Bern protestors demand Sri Lanka ceasefire

GENEVA, February 21, 2009 (AFP) – Nearly 1,000 demonstrators in the Swiss capital of Bern called Saturday for a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict in Sri Lanka and for Switzerland to do more to secure it, the ATS agency reported. The rally in front of Bern’s federal palace came one day after at least 14,000 Tamils from Switzerland and other parts of Europe demonstrated in front of the United Nations’ European headquarters in Geneva.

Protestors there also called for an end to the Sri Lankan offensive on Tamil Tiger separatists.

Fighting between the two sides has sparked international concern for the safety of tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone, with the military closing in on the rebels.

Tens of thousands of people have died since the Tigers launched a campaign in 1972 to carve out a Tamil homeland.