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Tamil protesters at Trent Bridge

Twenty20 | 09.06.2009 20:48 | Anti-militarism | Repression

On Monday, campaigners angry at Sri Lanka's recent military assault on the Tamil Tigers organised a protest outside Nottingham's Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.

The protest which attracted around eighty demonstrators was timed to precede the Twenty20 match between Sri Lanka and Australi, which was taking part at the ground as part of the world cup.

Campaigners are angry at the brutal assault on Tamil areas in the north of Sri Lanka which the state pursued in order to defeat the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam or Tamil Tigers) who have waged a war for independence for the Tamil minority for more than thirty years. In order to achieve victory the Sri Lankan army showed little compunction about harming civillians, turning thousands into civillians and even shelling hospitals.

One demonstrator, Birunthiga Skantha, told local rag The Evening Post, "By doing this we want to raise awareness of the genocide of our friends and relatives in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan cricketers should be banned from the sport, the same as Zimbabwe. The Sri Lankan government is not letting the international community in as they say it's not safe - if that's the case why is it safe for thousands of Tamil civilians to be there."

The protest attracted campaigners from around the country and is merely the latest expression of Tamil anger in the country. Previous demonstrations outside Parliament have attracted large numbers and seen conflicts with the police.