The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the 38th anniversary of Black July:
“Today, we join Tamil Canadians and members of the Tamil community around the world to remember the victims of the horrific events of Black July in Sri Lanka.
“In July 1983, longstanding tensions and unrest culminated in anti-Tamil pogroms in Colombo and across Sri Lanka, plunging the country into a 26-year-long armed conflict. The conflict killed tens of thousands of people, forced many into exile, and left lasting wounds in communities across the country.
“In the months following Black July, and thanks in large part to the advocacy of Tamil Canadians, the Government of Canada introduced a Special Measures program, which helped more than 1,800 Tamils resettle in Canada and safely rebuild their lives here. Today, Tamil Canadians represent one of the largest Tamil diasporas in the world, and they continue to make tremendous contributions to shaping a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive Canada.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my deepest sympathies to those who suffered and lost loved ones during Black July and the ensuing conflict. The armed conflict ended in 2009, but we must continue to work toward lasting peace and reconciliation for all in the country, an undertaking which requires a meaningful accountability process that has the trust and confidence of all victims. Canada continues to support the efforts of all those working toward these goals.”