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Sri Lanka's Tamils Vote for Greater Autonomy

Ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged north have resoundingly voted for greater regional autonomy.

The country's elections commission announced Sunday that the Tamil National Alliance will form the first functioning provincial government in the northern Tamil heartland after securing 30 seats out of 38 in Saturday's election. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's coalition won eight seats.

The polling comes four years after the military crushed a 26-year separatist Tamil conflict. The fighting resulted in more than 100,000 deaths.

The international community has been pressuring Sri Lanka's government to reconcile with the former rebels. Saturday's voting is seen as a crucial test of reconciliation between the Tamils and the majority ethnic Sinhalese, who control Sri Lanka's government and military.

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