ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tamil Self-Determination in Sri Lanka-Challenges and Prorspects

Challenges and Prorspects A SINHALESE prime minister speaks of rebuilding Sri Lanka as "a country where people can live without fear, a vibrant living democracy of new systems and new institutions'' On her new approach to the Tamil question, an aide reveals that Chandrika Kumaratunga was "deeply influenced by her student days at the Sorbonne in the 1960s, where she studied the history of France's colonial war in Algeria and learned the futility of confronting a popular liberation struggle with force". In an unusually effusive response, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) international secretariat in London declares that the Tigers would be "very, very willing and pleased to talk to Chandrika and have a negotiated settlement". Days later, the movement's ideologue, Anton Balasingham, confirms this position from Jaffna; significantly, his remarks are given wide publicity in the (LTTE-controlled) Jaffna press. Travellers to the south from LTTE- held territory report seeing Tiger posters announcing readiness for a ceasefire. Finally, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in a rare public statement, reiterates willingness to engage in unconditional dialogue.

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