(SALEM, Ore.) – Black July, is the term generally associated with the start of deadly combat ops in the Sri Lanka Civil War that began in 1983, and ended two years ago. It is a story of a minority population living in a country that seeks to be a religious nation; not Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, but Buddhist.
Mobs of Sinhalese rampaged in Tamil neighborhoods back in July ’83, murdering between 400 and 3000 people, according to reports. Their anger stemmed from a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) operation that left 13 SLA soldiers dead.
The rioting Sinhala mobs are said to have destroyed tens of thousands of Tamil homes. Though the Tamil Tiger attack was a military operation against the SLA, the retribution by angry mobs was carried out against civilians who were not involved in the attack on the Sri Lankan soldiers.
Religious governments rarely if ever run smoothly, and the struggle of the Hindu, Christian and Muslim Tamil minority in Sri Lanka is riddled with tragedy and soaked in blood.
Religious freedom is one of the greatest and most essential gifts a nation can offer its people. Without it, human beings fall into patterns scarcely more elevated than cave men.
Patterns in colonialism
There are remarkable similarities between the plight of the Tamil people, and the Palestinians who today live surrounded by Israel. Israel became a government after the British turned over control in 1948. That is the same year that the nation we now known as Sri Lanka, also gained independence from the UK, though the circumstances were different.
|British Ceylon Colonial Coat of arms|
Until 1948, the occupied island nation was ‘British Ceylon’. The name officially changed in 1972, to “Free, Sovereign and Independent Republic of Sri Lanka”. In 1978 it changed again, to the current name, the “Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”.
Under British rule, the Tamil people were favored over the Buddhist Sinhalese. Each culture has suffered its share of oppression. That much is clear.
The island was colonized in the late 1700’s by the English, when it became a hub of business for the East India Trading Company. Known for its amazing spices including cinnamon, Sri Lanka naturally and quickly became a desirable spot for western interests.
The colonists abused the civil rights of natives on the island and increasing grievances, along with reports of mistreatment and the frequent abuse of authorities, gave rise to a struggle for independence by the 1930s.
Youth leagues opposed what was known as the “Ministers’ Memorandum,” which sought to increase colonial authority by increasing the powers of the board of ministers without granting popular representation or civil freedoms.
DEPRESSION by Agron Belica Salem-News.comDepression by Agron Belica (featuring Tim King & Dr. Andrew Higginbottom)
Produced by Tim Adamack
Co-Produced by Patrick, Dreier Double D Recording Studio,
Agron Belica- and Tim King
Agron world stage, eyes wet on the gaze;
Fam, can you hear me now? The world’s in turmoil;
Media spin; the lies you fall for; all the tricks—
It’s not right! The killing everywhere is overwhelmin’;
Sick and tired, man, of being freakin’ sick and tired—
Newsbreak: they’re killin’ off all the journalists!
Economic crisis in the world—what a mess!
Salem-News writers movin’ forward not stoppin’
Mainstream media tries to cover it up fam!
Everything changed during World War II, when the island became an important base of operations for allied forces fighting the Japanese. Wikipedia explains that large segments of the British and American fleet were deployed on British Ceylon, along with of thousands of ground forces.
Tolerance of Diversity
In Sri Lanka, religious difference culminated in a genocide of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians and also military prisoners of war. Oh wait, if a liberation resistance group is deemed ‘terrorist’ by western governments, they aren’t classified as POW’s, and that is a highly problematic situation when it comes to maintaining human rights that are mandated by the United Nations.
The final toll from the Tamil Genocide in terms of human lives, will really never truly be known, but up to 146,000 people remain unaccounted for according to some sources. As I indicated in my last report about the deadly events that led to so much death, the Sri Lanka government and its supporters were sure to either kill or kidnap Tamil friendly journalists, some of whom were Sinhalese, and that largely kept the Genocide from public view.
Revelation of Mayhem
However eight months after the mayhem took place, an unidentified SLA soldier released the images of not only the endless piles of bodies, children slashed to death, hung by their necks, babies dismembered, their heads smashed; but also video showing everything but actual rape taking place.
At one point female Tamil Tigers (presumably) are laying on the ground, all at least partially nude, and the soldiers on the video are heard talking about having sex with them because the women’s bodies ‘are still warm’.
One as it turns out, was a well known Tamil newscaster who worked for an LTTE Website. As the young women are roughly picked up and tossed into the back of a pickup, it is clear that at least one is still alive and moving.
When it all came down in 2009, Tamil people were cut off and surrounded, and they were unable to escape the SLA’s stormtrooper style military onslaught.
The government of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa has alleged repeatedly that the Tamil people used civilians as ‘human shields’ and that they say, is why so many civilians died.
Personally, I have a hard time believing that a group of resistance fighters would sacrifice the very people they were fighting on behalf of. The United Nations must bring criminals to justice if they ever want to see a world exist without Genocide.
According to Wikipedia, about 300,000 Tamils were displaced in Sri Lanka at the end of the civil war and by 2 May 2010, 214,227 of the displaced had returned, that amounts to 74% that according to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), have either been released or returned to their places of origin.
|Dr. Andrew Higginbottom speaking to Tamils recently in the UK|
A review of history shows that there are instances where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam committed war crimes that included the ethnic cleansing of Muslims at one point, however Tamil Tigers say the government drove wedges between the Muslim community, their former allies, and the Tamil Hindus and Christians.
But the Tamil Tigers didn’t slaughter people by the tens of thousands; people who were totally innocent and had no connections to reported ‘terrorist’ groups.
I believe the human race eventually heels from hardship, but the wanton slaughter of human beings over affiliations, over past history, over religious difference and for a desire to live free, that is not acceptable.
The new song Depression by Agron Belica is his latest news/music fusion (Coining the term newsic) cut that takes a heap of human conscience, mixes it with a hip hop beat, a high degree of factual accuracy, plenty of raw emotion, and drives it home with a video that speaks of horrific tragedy; the Tamil Genocide of 2009.
(salem-news.com / 27.05.2011)