Tamil protesters stage sit-in outside British parliament

May 11th, 2009 - 7:21 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 11 (IANS) Traffic outside the British parliament in central London was brought to a standstill Monday after hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamils staged a sit-in to protest the reported massacre of more than 400 Tamil civilians in their homeland.
Sri Lankan Tamils have been protesting outside the British parliament in Westminster for weeks, but have so far been confined to Parliament Square - a grassy patch across the road from the parliament buildings.

However, around 500 protesters calling for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka for the first time pushed past police lines Monday morning and squatted in the middle of the road between the square and the parliament.

The action, taken after the reported massacre of some 400 Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka, forced police to divert traffic and close all approaches to the parliament.

Last month, two Tamil protesters jumped into the Thames river and several arrests were made during a march attended by thousands.

Tamils have also targeted the Indian High Commission and the Chinese Embassy in London for often-violent protests, leading to five arrests outside the Indian mission April 27.

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