Tamil Tiger chief sentenced in absentia to 200 years
The leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels was sentenced by a Sri Lankan court to 200 years in prison yesterday, while his negotiators held peace talks with government representatives on how to end the island's 19-year ethnic conflict.
Vellupillai Prabhakaran, in hiding in rebel-controlled territory, was convicted in absentia of conspiracy in a 1996 truck bombing that killed 91 people and injured 300.
G L Peiris, the government's chief negotiator, said the sentencing was unlikely to have an effect on the Norway-brokered talks that went into their second round at a resort in Thailand. Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator for the rebels, would not comment.
The first round of talks in September, also in Thailand, achieved a breakthrough with Mr Balasingham's announcement that the Tigers would settle for autonomy and self-governance, and were willing to drop their demand for an independent homeland. The government, which wants the country united, is willing to consider granting more local self-government, but would have to ask for a national referendum to change the constitution.
Sri Lankan police are unlikely to be able to arrest Prabhakaran, who travels frequently between well-fortified camps in the northern jungles and is guarded by a unit called the Black Tigers. Until a ceasefire ended fighting in February, Sri Lankan security forces had made several attempts to capture or kill Prabhakaran.
The second round of talksis intended to set up a task force for the reconstruction of areas ravaged by the war and forge a joint appeal for foreign aid before a conference of donors on 25 November.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...