Tamils, supporters hold protest downtown
Published Friday, May 15, 2009 9:07AM EDT
A few dozen Tamils and their supporters held a rally downtown on Friday morning to protest civilian casualties in Sri Lanka and to push for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid.
The peaceful protest unfolded without incident at the corner of Rene-Levesque and University.
Tamils have previously held several protests at the U.S. consulate on St-Alexandre to push world governments to stop the Sri Lankan offensive in Tamil territory.
Sri Lankan forces are trying to take over the country's coastline to wipe out the remnants of the Tamil Tigers, who have been fighting for a homeland for 25 years.
The United Nations says 7,000 civilians have been killed and 16,700 wounded since January.
About 200,000 civilians are being held in overcrowded camps.
Protesters have snarled traffic for weeks in Toronto, home to Canada's largest Tamil community.
Last week thousands of protesters shut down the Gardiner Expressway, a major thoroughfare that connects downtown Toronto to eastern and western suburbs.