Tamil Protestors Close Down Westminster Bridge

M@
By M@ Last edited 106 months ago
Tamil Protestors Close Down Westminster Bridge

Thousands of disaffected Tamils and sympathisers have been protesting on Westminster Bridge throughout the night. They're looking for UN intervention to help end the war in Sri Lanka, and demand a meeting with Gordon Brown to press their cause. The protest has resulted in the closure of the bridge. Westminster Tube station also remains closed. Most worryingly, rescue boats are stationed around the bridge amid fears that protesters will throw themselves into the Thames if their demands to see the Premier are not met. One man has already taken the plunge, according to the Standard, suffering no major injuries. Here's a lookaround from the BBC.

Last Updated 07 April 2009

cobo04

Is it just me, in that I've never understood why anyone protests about something in a country (like the UK) which has or can do nothing for what the protest is about.

All the protest at Westminster did was cause traffic and underground problems in the morning rush hour(s) and put even more folk against the protesters and not their cause.

It would be like a load of unhappy tube passengers desending on Paris protesting about a tube fare rise. What is the point?

rakhmetov

It is just you. They are protesting outside Parliament because they want the UK to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government.

I don't expect it to work, but I have to admire their commitment.

Kingpin

I don't expect it to work, but I have to admire their commitment.

I don't think many Londoners would agree with you.

cobo04

Okay, so what is the pressure (apart form the protesters) that the UK govenment has that will make them do anything about it? Would it not be better for the protesters to protest outside the UN building in NY ??

sneha

Well that's what you think....do you know how many innocent tamil civillians have been the victims of human right abuse? over 1200 in the last few weeks. This is not just some stupid little thing like an increase in fare rise*, those people are playing with LIVES, it's like some people have no value for "life"... I'm not even going to bother saying anything else, some people are just too selfish to even care... all some people have value for here, is money.

even if the protest doesnt work...i admire their commitment too.

M@

With every headline and news report this generates, awareness will be raised among the general populace. They may not get any direct action out of these protests, but a slow drip, drip of coverage might just bring a higher degree of attention to this conflict from the international community.

Maybe it would be better to protest outside the UN building, but that's not an option for the vast majority in the crowd. These are people who've lost family members. They are desperate to have their voices heard. What other option do they have?

cobo04

I fully understand where they are coming from, it is just that protesting somewhere that won't really offer a cure or further their cause but instead just get the locals up in arms against them.

Just what do the protesters think that the UK government, that is if they listened, are able to do about it?

Yes, they have a cause, a reason to be up in arms over what is happening back home it is just that there is a time, a place for everything. Our govenment doesn't listen to us on many things, so what chance do the protesters have of getting heard?

In all, it seems just a good day to let of steam but with no real after effect. By tomorrow most Londoners would have forgotten about the events, the protesters would have gone home. So, what is the point of the protest, apart from venting emotion about the desparate situtation thousands of miles away.

cobo04

I fully understand where they are coming from, it is just that protesting somewhere that won't really offer a cure or further their cause but instead just get the locals up in arms against them.

Just what do the protesters think that the UK government, that is if they listened, are able to do about it?

Yes, they have a cause, a reason to be up in arms over what is happening back home it is just that there is a time, a place for everything. Our govenment doesn't listen to us on many things, so what chance do the protesters have of getting heard?

In all, it seems just a good day to let of steam but with no real after effect. By tomorrow most Londoners would have forgotten about the events, the protesters would have gone home. So, what is the point of the protest, apart from venting emotion about the desparate situtation thousands of miles away.

RachelH

Oh, ffs. And here we go again...

Tee

There have been many protests worldwide including outside the UN building in Geneva that did not gain as much media attention. These protests do have some effect as past protests have lead to the appointment of an envoy from the UK parliament to negotiate ceasefire, however this is not going well as the srilankan government has refused all negotiations so far.

pr292

The fact that the protest occur in the capital of the country that caused the problem is also significant. The British empire invaded countries and destroyed them of which the Tamil nation is one of many. Ceylon later named Sri Lanka was a country created by the British leaving the Tamil Nation without the right to live in their own ancestral homeland and the Sinhala Nation to occupy and Tamil homeland. Now the British Government has to remedy the mistakes caused by the empire.
After 30 years of peaceful protests 1948-1978 no one in the world heard the cries of the Tamil people until the Tamil people chose to defend themselves with weapons. Yet this is the first time a Tamil protest out of the thousands that were held got any form of media attention. This protest is small compared to the January protest of 125,000 people. Protests in Geneva, New York, Paris, Sydney, did not make it into the British media either.

