British Tamil protesters should apologise to India: MPs

April 29th, 2009 - 4:56 pm ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, April 29 (IANS) Two of Britain’s most senior Indian-origin MPs Wednesday denounced Sri Lankan Tamil protesters who turned violent during a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission this week, saying they must now apologise.

Keith Vaz and Virendra Sharma, who belong to the ruling Labour party, said in a joint statement they were “deeply concerned” to hear that protesters had damaged the Indian High Commission building and forcibly entered it during a large demonstration Monday.

“Although feelings are running extremely high because of the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka, this is no excuse for violent action and we call upon those responsible to apologise and for the police to investigate and bring to justice those who have carried out these acts,” the statement said.

“The Indian government has repeatedly called for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and we have consistently called for peaceful demonstrations and a peaceful resolution of the crisis,” said the MPs, who are well-known supporters of the Tamil campaign for justice in Sri Lanka.

Police arrested five Tamils who forced their way into the Indian High Commission building in central London Monday during a demonstration by thousands.

Protesters also smashed windowpanes, Indian diplomats said.

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