posted in Diaspora


Tharmini (40 years)
Paris, France

‘The 1983 ethnic riots…. the Government directed by Sinhala chauvinism and the members of parliament were behind this pogrom, as well as behind the planned murders of the Tamil prisoners by the Sinhalese prisoners. I don’t believe in just saying, …the Sinhalese, the Sinhalese, pointing out to a common Sinhalese person and attacking him for this…but it is the chauvinistic Sinhalese Government spurred by a hatred of minorities, which even continues until this day, that is behind all this’’

Tharmini was just 10 years old when the 83’ riots broke out, and was living in Alappiddy, Jaffna. She shares a string of memories from the pogrom, of seeing her elder brother return wearing the same sarong and shirt from Colombo where he was working in a shop, and remembers vaguely of hearing his story of escape. The consequences of the pogrom and the suffering of the Tamil people she was able to gauge after reading the book, ‘Lanka Rani’ by Arular, years later.

Tharmini is a poet ( and lives in France with her family.

P. Vijayashanthan – Concept, Photography & Editing
Tanuja Thurairajah – Concept and Text Summaries