Tamils wave LTTE flags in British parliament protest (Lead)

May 11th, 2009 - 9:03 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 11 (IANS) Hundreds of protesters waving LTTE flags brought traffic to a standstill outside the British parliament Monday after overnight reports of a massacre of 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.

Police said they did not plan to forcibly move anybody but objected to protesters waving flags of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a terrorist organisation that is banned in Britain.

Monday’s action, taken after the reported massacre of some 430 Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka Sunday, forced police to divert traffic and close all vehicular approaches to the parliament in central London.

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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