Saturday, April 25, 2009

Los Angeles Rally Calls for Release of Civilians Held Hostage by LTTE

Unease over US Policy
(Sri Lanka Express)
Los Angeles, CA - ‘Honk! Sri Lanka is winning the War on Terror,’ said the placard, and commuters driving past the Federal Building on Wilshire in Westwood on Friday afternoon (April 24) honked and gave the thumbs up to Sri Lankans who were holding a rally to call for the release of civilian hostages being held by the LTTE and to protest the US’ approach to the Sri Lankan situation.
Organized by Sri Lankan Patriots (SLP), the four-hour long rally drew many young expatriates in addition to the activists usually seen at these events. Buddhist monks from several Sri Lankan temples also participated.
‘No, no, no more ceasefire,’ and ‘Never again LTTE, We are for Sri Lanka,’ were chanted in unison while people in cars stopped at the lights stuck their heads out to hear the words and read the messages on the plethora of placards displayed by the protesters.
SLP secretary Gamini Edirisinghe said many in the community were eagerly looking forward to the final defeat of the LTTE and the return to peace in Sri Lanka. At the same time, there is concern and unease he said about remarks made by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other high officials about Sri Lanka’s monumental struggle to eliminate terrorism. “Instead of trying to end this terrorist menace, it looks like they are trying to keep the LTTE alive by calling for a ceasefire and criticizing the Sri Lankan government for the ‘humanitarian crisis’ which was caused by the Tigers,” he said, explaining posters such as “”Why is US hindering Sri Lanka’s war on terror’ that were being carried by the protesters.

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