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100,000 Tamil supporters march through London

Press Trust Of India
Apr 12, 2009 at 02:29pm IST

London: At least 100,000 people marched in London today to demand an immediate end to Sri Lanka's bloody offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Ethnic Tamils and their supporters packed the streets of the capital, brandishing Tamil Tiger flags and urging the UK to suspend development aid to Sri Lanka, a former British colony.

London's River Thames embankment was flooded by Tamils wearing red, black and yellow scarves emblazoned with the rebels' tiger insignia.

SUPPORT US: A Tamil demonstrator carries a doll during a march calling for London's help to secure ceasefire.

In Trafalgar Square, protesters carried a skeletal effigy hanging from a scaffold labeled with the words: "Continuous rape and murder."

Elsewhere, children carried a mannequin representing a dead woman on a stretcher. A sign read: "Caused by government force."

Sri Lankan forces have recently made significant gains in their more than 2-decade-long war against the rebels, who draw their support from the country's minority Tamil population.

But the offensive has sent the civilian death toll soaring and led to international criticism.

“The people here have lost direct family members," said Suren Surendiran, of the British Tamils Forum, which organised the march.

"They are here for a reason. They are worried about their next of kin. This is not about a 'Stop the War' march or anything like that," he said, referring to the massive London protest against the Iraq war in 2003.

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