Some 100,000 demand Sri Lanka ceasefire in UK march

A Tamil demonstrator carries a doll during a march calling for London's help in securing a ceasefire between Sri Lankan forces and Tamil Tiger separatists, London April 11, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Parsons

LONDON (Reuters) - Around 100,000 people marched through the British capital on Saturday to demand a ceasefire between Sri Lankan forces and Tamil Tiger separatists.

The march through central London was the biggest yet in a week of demonstrations by Tamils and their supporters in London and other cities.

Sri Lanka’s military has said that troops have confined Tamil Tiger rebels to a small area of the Indian Ocean island’s northeast coast in what could be the last act of the 25-year civil war.

The United Nations has said the rebels have kept more than 100,000 civilians as human shields.

Police said 100,000 people took part in the London demonstration, organised by a British Tamil group.

Three people were arrested for public order offences, a police spokeswoman said.

The protesters marched behind red Tamil flags and carried placards bearing slogans such as “Stop Sri Lanka’s genocide of Tamils”. One marcher carried a bloodied baby doll in a cardboard box.

Tamil supporters have staged demonstrations in London since last Monday when 3,000 people occupied a central London bridge next to parliament’s clock tower, known as Big Ben.

Two demonstrators, who have been on hunger strike since Tuesday, agreed to take liquids on Friday after a doctor warned they ran the risk of renal failure.