French Tamils protest Sri Lanka 'carnage'

23rd May 2009, Comments 0 comments

More than 1,000 grieving French Tamils held a solemn protest Friday outside the foreign ministry in Paris to protest against the fate of their community following fighting in Sri Lanka.

PARIS - More than 1,000 grieving French Tamils held a solemn protest Friday outside the foreign ministry in Paris to protest against the fate of their community following fighting in Sri Lanka.

Wearing the black of mourning, protesters constructed a makeshift chapel of remembrance and laid flowers for loved ones they said had died as Sri Lankan government troops crushed a Tamil separatist uprising.

Portraits of the dead were held alongside the banner of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the guerrilla group which was defeated this week after a four-decade conflict.

"The international community is responsible for this carnage. They did nothing," declared Narmatha Ariyaratnam, 20, summing up the view of many Tamils in France who have held regular protests in recent months.

Many of the demonstrators in Paris alleged that Sri Lankan government forces were continuing to harrass and kill Tamil civilians. Some vowed that the rebellion would rise again.

"The struggle isn't over. We will relight the flame," one protester cried.

There was a similar but smaller protest outside the Danish parliament in Copenhagen, and organisers said more actions are planned by Tamil communities in Europe, Canada and Australia.

AFP / Expatica

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