Australian Greens Spokesperson for Multiculturalism Senator Richard Di Natale today published a statement expressing support of the Australian Greens for Australia's Tamil community, and solidarity with the ethnic Tamil population of Sri Lanka on the anniversary of Sri Lanka's "Black July" anti-Tamil riots.
To Australia's Tamil Community:
Today marks 30 years since the start of Sri Lanka's "Black July", when anti-Tamil riots broke out in Colombo and soon spread to other parts of the country. Many Tamils lost their lives, their loved ones and their homes. It is estimated that up to 3,000 Tamils lost their lives in those riots - and nearly 700,000 people were forced to flee the country.
Black July was a tragic turning point in the history of Sri Lanka and marked the beginning of a long period of intense civil war. The events of that time and those of the war shattered lives, tore families apart and sent hundreds of thousands of people into exile.
I have spoken to Australian Tamils who remember Black July and have expressed to me the unimaginable fear of not feeling safe in one's own home and the agony of not knowing the fate of family and loved ones.
Many countries around the world have welcomed Sri Lankan Tamils who sought a new and safer life overseas.
The Greens thank you for your contribution to Australian life and culture. We know that today must be a time of sad reflection for many whose lives were forever changed by the events of 30 years ago. The Greens will continue to be a strong voice for a humane refugee policy in Australia and an independent war crimes investigation into the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka.
The Greens will keep up the fight for human rights in Sri Lanka and around the world.
Senator Richard Di Natale
Greens Spokesperson for Multiculturalism
on behalf of The Australian Greens