Just a handful of Tamil protesters were gathered on the lawn outside the Ontario legislature early Monday following a dramatic highway blockade hours earlier a few kilometres to the south.
Hundreds of people marched onto the Gardiner Expressway along the Toronto lakeshore late Sunday in a desperate attempt to draw attention to the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka.
The highway protest lasted about six hours and ended just after midnight after the federal Liberals promised to raise the Tamil concerns in Parliament.
Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis, whose east-end Toronto riding is home to a large Tamil community, said early Monday that staging a protest on a highway was not a wise move.
“I understand the frustration and I understand their concern, but taking over a highway is not the way to go,” he told CTV News.
Rage over the war boiled over after reports said an artillery barrage in had killed more than 370 people and forced thousands to flee to makeshift shelters along the beach.
But Karygiannis added that as a result of the highway protest, “a lot of people (have ) turned against the Tamils — I got a lot of phone calls last night.”
Karygiannis said the prime minister should “get on the blowhorn” and speak to members of the UN Security Council because “we need solutions, we need action, we need it today — people are dying on those beaches.”
Three people were arrested during the highway protest and the charges against them include assault on a peace officer.
The expressway was fully opened for the morning rush hour and the protest outside the legislature was being monitored by just a handful of police officers.