- What Happened?
More than 3,000 people took part in a rally in Parliament Square, calling for the British Government to help end the war in Sri Lanka. Seven people were arrested during clashes with police and two protesters were rescued from the Thames. Westminster Bridge and the Tube station were both closed on the first day of the unauthorised protests.
- Why the protest?
Protesters are urging the Government to do more to secure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, where the army's onslaught on the separatist Tamil Tigers is threatening the lives of tens of thousands of civilians. In northern Sri Lanka, government forces have encircled the remnants of the Tamil Tigers and thousands of civilians. The protesters accused the army of using cluster bombs and killing 5,000 civilians in the past four months.
- How did the Government respond?
Foreign Secretary David Miliband insisted: 'The British Government remains very concerned at the plight of civilians. The need for a humanitarian ceasefire is now even more urgent.'
- How did the media cover it?
The story was picked up by most of the nationals, with headlines such as The Independent's: 'Tamils bring their fight to Westminster.' On the web, BBC News ran a story entitled: 'Tamil protesters vent their fury.'