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Last updated: 10 June, 2008 - Published 15:56 GMT
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"Stop violence" - urge Londoners
Two sides were separated only by a thin line

Section of Tamil and Sinhala diaspora gathered at a London street on Tuesday called upon the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to stop violence while President Mahinda Rajapakse was attending the Conference of Commonwealth Heads of State.

Anti-LTTE protest (photo Saroj Pathirana)

The protests were coincided with the Conference of Commonwealth Heads of State which met at the Marlborough House to discuss reform of World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The protest ‘Sri Lankans Against Terrorism’ led by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) against the LTTE and its acts of terrorism was held opposite the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.

Protest in London

A Parallel protest was held jointly by Tamil, and International organizations calling Sri Lanka government to stop the war in the same venue.

The two protests held side by side on the Pall Mall were peaceful and lasted for about two hours amidst police presence.

Sri Lankans Against Terrorism comprising of Sri Lanka Peace Forum, Tamil Peace Foundation, Sri Lanka, Muslim Forum Actions Group of Sri Lanka, Tamil Sangam-UK, Sri Lankans Without Borders call upon the friends in the UK and the Commonwealth to assist in bringing democracy to Northern Province still under the clutches of the Tamil Tigers and support democracy in Sri Lanka challenged by Tamil Tiger Terrorism.

They also called upon them to exert pressure on the Tamil Tigers to disarm and enter the democratic process and prevent them from raising funds on British and Commonwealth countries.

Anti-government protest (photo Saroj Pathirana)

While asking concerted action against Tamil Tiger front organisations they call upon Commonwealth Heads of Government to support Rajapakse government’s commitment to the strengthening of democracy and finding a political solution.

The protest against the Sri Lankan government was organised by the British Tamils Forum, Nava Sama Samaja Party (UK), International Socialist Group Socialist Party, Tamil Youth Organization, South Asia Solidarity Group and Solidarity for Peace.

They called upon the government to stop the war, recognise Tamils’ self-determination, and create a ‘Safe Haven’ to protect innocent Tamil civilians from indiscriminate aerial bombardment.

Impose International arms embargo, and economic sanctions (Do not grant GSP +) and force Sri Lanka to cut war budget and feed the masses were among their demands from the Commonwealth Heads of government.

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