Nantha

Hi,

Thank you for covering the protest outside parliament. The British Tamils with their family have partaken in this protest due to the inaction of Britain, European Union, United Nations and the International committee to stop a genocide against Tamils perpetrated by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Tamils have been systematically killed over the last few decades, and recently the killings have increased exponentially. The UN, bless their souls, have tried their best to protect the Sri Lankan government but a 'leaked document of the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs obtained by Inner City Press Civilian Killings This Year' shows 2683 Tamil civilian casualties killed and 7241 injured in 47 days; That is a staggering 57 Tamil civilians killed per day and 154 Tamil civilians injured per day. These are undisputed facts. I am not a journalist, but I am amazed that a reputed news agency like yourselves hasn't broken this story. This is genocide and Britain has signed the UN convention on genocide and so has a legal obligation to prevent it.

The British Tamil have demonstrated peacefully on the 31 of January asking for Britain to put strong pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka, including sanctions if necessary, to bring about a ceasefire and stop the slaughter of Tamils. Yet there was little or no media coverage. The British Tamils are law abiding, tax paying citizens whom out of grief have participated in this protest in the hope of stoping the genocide against the Tamil perpetrated by the Government of Sri Lanka. The British Tamils will never and has never caused any problems to their fellow British citizens.

Now for our fellow British Citizens, a genocide has been perpetrated by the Government of Sri Lanka against the Tamils. According to the UN convention, Britain must act, but as one of my work colleague commented this lunchtime, what can Britain do? Well I tell you what I told him in the form of bullet points:
1.The British taxpayer is paying for the genocidal Sri Lankan war through the IMF which is about to lend $1.9 billion to a bankrupt country to enable it to keep borrowing to pay for its cluster bombs, chemical weapons etc.
2.Sri Lanka exports to the UK are also taxed less than they would otherwise be due to the GSP+ concessions given by the European Union.
So, if he doesn't kick up a fuss, the British Tax payer is financing Genocide.

Before I begin my essay on why it is genocide, lets ask 1 simple question. How does the Government of Sri Lanka manage to kill Tamil civilian on such large numbers daily? The answer is quite trivial, gather all Tamil civilians from towns & villages in one area, in this instance it is the Government declared Safe Zone and drop chemical weapons and cluster bombs on them.

Why is it Genocide, well here are a few bullet points:
1.The Government of Sri Lanka is bombing safe zones where the UN estimates that over 150,000 Tamil civilians are living. The Government of Sri Lanka claims that only a few hundred Tamil Tigers remain and that they are in the safe zone. That means that there are about 500 Tamil civilians for every Tamil Tiger, according to the Government of Sri Lanka's own figures. The government is then bombing these safe zones claiming that it is trying to get at the Tamil Tigers, when in fact, the chances of hitting a Tamil civilian vs Tamil Tigers is about 500 to 1. This is genocide disguised as counter terrorism, as happened in Sudan.
2.The Government of Sri Lanka's is deliberately preventing aid from being sent to wounded Tamil civilians in Government hospitals - as reported by Human Rights Watch on February 24th 2009. This is genocide against Tamil civilians.
3.The Government of Sri Lanka is deliberately saying that only a few thousand Tamil civilians still remain in the Safe Zone when in fact the UN reports that about 150,000 civilians are there. Therefore, the Government of Sri Lanka is effectively saying that it is not accountable for well over 100,000 Tamils in the Safe Zone, while it continues to bomb and shell the same Safe Zone. This is clear indication of intent to kill large numbers of Tamil civilians. This is genocide as per the UN Convention.
4.The Government of Sri Lanka has bombed and shelled the only remaining hospitals in the Tamil areas depriving many thousands of wounded Tamil civilians of desperately needed medical care. This is not just a war crime, it is genocide, as all the victims are Tamil civilians.
5.The Government of Sri Lanka has been blocking journalists and aid workers from visiting the war zone. They are therefore keeping the area free of witnesses, while UN reports indicate that about 3000 civilians have been killed and 7000 injured within the last two and a half months alone due to the Government of Sri Lanka bombing and shelling densely populated Tamil areas. This is genocide and they are trying to cover it up.

Again, thank you very much for covering the protest outside parliament and bringing the Genocidal Government of Sri Lanka to the international committee's attention.

