OTTAWA, ON – The Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Official Opposition, issued the following statement:

“Today, Canadians of Tamil descent and millions of Tamils around the world, solemnly remember the atrocities, and honour the victims, of the Black July pogroms in 1983.  

“For a week in July 1983, violent riots took place against the Tamil population in Sri Lanka. As many as 3,000 people were killed and 150,000 were forced to flee their homes. Black July was followed by the Sri Lankan civil war, which lasted until 2009, causing immeasurable suffering and at the cost of tens of thousands lives.

“Canadians of Tamil descent have played an important role in shaping our country’s rich and vibrant culture and have made significant contributions to Canadian society. On today’s sombre anniversary, Conservatives join the Tamil community in remembrance, and extend our deepest sympathies to all those who lost loved ones to the violence of Black July and the civil war.

“Canada’s Conservatives will always speak out against systematic discrimination and injustices that take place around the world, in the hope that the memory of these events will lead to peace, mutual respect, and recognition of everyone’s right to dignity and freedom.