Hundreds of British Tamils, carrying candles and banners, held a “midnight vigil” outside Downing Street on Friday to demand an independent inquiry by the United Nations into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

The vigil marked the start of a “walk for justice” which would culminate into a rally at the UN Office in Geneva on August 6.

A spokesman for the British Tamil Forum said the walk was aimed at highlighting the “plight” of the displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka. It called for independent monitors to be allowed access to those detained by security forces after last year’s military operation.

“The walk for justice coincides with the recent appointment of a UN advisory panel by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Sri Lanka must be reminded it is a democratic country which has subscribed to UN covenants and Geneva Conventions and is obliged to comply with the obligations to which it has signed up to,” said the Forum in a statement.

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