Friday, August 04, 2006

"It's cruel to kill innocent civilians.We urge the warring parties to stop fighting immediately. What we want is peace, and peace alone,nothing else.Stay put and pray for peace" says Feriyal Saheed, President of women's' wing of the Centre for Islamic Studies.

“The concerned citizens of Sri Lanka” staged a silent protest at Lipton Circus in Colombo on Friday, Aug 4th. This was organized to protest against the killings of innocent civilians, and the violence used towards civilians in . This was non-partisan protest.

The demonstrators highlighted both the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam should immediately stop attacks and fights in Muthur. Also, that Muslim civilians should not be the target of these attacks. It was also highlighted the fact that many Muslims in Muthur have no options left. Either they stay and face adverse consequences, or they leave everything and flee.

35,000 people have been displaced from Muthur since the violence escalated according to the recent reports

Most of the Muthur town's inhabitants are Muslims caught in the crossfire

"Peace is important for every country.I am a Canadian,currently living in Sri Lanka.It's sad to see what is happening in the East of the country" says Jeniffer Poirier,Researcher of International Centre for Ethnic Studies

The demonstrators reiterated that, the voices of the innocent civilians should be heard

Students of the Sri Lanka College of Journalism covering the protest


"Journalism is more passion than profession."

"Experience teaches us in a millennium, what passion teaches us in an hour" - Olive Schreinner, (1855-1920), South African Author,

"The basic needs of people such as water,passage and food should be met.Humanitarian support must be extended to the needy.People have started to displace towards Verugal river bank,when the air strikes and naval attacks happened in the LTTE control areas three months ago.We are protesting here to bring the matter to the limelight" says Professor Chitraleka Maunaguru of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka

A passer by asks the protesters as to why they are protesting

"Right to life must be ensured. Civilians should be protected.Both parties which are involved in fighting should go back to table and start talking" says Kumuthini Samuel of the Women and Media Collective

Respect the Geneva conventions,say the protesters

At least 20 civilians have been killed,more than 50 injured in the recent violence in Muthur

Many residents of Muthur have left their homes and sought shelter in schools,churches and mosques

The concerned citizens of Sri Lanka are planning to continue the silent protest until the killings of the civilians are stopped

The concerned citizens of Sri Lanka urge the warring parties to negotiate

"I came here to cover the protest.But I saw more cameramen than the protesters,and decided to be on the protesters side.We need to urge both parties for peace.People give thumps up from the cars.It's encouraging to see people want peace" says a photojournalist Timothy Seneviratne