Thousands of people have been protesting in London demanding a ceasefire in the the Sri Lankan army’s crackdown on Tamil Tiger separatists.
In the latest unrest at the weekend, tens of thousands of civilians were forced to flee after troops broke through a fortification into the Tigers’ last stronghold. International pressure is growing on the government to halt fire long enough to let the civilians trapped by the conflict out – their numbers are estimated at between 60,000 and 100,000. Sri Lanka’s separatist war, Asia’s longest-running conflict, is nearing its end with the Tamil Tigers making a last stand on a tiny strip of coastline. The government has urged them to either surrender or face a final showdown. Life for the civilians caught in the conflict has become a nightmare, with both sides accusing the other of ignoring their plight. Of those who were able to flee, thousands are now living in camps outside the conflict zone.