Thanks,
Nantha

Rasty

A Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom, Dr. Rachel Joyce, apologised Sunday for the error of Colonial Britain in making a unitary Ceylon out of two nations, the Tamils and the Sinhalese for many generation in Srilanka. Unfortunately, many Londoners are suffering with the inconvenience of a peaceful protest by the Tamils for justice and right to live in their own country, Eelam. Understandably, it can be confusing to many who do not know the history of Tamils in Srilanka. The fact of the matter is the British government has the overall responsibility to sort out this mess in Srilanka, after all the independence was given to some, but not all Srilankan by British rule in 1948 which resulted with an ill fated constitution and the so called “democratic” oppressive governments.

Over 300000 Tamils refugees in the UK are worried about loosing their loved ones on the hands of an oppressive government in Srilanka who is set its sights to kill minority Tamils. This is a fact, as we all know from the past 61 years of independence in 1948 after 170 years of British colonial rule. Over 70,000 Tamils died in the last 61 years. Since Jan 2009, over 3000 civilians were killed and over 15,000 wounded. All the Tamil population in Srilanka were displaced and over 80 % are kept within camps with barbed wires over many years. Are all Tamils terrorists, or civilians fighting for their right to live in their country, now conveniently targeted as “terrorist” for their own political gain following the policies of Bush administration of “global war against terrorism”?

After Hitters extermination of Jewish people in Germany during the 2nd World War, Saddam Hussein killed thousands of Kurds using chemical and conventional bombs and many as 50,000 Kurds died on the hand of Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime. Now, IC are waking up to the fact that Srilanka governments. Using banned chemical nerve gas bombs to kill Tamils behind closed doors as no media or international monitors present to report the facts.
Can you believe this atrocity taking place in Srilanka or blame Tamils refugees looking at their prospects of their loved ones gas to death by Srilanka government regime.

Rasty

A Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom, Dr. Rachel Joyce, apologised Sunday for the error of Colonial Britain in making a unitary Ceylon out of two nations, the Tamils and the Sinhalese for many generation in Srilanka. Unfortunately, many Londoners are suffering with the inconvenience of a peaceful protest by the Tamils for justice and right to live in their own country, Eelam. Understandably, it can be confusing to many who do not know the history of Tamils in Srilanka. The fact of the matter is the British government has the overall responsibility to sort out this mess in Srilanka, after all the independence was given to some, but not all Srilankan by British rule in 1948 which resulted with an ill fated constitution and the so called “democratic” oppressive governments.

Over 300000 Tamils refugees in the UK are worried about loosing their loved ones on the hands of an oppressive government in Srilanka who is set its sights to kill minority Tamils. This is a fact, as we all know from the past 61 years of independence in 1948 after 170 years of British colonial rule. Over 70,000 Tamils died in the last 61 years. Since Jan 2009, over 3000 civilians were killed and over 15,000 wounded. All the Tamil population in Srilanka were displaced and over 80 % are kept within camps with barbed wires over many years. Are all Tamils terrorists, or civilians fighting for their right to live in their country, now conveniently targeted as “terrorist” for their own political gain following the policies of Bush administration of “global war against terrorism”?

After Hitters extermination of Jewish people in Germany during the 2nd World War, Saddam Hussein killed thousands of Kurds using chemical and conventional bombs and many as 50,000 Kurds died on the hand of Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime. Now, IC are waking up to the fact that Srilanka governments. Using banned chemical nerve gas bombs to kill Tamils behind closed doors as no media or international monitors present to report the facts.

Can you believe this atrocity taking place in Srilanka or blame Tamils refugees looking at their prospects of their loved ones gas to death by Srilanka government regime.

shon5

Thank you for posting this article about the tamil protest.

As you may/may not know, this protest is to ensure a ceasefire between the Srilankan government and the rebels the Tamil tigers.

The tamil people of Srilanka are being bombed by the Srilankan government who are illegally using cluster bombs to wipe out the Tamil population. The Tamil tigers are the only hope to the Tamils as they are fighting the Srilankan government.

This whole war started for land and as the tamil people were in Srilanka first, by the time of the Iron Age.

As the previous commenter said they are also doing these criminalised acts behind closed doors so no media can be able to report this to the outside world.

Big countries such as Russia and China are supporting Srilanka and supplying them with these weapons and now are supplying them with chemical weapons which will be hazardous to the Tamil people.

I hope we can agree on a way to stop this fighting before the Tamil population, which is a minority, will be wiped out of Srilanka since it was first formed.