World News

Sri Lanka's Tamils Vote for Greater Autonomy

TEXT SIZE - +
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.

Feature Story

FILE - President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland en route to Southeast Asia, November 17, 2012.

Video Obama to Reassure Asian Allies

China is not on the itinerary, but with its efforts to control parts of the East and South China Sea, Beijing is on the minds of Obama and the allies he is visiting More