Tamil protest jams Canadian capital

OTTAWA, April 21, 2009 (AFP) – Up to 30,000 Tamil protestors stepped up pressure on the Canadian government on Tuesday, clogging the capital for a 15th day in a row to demand it try to broker a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. Screaming “no more genocide,” beating drums heard throughout downtown, waving fists in the air and placards begging for the prime minister’s ear, they packed onto the parliamentary lawn with umbrellas drawn in a drizzle.

A much smaller group had gathered in front of parliament daily since April 7 to protest Colombo’s offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in their homeland.

But the Canadian government, which listed the LTTE as a banned terrorist organization in April 2006, has refused to meet with the protestors to hear their proposals.

“Democracy has failed us,” protestor Senthan Nada told AFP, pointing out a teenage boy in the crowd on his knees, crying.

“If there’s a forest fire in Australia, the government responds. If there’s people killed in Gaza or Israel, or an earthquake somewhere in the world, the government responds. But they just ignore our plight,” he lamented.

“We feel very discouraged,” he said.

Canada gave asylum to more than