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Sri Lanka: Military Captures Tamil Tigers’ Capital

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Sri Lanka: Military Captures Tamil Tigers’ Capital

Sri Lankans cheer the armed forces as they react to the downfall of Tamil Tiger rebels’ de facto capital Killinochchi (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)

After 25 years of civil war, the fighting between the separatist Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government has taken a new turn.

Sri Lankan forces seized the rebels' de facto capital of Kilinochchi on Friday.  The city housed a parallel government that included political, police, and judicial offices run by the rebels. 

The Sri Lankan army lost Kilinochchi in a clash with the Tigers 10 years ago.  That loss allowed the rebels to successfully press ahead with their offensive up the Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka . The Sri Lankan government now hopes to recover more lost territory. 

Jonathan Spencer is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland .  And he's the author of Anthropology, Politics and the State: Democracy and Violence in South Asia .

Today, Major General Jagath Dias, who led the capture of Kilinochchi said: "Day by day, the Tigers' territory is shrinking and their numbers are dwindling.  The objective of finishing this war won't be that long off."

Jerome asked him whether the Sri Lankan military really is close to defeating the Tigers.

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