TORONTO, May 13 (UPI) -- Police closed part of a major Toronto street Wednesday as thousands of pro-Tamil supporters rallied against a civil war in Sri Lanka.
Organizers of the protest in downtown Toronto's Queen's Park, in front of the Ontario Legislative Building, said they did not plan to close roadways, as they did Sunday night when marchers shut down Toronto's Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway for six hours. Police said they were prepared if crowds spilled onto the streets.
Police closed the southbound lanes of University Avenue, a major north-south road that runs around the park, the Toronto Star reported.
Some protesters formed a human chain around the park's perimeter, the Star said. Others talked about forming a chain around downtown Toronto's core, CTV reported.
Barricades were erected in front of the nearby U.S. Consulate and police had a strong presence, but no Tamil activists protested there by late afternoon, the Star said.
The marchers called for immediate action from the Canadian government and international sanctions against Sri Lanka until it enters into a cease-fire with Tamil rebels in the country's north. The Sri Lankan army has the rebel forces bottled up in a small section in the country's northern region.
Demonstrators wanted to know why Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty hadn't pressed Prime Minister Stephen Harper to pressure the Sri Lankan government for a cease-fire and why Ottawa hadn't withdrawn its ambassador to Sri Lanka, Coalition to Stop the War in Sri Lanka spokesperson Senthan Nada told the Star.