37th Anniversary of Black July, Sri Lanka's Deadliest Civil War
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37th Anniversary of Black July, Sri Lanka’s Deadliest Civil War

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150,000 people became homeless in Black July

Black July is the common name used to refer to the anti-Tamil pogrom and riots in Sri Lanka during July 1983. The riots began as a response to a deadly ambush on 23 July 1983 by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), one of the many Tamil militant groups of that time. The LTTE had killed 13 Sri Lanka Army soldiers in the ambush. In reaction, on the night of 24 July 1983, anti-Tamil rioting started in the capital city of Colombo and then spread to other parts of the country.

37th Anniversary of Black July, Sri Lanka's Deadliest Civil War

“Today, we remember the horrific events of Black July in Sri Lanka and honour the memory of its victims.

Canada responded by opening its arms to those fleeing violence and persecution in Sri Lanka. Through a Special Measures program introduced in the months following Black July, more than 1,800 Tamils resettled in Canada to rebuild their lives – and help build a better country. Their contributions in the face of tremendous loss and adversity helped shape a stronger, more inclusive Canada, which is now home to one of the largest Tamil diasporas in the world.” Said Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

Over seven days, mainly Sinhalese mobs attacked, burned, looted, and killed Tamil targets. Estimates of the death toll range between 400 and 3,000, and 150,000 people became homeless. Around 8,000 homes and 5,000 shops were destroyed.

The economic cost of the riots was $300 million.  Sri Lankan Tamils fled to other countries in the ensuing years, and a large number of Tamil youth joined militant groups.

37th Anniversary of Black July, Sri Lanka's Deadliest Civil War

Black July is generally seen as the start of the Sri Lankan Civil War between the Tamil militants and the government of Sri Lanka. July became a period of remembrance for the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora community around the world. Wiki

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