For the second day, pro-Tamil protestors blocked traffic in front of Parliament Hill Wednesday, and bigger demonstrations are planned for the weekend.
More than 600 people waving Canadian and Tamil flags held an afternoon sit-in on Wellington Street, and called on the Canadian government to force a ceasefire in a decades-long civil war in Sri Lanka.
Similar demonstrations were held around the world, urging the international community to do something.
“We are sorry to be blocking the streets in Ottawa, but we don’t have a choice,” said Siva Kangsundarm, a Tamil living in Toronto. “Our people, our family is dying every day and nobody is listening.”
Wellington Street was closed for most of the evening between Elgin and O’Connor streets.
Ottawa police Const. J.P. Vincelette said police are doing everything they can to facilitate a peaceful demonstration.
The demonstrations were sparked by intensification in the fighting in what government forces say is a final push to end the conflict.
Suvathika Arunthavaselvan, a student from Oshawa attending the demonstration, said the demonstrators were willing to continue their protests until they get an answer from the federal government.
“We’re here because we want the Canadian government to stand up and demand an immediate ceasefire right now, and a permanent one,” she said.
The Canadian government has listed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a terrorist organization.
While she said most Tamils don’t agree with the designation, Arunthavaselvan said the people are only asking that the international community enforce a ceasefire.
“We don’t want anyone to die anymore. We want a permanent ceasefire now,” she said.
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