6 Sep 2009

Protest over Sri Lankan Tamils' living conditions

3:02 pm on 6 September 2009

About 100 Tamil protesters squeezed into a makeshift prison camp erected by Auckland's Aotea Square on Sunday to highlight what they say are the appalling conditions in which Sri Lankan Tamils have been forced to live.

Protest organisers say after the civil war ended in May, more than 280,000 Tamil civilians have been stuck in prison camps in northern Sri Lanka without water, food and aid.

The message being shouted at the protest was to open the prison camps and free the Tamils.

Protest organiser, Shivani Vijayapalan, says war crimes are going on within the camps and the New Zealand government is not taking the issue seriously enough.

One protester, Prabani Wood, says the Sri Lankan government has locked up innocent civilians and is not allowing aid into the prison camps.

She says this contravenes all basic human rights, and there is now a humanitarian crisis.