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Tamil protesters take to streets

[BBC, Monday, 11 May 2009 11:12 No Comment]

About 500 protesters calling for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka have blocked roads outside the Houses of Parliament.

Police said the demonstrators had spilled through police lines and taken to the streets in Westminster.


Protesters, including hunger strikers, have been camped in Parliament Square since early April.


The United Nations has described the situation in northern Sri Lanka as a "bloodbath" after reports of heavy civilian casualties at the weekend.


Police closed the approaches to Parliament Square from Westminster Bridge and Whitehall and blocked the protesters in with vans.


The main entrance to the Houses of Parliament was also closed off, to prevent the crowd surging towards the Commons through the Carriage Gates.


A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "At about 10.30am today about 500 protesters in Parliament Square pushed through police lines across the road towards the Palace of Westminster.


"The protesters are now sitting in the road between Parliament Square and Whitehall. Police are currently negotiating with the demonstrators to get them back into Parliament Square."

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