40 years ago today, on 23 July 1983, saw the beginning of the worst anti-Tamil pogrom in Sri Lanka’s history. An estimated 3,000 died over several days at the hands of organised and coordinated Sinhalese mobs, as police officers looked on or even participated in the violence. Many more lost their livelihoods or were made homeless.
Four decades later, and there has been next to no justice for the terrible violence of July 1983. In our report, we reflect on the events of the riot; the failures to hold anyone to account for what happened; and what could still be done to achieve some justice, so long after the event itself.