By Associated Press/ Washington Post –
The rebels fought a quarter-century civil war to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, citing marginalization by majority ethnic Sinhalese.
Lawmaker Suresh Premachandran of the Tamil National Alliance, the largest party representing Tamils, dismissed the plan as one prepared for “international consumption.”
He said the five-year timeframe is an attempt to drag on the process until the international community has forgotten the issue.
Presidential spokesman Lalith Weeratunga told reporters the plan shows the government’s keenness to move forward.
A U.N. report released last year said government troops deliberately shelled civilians and hospitals and blocked food to people trapped in the war zone and said the rebels recruited child soldiers and held civilians as human shields. It said tens of thousands of civilians may have been killed in the final months of the conflict.
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