Chandraguptha Thenuwara was yet another witness to “Black July”. He sharply and strongly recalls what he has witnessed 30 years ago in Colombo.
“Popular Tamil Thosai boutique called Kalpana was set ablaze in Nugegoda. Sinhala mobs got into a bus in Nugegoda, which was en route from Kottawa to Pettah, they were showing a pen and a bucket, and passengers were ordered to say the correct Sinhala word for these objects. They wanted to identify the “Tamils” with the pronunciation, and a “Tami”l man was identified by the mobs, and he was taken away from the bus. I don’t know what has happened to him afterwards” recalls Chandraguptha Thenuwara with pain.
He has decided to have an annual exhibition in July to commemorate the “Black July”. Since 2004, his annual exhibition has been highlighting the ethnic issue. His exhibits depict the distress, loss and trauma caused to the people during and after experiencing the violence in July 1983.
“Memories cannot be erased. Necessary space should be provided for the people to mourn without discrimination” reiterates Chandraguptha Thenuwara.