Black July vigil in Downing Street

Hundreds of Tamils who hailed from the North and East of Sri Lanka and presently domiciled in the United Kingdom commemorated the 32nd anniversary of Black July communal riots with a vigil outside Downing Street in London on Thursday (23).

British Tamils gathered outside the Prime Minister’s residence and lit candles in remembrance of those who died in 1983.

P Sathiyaseelan, a long-standing activist and friend of many of those who lost their lives, including political detainees Kuddimani and Thangathurai, who were murdered in Welikada prison, during the violence which engulfed large parts of the south of the island, addressed the crowd.

BlackJUly_London_2011_12Recounting his experiences during the time of the riots, Sathiyaseelan stressed the need for accountability for all crimes that occurred in the long-running conflict, including those of Black July.

“Only an international tribunal can bring justice for the genocidal crimes that were committed, not only by the Rajapaksa-regime, but also by previous regimes,” Sathiyaseelan said.