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Sri Lanka proposing constitutional reform to appease rebels

[JURIST] The government of Sri Lanka [JURIST news archive] said Monday that it will propose constitutional reform in a series of meetings beginning Tuesday in a bid to end a two decade old civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels [faction website; MIPT backgrounder], who want a separate ethnic homeland in the north and east of the country. The Tamil Tigers have indicated that they may settle for regional autonomy instead of a separate state, but insist that the Sri Lankan government at least consider full independence before ruling the option out. This week's meetings will include representatives from the southern majority Sinhalese [Wikipedia backgrounder], Muslim and anti-Tiger Tamil parties, and a 15-person panel of experts with four Tamils on it.

Though both the Tamil Tigers and the government have said they want peace, diplomats say that neither side has as yet laid the necessary groundwork. Reuters has more. From Sri Lanka, the Colombo Page has local coverage.

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