Tigers of Tamil, Part-4 Black July and Sri Lankan Civil War

Indian intervention proved to make the Tamil rebel groups in Sri Lanka more effective and dangerous in carrying out attacks. One example was when in 1983 Tamil Tigers attacked the Four Four Bravo patrol post in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, where the attack reportedly killed 13 Sri Lankan soldiers. A year later alias in November 1984, the Tamil Tiger personnel massacred 62 villagers of Dollar Farm & Kent Farm, including children in it. A month later, Tamil Tiger personnel also killed 30 Tamils ​​as they refused to be asked to become new members of the Tigers.

The LTTE carried out its first major attack on 23 July 1983, when they ambushed Sri Lanka Army patrol Four Four Bravo at Thirunelveli, Jaffna. Thirteen Sri Lankan servicemen were killed in the attack, leading to the Black July.

Burnt Tamil Home during Black July (courtesy to sangam.org)

Black July is the common name used to refer to the anti-Tamil and riots in Sri Lanka during July 1983. The riots began as a “response” to a deadly ambush on 23 July 1983 by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, that killed 13 Sri Lanka Army soldiers. Beginning in the capital Colombo on the night of 24 July 1983, anti-Tamil spread to other parts of the country. Over seven days, mobs, mainly Sinhalese, attacked Tamil targets, burning, looting, and killing. Estimates of the death toll range between 400 and 3,000. 8,000 homes and 5,000 shops were destroyed. 150,000 people were made homeless. The economic cost of the riots was $300 million. A wave of Sri Lankan Tamils fled to other countries in the ensuing years and many thousands of Tamil youths joined militant groups.

Black July is generally seen as the start of full-scale Sri Lankan Civil War between the Tamil militants and the government of Sri Lanka. July has become a time of remembrance for the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora community around the world.

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