Tamil demonstrators protest continues outside Oz PM’s houseApril 13th, 2009 - 12:18 pm ICT by ANI
Sydney, Apr 13 (ANI): Hundreds of Tamil demonstrators protesting outside the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Sydney residence say that they will stay there until the Australian Government urges the Sri Lankan Government to call for a ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers.
Protester Geetha Mano, 24, said the rally would continue until they got some response from Rudd or Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith.
More than 1000 Tamils, including three hunger strikers, staged an all-night rally outside Kirribilli House as part of a global protest aimed at brokering a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The protest group, which began as a three-man hunger strike in Parramatta on Saturday, continued to grow even though Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was not inside.
The sombre protest turned noisy before 9 a.m. today with the group chanting “Australia, save the Tamils,” “We want ceasefire” and “Stop genocide”.
Men, women and young children waved red Tamil flags and banners saying: “Impose sanction on Sri Lanka.” Many had been lying on mats and pillows on the road early in the morning.
The protesters, mostly families with small children, staged a sit-down protest blocking the junction of Kirribilli Avenue and Carabella Streets on Sunday.
Sri Lanka’s Government says it is in the final stages of defeating the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who launched a campaign in 1972 to create a separate Tamil homeland on the Indian Ocean island.
The remaining Tigers are trapped in the “no-fire” zone, in the island’s north-east, along with thousands of civilians.
The Government is under pressure to agree to a ceasefire, amid claims that 3500 civilians have been killed in the first three months of this year.
Sri Lanka has resisted calls for a fresh truce, saying it would only help the Tigers when they are near total defeat. (ANI)
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