Sri Lanka to protest against pro-Tiger rallies abroad

March 19, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lanka will lodge strong protests with countries where there have been demonstrations in favour of the island’s separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, a minister said Thursday. Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said pro-rebel sympathisers have been staging demonstrations in Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United States, using Tiger propaganda.

There had been several self-immolations at pro-Tiger demonstrations in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, but Colombo will not take up issue with New Delhi because the demonstrators did not display Tamil Tiger flags, the minister said.

Sri Lanka’s Tamils share close cultural and religious links with the 55 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu, which is also home to thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

However, in other countries, the demonstrators had draped themselves in Tiger flags, the minister said.

Several Tamils have also attempted self-immolation in Geneva and London.

“The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is a banned organisation in some of these countries. We are surprised these countries allow LTTE sympathisers to use the LTTE flags s