TDISH: Outbreak of a Terrible War

On the evening of July 23, 1983, fifteen Sri Lankan soldiers were out on a routine patrol in the Ltte_emblemJaffna region of the island nation.  Jaffna is a peninsula in the extreme northwestern part of the country and is the closest part of Sri Lanka to its nearest neighbor, India.  The soldiers were there to keep control of the region, in which a separatist group known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were active.  The government soldiers were ambushed by a group of LTTE fighters which resulted in the death of 13 of the 15 men in the unit.  The patrol was known as Four Four Bravo and would become a rallying cry in the Sri Lankan army against the Tamil Tigers.  The attack sparked the Black July Riots – an anti-Tamil pogrom – throughout Sri Lanka.  These riots caused the LTTE to further escalated their fight with the government leading directly to the Sri Lankan Civil War which would last until 2009 and with 60,000 (conservative estimate) killed.

Source: Ferdinando, Shamindra. “Black July 1983: A New Perspective.” The Island Newspaper. 2 June 2013.
Featured Image: “Flag of Sri Lanka.” By Zscout370 – SLS 693 – National flag of Sri Lanka, Public Domain.
Image 1. “Emblem of the LTTE.” By Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Fair use.

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