06.10.16 - 25.10.16

The racial conflict that commenced on July 23,1983, is commonly known as Black July. During these riots, Tamils were identified by their pronunciation. Various methods were used for this purpose. They were shown a bucket and asked what it is, Tamils finding it difficult to pronounce “Baldiya” pronouncing it “Waldiya”. Those who mispronounced the word were suspected to be Tamil and were attacked.

The most plausible reason for Black July, that took the lives of thousands of Tamils and was the cause for mass migration of Tamils and burning down of thousands of Tamil houses, is believed to be the LTTE ambush that lead to the deaths of 13 Sri Lankan soldiers. These riots are generally believed to be the cause of the long endured conflict between Sinhala majority governments and Tamil separatist groups. Black July remains an issue that Sri Lankan political parties of both races do not see eye to eye on. My literary work deals with this issue that has been in existence since 1983.

Gayan Prageeth October 2016

Saskia Fernando Gallery