Key Points:

Traffic in the CBD was brought to a standstill yesterday when a group protesting against violence in Sri Lanka sat down.

Sri Lanka's president this week said the military had nearly crushed the Tamil Tiger rebel movement, which has been fighting for a separate homeland for the country's minority Tamils since 1983.

About 70,000 people have been killed in the civil war between the rebels and the government, which is dominated by the Sinhalese majority.

In Auckland yesterday, the group of about 200 people, mainly from the Tamil community, sat at the corner of Custom St for about five minutes before marching back to Aotea Square.

Their decision sparked a police traffic alert and also annoyed drivers wanting to rush home in the evening peak hour.

Organiser Nirupa George said the sit-down was just to mark the "halfway point" of the march, and apologised if it had inconvenienced anyone.