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Tamil Hunger Strikers in London Refuse Food & Water [also in PDF]
9 April 2009
The protest by UK Tamils at Parliament Square calling for an immediate internationally monitored ceasefire is in its fourth day. During the first 24 hours the protesters occupied and blocked the Westminster Bridge.
Beginning at 10 PM (22.00 h) British Summer Time (BST) on Day One of the Protest, Monday 6 April 2009, two Tamil youth, Sivatharsan Sivakumaravel, 21 (on right in photo) and Parameswarn Subramaniyan, 28 (on left) ate their last meal and embarked on a �Hunger Strike �til our Last Breath�. The two protesters have refused to consume any food or water until there is a ceasefire in Sri Lanka and humanitarian aid is allowed to the civilians in the so-called �safe zone�.
It has now been 72 hours (as of 22.00 BST) since the protest fast began. Earlier in the day British Police threatened to forcibly remove the �hunger strikers� from Parliament Square and transport them to hospital for treatment. However the two Tamil youth signed legal documents �refusing any treatment� and so even if forcibly removed medical personnel would not be able to legally treat them.
Medical authorities have stated that after 72 hours with out food or water (or any fluid) the body begins to shut down and death is a very real possibility. Latest medical reports state that the two youths kidneys are shutting down.
In an interview with the Times (UK) Parameswaran Subramaniyan stated that, "Two days ago the Sri Lankan government was bombing with poison gas, chemical gas. In that bomb, nearly my whole family - five members of my family - is dead.� In an interview with the Evening Standard (UK) he stated, �My mother, brother and sisters were killed two days ago in Vanni by the Sri Lankans, using poison gas. They say they are attacking the LTTE [the Tamil Tigers] but there have been pictures of these dead babies in the papers.�
In the same article Sivatharsan Sivakumaravel revealed that his grandmother and cousins are in the area under attack by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and he has not been able to contact them. He stated that: "I don't know what�s happened to them. Suddenly the Sri Lankan government is killing all Tamil people in what they call the 'safe zone'. They started using banned bombs and chemical weapons.�
"There is a genocide happening there, Britain knows it well. This is not against terrorism; it is a war against Tamil people. They are killing all Tamil people."
The �hunger strikers� distributed the following document articulating their demands: