Tamils march in Paris to protest Sri Lankan offensive

1st March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Thousands of Tamils marched in Paris on Saturday to denounce what they termed the Sri Lankan government's genocide of the island's ethnic minority in its bid to wipe out Tamil Tiger rebels.

PARIS - Police put the number of marchers at 2,500 while organisers said some 3,000 participated in the demonstration.

The marchers shouted slogans such "EU impose a truce", and "The Sri Lankan president is a murderer", and "Stop the Tamil genocide".

Sri Lankan troops entered the last urban area held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTEE), Sri Lanka's defence ministry said Saturday.

The LTTE did not comment on the latest fighting, which has raised alarm over the safety of tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said last month hundreds of civilians had perished in the fighting.

Civilians "now face very great danger from fighting between the Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE. And there is strong evidence the LTTE are preventing them from leaving," UN humanitarian chief John Holmes said.

Government forces have pushed the Tigers into a narrow piece of land and say they hope to completely crush the rebels by April -- a victory that would bring an end to 37 years of armed conflict in the South Asian island nation.

AFP/ Expatica

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