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Sydney protest draws more than 5,000

[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 March 2009 17:53 No Comment]

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More than 5,000 protesters took to the streets of Sydney Saturday demanding action against the Sri Lankan government and the atrocities being committed against Tamil civilians caught up in the war in the Vanni. Sydney’s Central Business District suffered traffic congestion and delays as demonstrators took over major city roads as the protesters marched towards the city’s Town Hall, participants in the rally said.

Many protesters carrying placards of the Eelam flag and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader V. Pirapaharan, called out for the de-scription of the LTTE and for the Australian government to help end the genocide in Sri Lanka.

Members of the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) which organised the event said they were pleasantly surprised at the show of solidarity.

TYO representative Jay Nathan spoke to the crowd, describing the stark differences between life in Australia and life in Sri Lanka.

"I see my fellow Tamils living in Sri Lanka and I am overcome with sorrow to see that they are denied even a fraction of the rights and luxuries that I enjoy here in Australia," Ms Nathan said. "They live their lives in fear of persecution, abduction and death because of who they are."

Adrian Francis, another TYO representative, said: "To me it is beyond doubt that the agenda of the government of Sri Lanka is to reduce and marginalize the Tamil population. These are our brothers, these are our sisters, mothers, fathers, everything – all lost, lost lives, lost dreams.

"The thousands of protesters, many of whom have lost faith in the international monitors who have repeatedly failed to hold the Sri Lankan government to account for the thousands of civilians left dead, and the many thousands more injured without access to decent medical aid, demand the immediate action to stop any more lives being lost," Francis added.

[Full Coverage]

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