11 Apr 2009

Vigil held for Tamils in Sri Lanka

9:27 pm on 11 April 2009

A crowd gathered in downtown Wellington on Saturday to hold a vigil against what is called a 'war against civilians' in Sri Lanka.

The Wellington Tamil society says too many civilians are being killed in the Vanni region of Sri Lanka, where they are trapped by fighting between the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The group says New Zealanders should pressure the Government to take action to protect civilians in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, in a statement on Friday: Britain, Japan, Norway and the the United States urged the Tamil Tigers to free 100,000 civilians and the military to stop shelling the zone where the rebels are making their last stand.

The government has vowed no ceasefire but pledged to stop fighting briefly to let people out as it has done in the past. At least 64,000 people have fled since January.

A New York-based group, Human Rights Watch, says the zone is now one of the most dangerous places in the world.