Black July 1983 remembered
Tamil pogrom of 1983, when Tamils were killed by Sinhala mobs backed by the then UNP government and state forces.
Armed with electoral rolls, Sinhala mobs targeted Tamil homes and businesses looting and ransacking property. Driven from their homes, particularly in Colombo, over 3000 Tamils were massacred, whilst thousands more were effectively deported by the state to the North-East.
Eye witness reports described mobs chasing Tamils down the street with knives and setting them alight alive. Many hundreds of women were raped. Tamil political prisoners locked up in Welikada jail, deep within the island's south, were also targeted as prison guards allowed Sinhala inmates to slaughter them.