40,000 Tamils stage protests in front of EU, UN in Europe

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 March 2009, 16:14 GMT]
More than 25,000 Tamils, especially youth, across the Europe took to the streets of Brussels on Monday demanding EU to de-proscribe the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam, to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government to allow medicine and food to the civilians besieged by its military in all fronts and to demand the Sri Lankan military to pull out from the Tamil homeland. The organisers blamed the EU's misguided policy on proscribing the LTTE as having tilted the diplomatic balance between the parties, causing the war of aggression against the Tamils by the Sri Lankan state. Meanwhile more than 10,000 Tamils staged a protest in front of the UN office in Geneva.

Tamils stage protests in front of EU

Voice: Address by Duncan Chapel, a Respect member and a member of the Socialist Resistance steering committee

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The Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) across Europe organised the demonstration and rally in Brussels.

Protesters arrived in Brussels in 110 buses from Germany, 80 buses from France, 60 buses from London and around 10 buses from other countries. Several thousand also came in cars and using the public transport to Belgium where only 3,000 Tamils live.

Voice: Address by Simon Strumse, Central Committee Member of Socialist Youth of Norway

MP3 AudioDirect Link (mp3)
"The response was overwhelming," said Sujatha Murugathas, one of the organisers from Germany. "As a result the demonstration from Bd du Roi Albert II to European Commission took longer than expected and several roads were jammed. It took more than 4 hours to reach the Head Office of the European Commission, and we struggled to conclude the event before 5:00 p.m. as requested by the Police," she told TamilNet.

Tamils stage protests in front of EU

The TYO had secured permission to hand over an appeal addressed to the Presidency of the European Union on 20 March. The Police, which initially said only 5,000 protesters were in the city, struggled to control the unprecedented traffic jam resulting in the suspension of traffic on key roads in the area for several hours.

The Police, after consulting the EU officials, told the organisers that their appointment with the EU scheduled on 20 March was cancelled and that the protesters could hand over their appeal already on Monday. However, the appointment was later re-negotiated by the organisers who had to promise the conclusion of the protest before 5:00 p.m.

Many vehicles decked with large photographs showing the pain and suffering of the Tamils in Vanni killed, maimed and injured in the relentless attacks by the Sri Lanka government were seen moving along with the demonstrators.

Tamils stage protests in front of EU
Tamils stage protests in front of EU

The banners and placards carried by the demonstrators displayed the following slogans besides pictures of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader V. Pirapaharan.

  • Stop Sri Lanka’s genocide of Tamils.
  • Liberation Tigers are our freedom fighters
  • We want Tamil Eelam.
  • Lift ban on Liberation Tigers.
  • Pirapaharan is our national leader.

Persons dressed up like Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president and in the attire of Sri Lanka Army soldiers, enacted episodes of the violence they unleash on the Tamils, in the long procession.

The protest march called ‘Struggle for Rights’ by the protesting diaspora EU Tamils was one of the other similar rallies conducted Monday in front of UN in Geneva and in front of UN office in the USA, and in Canada where around 120,000 gathered for a human-chain protest in Toronto.

Tamils stage protests in front of EU
Tamils stage protests in front of EU

Tamils stage protests in front of EU

Tamils stage protests in front of EU
Tamils stage protests in front of EU
Tamils stage protests in front of EU
Tamils stage protests in front of EU
Tamils stage protests in front of EU



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