Lankan Tamils protest outside UK Parliament

April 21st, 2009 - 1:25 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr.21 (ANI): Over 2,500 Tamil protesters calling for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka gathered outside the Houses of Parliament.

Police said large crowds of vocal demonstrators began to congregate for a rally in Westminster, central London, shortly after 8.30 a.m.

Witnesses told the Telegraph that police barriers were set up as the group, many bearing red and yellow flags, spilt from the centre of Parliament Square on to nearby roads.

Demonstrations have flared around the world to highlight the deaths of civilians and alleged human rights abuses during fighting in Sri Lanka.

Two men jumped into the River Thames and several arrests were made earlier this month as thousands of people marched through central London.

Last week hunger striker Sivatharsan Sivakumaraval, 21, agreed to suspend his fast ahead of talks with political leaders.

A second hunger striker, Prarameswaran Subramaniam, 28, who has lost several family members in the troubles, is continuing without food.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers were alerted to the latest protest. He added that there have been no arrests.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he is “gravely concerned” about the situation and is consulting “urgently” with the UN.

Miliband yesterday repeated a call for an immediate ceasefire, something rejected by the Sri Lankan government as they do not want to give rebels time to regroup.

The Prime Minister’s Special Representative, MP Des Browne, has travelled to New York for talks with the UN.

At the scene of the demonstration several thousand people blocked the south east corner of Parliament Square at its junction with Whitehall and Bridge Street. More than a dozen police vans hemmed in the throng, preventing participants from spilling out into other streets. (ANI)

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