The day: 1956 June 11th .
What is special about it?
It is the day on which the Tamil race started to realize that they are the second class citizens in Sri Lanka. Although partialities and discriminations were there, the Tamils never thought seriously about them.
The thought that ”Sri Lanka Belongs to Sinhalese only. Only Sinhalese should live here” must had been dormant in the mind of the chauvinist Government from long before the independence. It waited till the independence is granted. When they got the power in their hands, it put into top gear the activities to sideline the Minority races.
First of its projects was the colonizing of Sinhalese in Amparai and areas around it in Paddipalai Area.(Now Gal Oya)
40,000 acre were transformed into agricultural lands. 50 villages were established and Sinhalese were settled in them. It is true that very few Tamils and Muslims were given land there with the intention pulling the wool over the eyes of the protestors.
The SLFP which came to the power in this period declared ‘Sinhala Only Act”. Tamil leaders engaged in non-violent struggles condemning this act of the Chauvinist Regime at Colombo on June 5th. Sinhalese thugs attacked the demonstrators. A Sinhalese Minister led this attack. A holocaust was unleashed on Tamils. Tamils sought refuge in public places.
They lost their assets, Properties and everything they had earned and made to disembark in Kankesanthurai with only a cup each. The Tamils were driven away to their motherlands in the North and East, not only from Colombo, but also from areas where they lived in concentration, such as Galle, Anuradhapura,and Negombo.
When these incidents were happening a well orchestrated attacks were unleashed on Amparai with the intention of capturing Amparai fully.
SWRD Bandaranayake masses for Sinhala only
1956 July 10th
Rumours spread like wild fire all over Ampara.
“Tamils had raped a Sinhalese girl…6,000 armed Tamils are coming towards Amparai Colony…”. Sinhalese thugs were brought on state vehicles and put down all over Amparai. The sought out Tamils and attacked them. Police turned the other side. In the race riots that lasted a few days around One hundred and fifty Tamils were killed in cold blood. Several thousands were rendered refugees.
The deaths …losses…tribulations…traumas…refusal of rights…disgraces continued through 1958..1977…1983…1997….2004 and do continue even now. This riot entailed the bearing of Arms by Tamil. The two races which went in separate ways had not been linked again.
All those areas from where Tamils were chased away had become full Sinhala areas. The Muslims who joined them in driving away the Tamils had occupied major share of the Amparai area.
62 years have passed after the 1956 riots. There is no change in the state of the Tamils. There is no change in the cheating trends of Tamil Leaders
In this context,
Will we forget 1956 June 11…….???
Translation of the article published in Puthu Vithi on 09/06/2018