interest of rapid reconstruction, an extra ordinary measure hardly calculated to win over dispossessed Tamils... A government reconstruction programme is very much to be desired, but wholesale nationalisation of Tamil property seems an eccentric and gratuitously dangerous way of going about it.'' (The Guardian, 9 August 1983)

Speaking during the debate in the Sri Lanka Parliament on the 6th Amendment to the Constitution on 4 August 1983, Sinhala Industries Minister, Mr.Cyril Mathew had no qualms in justifying the attack on the Tamils in these terms:

''The Sinhala people want to know what you are going to do. They (Tamils) are like maharajahs there. A Sinhala trader cannot even get a finger in. It is this injustice which has been festering like a wound for 25 years. Only a spark was needed. The spark fell on 24 July.''

Francis Wheen commented in the New Statesman on 16 September 1983:

"A few minutes after arriving in Sri Lanka last month, I was sitting on the pavement outside Katunayake airport watching the birds and dragonflies. A Sinhalese youth sat down beside me, apparently keen to talk about the recent violence against the country's Tamils. 'Tamils all gone from Colombo now', he said with a broad grin, 'Tamil shops all burned. Perhaps all Tamils will go to India now.' His tone was gleefully triumphant. 'Sri Lanka is for Sinhalese people' he concluded - though Tamils have lived in Sri Lanka for over two thousand years, at least as long as the Sinhalese."

"If one wishes to know where these Sinhalese youths get their ideas from, one need only to look at Junius Richard Jayawardene, Sri Lanka's 77 year old President. On Thursday 28 July, while Sinhalese thugs rampaged around the streets of Colombo and many other towns, the President broadcast to the nation. He did not utter a single word of regret or sympathy for the Tamils who had been massacred or made homeless. Instead, the man who likes to think of himself as the grand old statesman of the Third World, announced that the 'time had come to accede to the clamour and the national respect of the Sinhala people', for all the world as if the Sinhalese were the victims..."




Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home