Ottawa, ON — The Hon. Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition, released the following statement on Black July and the anniversary of the start of the Sri Lankan Civil War: 

“In July of 1983, after decades of unjust discrimination, the Sri Lankan government’s longstanding persecution of Tamils intensified into a genocidal campaign. This left thousands dead and forced many more to flee their homes. 

“As the events of Black July unfolded, it became increasingly clear that the government had designed a series of pogroms to exterminate as many Tamils as possible. For the next 25 years, they specifically targeted the Tamils with horrific violence, destroying homes and murdering innocent people across the country. Tamils today live in one of the most militarized regions on planet earth, enduring harassment and still being denied both justice and their property rights. 

“Today, Tamils and their Canadian allies remember Black July and the beginning of the Sri Lankan Civil War. We reflect on the devastation it brought to the Tamil people and recommit to seeking healing for everyone who continues to deal with the fallout from the war.  

“Conservatives are committed to pursuing justice for the Tamil people. We stand with human rights advocates who are demanding the arrest and prosecution of the authoritarian perpetrators of this genocide at an international criminal court or tribunal.  

“For the last 40 years, the legacy of Black July has impaired the freedom and well-being of Tamils. Today, we recommit to helping the people of Sri Lanka rebuild their country so that all people can live in peace, freedom, and democracy.”