TORONTO - A day after thousands of Tamil-Canadians staged a boisterous march in Toronto to protest the conflict in northern Sri Lanka, Premier Dalton McGuinty is raising the issue in the Ontario legislature.

McGuinty says thousands of civilians are dying in the South Asian country, and Ottawa must do what it can to stop the bloodshed.

He's urging the federal government and the United Nations to pressure all sides to bring an end to the conflict.

McGuinty is also calling for journalists, aid workers and international observers to be allowed to enter northern Sri Lanka.

The premier, whose daughter spent time as an aid worker in the country, says Ontario has a responsibility to speak out whenever human rights are violated.

Interim Progressive Conservative Leader Bob Runciman also supports ending the conflict, but warned that protesters will lose public goodwill if they break the law, as they did by blocking a Toronto highway last weekend.

A Tamil protester who had been on a hunger strike for 12 days agreed to end his fast Thursday afternoon after being reassured by federal NDP Leader Jack Layton that the party would urge the federal government to push for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.