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US Tamils want Obama to step in

More than 3,000 Tamils living in the United States and Canada gathered in Washington to press President Barack Obama’s administration to intervene in the Lankan conflict to protect civilians, reports V. Krishna.

world Updated: Feb 22, 2009 01:53 IST
V. Krishna

More than 3,000 Tamils living in the United States and Canada gathered here on Friday to press President Barack Obama’s administration to intervene in the Lankan conflict to protect civilians.

The rally was organised by Tamils Against Genocide.

“We want to urge the president to help send medicine, food and other aid to the suffering people,” said Jehan Canagarajah, a Maryland resident and a volunteer at the rally outside the White House. “We also want neutral monitors. Long-term, we want the United States to bring the warring parties to the table and help resolve the issue.”

The United States is a co-chair of the Sri Lanka peace process.

A hundred feet away, separated by mounted police and a fence, a couple of hundred Sinhalese staged a counter-protest. “They are the ones using human shields,” said Suranga Perera of New York.

The Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been accused of human rights violations.