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R. Sampanthan, face of the Tamil minority’s campaign for autonomy after Sri Lanka’s civil war, dies


Associated Press

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Rajavarothiyam Sampanthan, an ethnic Tamil leader and lawmaker who became the face of the minority group’s campaign for autonomy in Sri Lanka after the end of a brutal quarter-century civil war, has died. He was 91. A lawyer by profession, Sampanthan entered Parliament for the first time in 1977. He grew in prominence after 2001, when he was elected under an alliance brought together by the Tamil Tiger rebel group to be its democratic voice after agreeing to a Norway-brokered peace process. After peace talks broke down and the rebels were crushed by government forces in 2009, Sampanthan became a leader in the Tamil community and was at the forefront in demanding justice and increased autonomy.

Article Topic Follows: AP National News

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Associated Press


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