JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (AP) — A former political proxy for Sri Lanka's defeated Tamil Tiger rebels has swept the country's northern provincial election in what is seen as a resounding call for wider regional autonomy in areas ravaged by a quarter century of civil war.
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 win provides a platform for the party to campaign for an autonomous federal state, although the provincial council is a largely toothless body.
The Tamils have fought unsuccessfully for six decades — through a peaceful struggle and then the bloody civil war — for self-rule.
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