Abdul Gaffar Mohamed Rafeek (53 years)
“The atrocities that happened at that time cannot be expressed by words; escaping the situation was the only priority in our minds at that time. It was a dangerous and sad period. When each year the situation arises for us to revisit it during the month July, comes sadness, lethargy and yearning!
‘’Somewhere riots had broken out and the people were all running amok, scared to even divulge their identities. We were young at that time so we did not take it that seriously but the bus driver’s foresight was to drop us off at the right place, into safety!”
Rafeek was 23 years old living in Batticaloa. On the day of the pogrom he leaves for Colombo to visit a relative. He speaks of his bus trip into the riots and the foresight of the bus driver who drops the passengers off at their homes. As a youth, unaware of the extent of the consequences he remembers the time as two weeks of confusion and mayhem.
P. Vijayashanthan – Concept, Photography & Editing
Tanuja Thurairajah – Concept and Text Summaries