Scores of agitating Tamils, blaming the Sri Lankan government of blistering the rights of civilians caught in the island’s conflict zone, took to the streets in London blocking the roads leading up to the British parliament on Monday.
A huge police posse maintained a strict vigil over the peaceful demonstration which spilled out from the square in front of parliament to block several major streets, says Reuters.
With senseless guns continuing to blaze, expat Tamils across the world have been calling on governments to intervene on behalf of civilians caught in the midst of the Colombo’s “decisive war” against Tiger rebels.
British Tamils — estimated to number around 200,000 — have been demonstrating for two weeks against what they term “government backed genocide.”
Colombo on Monday gave the Tiger rebels 24 hours to lay down arms and surrender after several thousand civilians, who the government says are used as human shields by the Tigers, managed to flee the war zone.
Aid agencies say a “humanitarian tragedy” was unfolding in the region, with around 150,000 civilians still trapped in the island’s conflict zone.
Sri Lanka bans independent journalists from the battle-zone, thus giving rise to a multitude of theories, including those of the use of chemical substances against the Tamil population in the country.
Tamils – a minority in Sri Lanka – have for long blamed the majority Sinhalese of social, economic and political persecution.