‘WE WERE ATTACKED BY SEVERAL HUNDRED POLICE’ say Tamil protesters

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A section of the Tamil demonstration in Parliament Square yesterday afternoon
A section of the Tamil demonstration in Parliament Square yesterday afternoon

ONE THOUSAND Tamil protesters congregated in Westminster Square yesterday afternoon, in defiance of Monday night’s violent Metropolitan Police attack on them in which at least 11 demonstrators were injured and ten arrested.

Karuna told News Line: ‘I was here when the police attacked us on Monday night. There were several hundred of them in riot gear with helmets, batons and shields. They arrested people, and hit some people. We know that they will do it again.’

Four Tamil men and two women in Westminster Square have now been on hunger strike and only drinking water for eight days.

Three of them spoke to News Line yesterday. Nimalan Seevaratnam, aged 41, said: ‘We were really upset by what happened last night, our people are already emotionally hurt from the news we hear from Tamil Eelam on a daily basis, we expected more leniency by the British police towards us under such circumstances.’

Hunger striker Anton Vasantharasa, aged 28, said: ‘Yesterday the police beat, pushed and threatened people, they nearly pushed the tent over.’

He added: ‘We are confident our leader Prabakaran is alive. He won’t die before we get our freedom, the Sinhalese government is lying.

‘He has given the UN and the Commonwealth, the US and Britain 72-hours to do something for us in a political way, if they fail to then we will take our own decisions to serve the interests of our people. The deadline runs out on Thursday.

‘We are so proud of Tamil people all over the world, protesting for more than 45 days, the same as us, to save the lives and rights of our people back home. We know we will win Tamil Eelam.’

The youngest of the hunger strikers, 23-year-old Kitichanthan Balachanthiran, said: ‘Our leader is definitely alive and we are winning, Rajapakse has lost, his army is a terrorist army and they will be brought to justice.

‘British workers and students should join with the Tamil people and help us.’

Yoga Selvarajah said: ‘We believe Prabakaran is alive and we know we are going to win. The trade unions and workers in Britain must come out to support our people. We also demand action against the Rajapakse government for its war crimes. Britain must take action to save our people.’

Throughout the thronged Westminster Square, demonstrators kept up constant chants of: ‘We Live as – Tamil Tigers!, We die as – Tamil Tigers!’; Sri Lankan Army – Get out of Tamil Eelam!; Our Leader – Prabakaran!; We are – Tamil Tigers!, We fight for – Our Freedom!; Sri Lankan Army – Terrorist!; Our President – Prabakaran!’