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Tamilians Stage Protest In London Over Lankan Rights Abuses

Hundreds of Tamil protestors have staged a peaceful demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London overnight against alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka and demanding government intervention to end the war in the Island nation, police have said.

The protests came as the Sri Lankan troops captured the last Tamil Tiger bastion of Pudukudiriyirippu in the island's embattled north killing more than 420 cadres, including half-a-dozen senior leaders.

Carrying placards reading "Stop Sri Lanka's Genocide of Tamils" and "Rwandan Genocide Repeats in Sri Lanka", the protesters waved flags of the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organization, which face total annihilation in the coming days.

Westminster Bridge and the road leading to it alongside parliament's Clock Tower, popularly known as Big Ben were occupied by the protestors and rescue boats were called out amid fears protestors would jump en-masse into the River Thames if they could not speak to Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Police estimated the turnout at about 3,000 at its peak, and about 900 persons continued protesting into the early hours of Tuesday but no arrests were made.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse Sunday said the military was close to wiping out the Tamil Tigers after decades of bitter fighting for an independent homeland in the north. Colombo has rejected international calls for a truce, which the government has argued, would only let the rebels regroup.

The United Nations say as many as 150,000 civilians are trapped in Sri Lanka's northern war zone, although Colombo insists the figure is less than half that.

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