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Sri Lanka's Tiger Rebels Set to Respond on Talks

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers, in a significant step to end two decades of ethnic fighting, will meet in Paris this week to map out a strategy for the next stage of talks with the government. The Tigers, accused of undermining the island’s 18-month-old peace drive, will discuss a response to a government proposal on a power-sharing body for the Tamil-dominated north and east of the country but some experts fear it could be hardline. “They could pitch their demands very high,” Rohan Edrisinha, a constitutional expert at the University of Colombo, said on Tuesday. “There are worries that they will come up with an interim administration proposal very much beyond the existing constitutional framework,” Edrisinha told Reuters. The August 23-27 meeting is in Europe so officials from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), based in the jungle in northern Sri Lanka, can meet legal advisers in the Tamil diaspora. The government says that once it gets a response, it expects to restart peace talks with the rebels in late September to end the fighting that has claimed 64,000 lives. Full Story

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