April 12, 2009 / 5:21 PM / 10 years ago

Protesters break into Sri Lankan embassy in Oslo

Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, Sri Lanka's ambassador in Norway, looks at damage in the Sri Lanka embassy in Oslo April 12, 2009. REUTERS/Stian Lysberg Solum/Scanpix

OSLO (Reuters) - Pro-Tamil Tiger demonstrators broke into the Sri Lankan embassy during a protest in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Sunday, smashing windows and furniture, said police, but no one was hurt.

The protest, the first of several by Tamil Tiger supporters around the world in recent weeks to turn violent, followed a march by around 100,000 people in London on Saturday to demand a ceasefire between Sri Lankan forces and the rebels.

“They damaged windows and broke some things inside and then disappeared — we have not caught anyone,” police officer Tor Groettum told Reuters.

Tamils began demonstrating in Oslo last week to pressure Norway, one of four nations heading Sri Lanka’s peace process, to use its influence to stop the violence in the country.

“We condemn this attack in no uncertain terms,” Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona told Reuters, adding Colombo expected Norwegian authorities to find and prosecute the culprits.

Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday ordered the military not to attack the Tamil Tigers during a two-day holiday to let thousands of civilians escape a no-fire zone where they are being held by the separatists.

Soldiers have encircled remnants of the Tamil Tigers in a 17 square km (6 sq mile) no-fire zone on Sri Lanka’s northeast coast, and are close to crushing them and ending Asia’s longest-running civil war.

(For a related story please double-click on [ID:nCOL468934])

Reporting by John Acher in Oslo and Bryson Hull in Colombo; Editing by Sophie Hares

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