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Carry on in Colombo: Tamils have high expectations from the Prime Minister

Lone suicide bomber kills Tamil chief

PROSPECTS FOR a settlement of the 16-year war between the Sri Lankan government and the island's Tamil insurgents suffered a new blow yesterday with the murder in Colombo of Neelan Thiruchelvam, the moderate Tamil leader and rights activist.

Pilgrims with a mortgage

The last time that Martin Symington and his wife travelled in India, they did it on a shoestring. Nearly 20 years later, they decided to do Tamil Nadu in an Ambassador

Leading Article: A new chance for Indian democracy

INDIA'S CONGRESS party is facing a prodigious task if it is to win enough parliamentary backing to form the country's next government. Having led the country to independence and ruled it for most of the past 50 years, Congress is the most likely successor to the 13-month-old coalition government led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The coalition lost a confidence motion earlier this week by one vote.

India's coalition felled by first lady of misrule

THE 13-MONTH-OLD Indian government led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell by a single vote yesterday, and all because of an almost spherical lady politician named Jayalalitha.

`Untouchables' still India's outcasts

DESPITE A substantially reformed economy and a swelling middle class, India's permanent victims, the so-called Untouchables, remain as despised and ill-treated as ever.

Obituary: Professor Louis Dumont

IT FALLS to few academics to dominate their entire disciplinary field, yet the seminal influence of Louis Dumont, the French ethnographer and historian of ideas, on the anthropology of India by no means exhausts his contribution.

Popham the Improver

Peter Popham's 18th-century ancestor had a dream: to transform the squalid 'Black Town' of old Madras into a model Georgian suburb. Today he is virtually forgotten, but some traces of his grand works remain

Creme caramel amidst the rickshaws

There is a corner of India which will be forever France. Jeremy Atiyah joined the hippies and sadhus in Pondicherry

India's future may hang on whim of a screen goddess

India's national politics is not dead. If you take the gravely magnificent Sikh who heads the Election Commission, Dr MS Gill, at his word, it has never been in better shape. But regional politics, like a horde of maggots, is eating it alive.

Spare time: Follow your nose to India

The taste of ... cardamom, that sweet and suddenly fashionable spice.

Deaths cast shadow over Indian election

STILL IN shock after bombing atrocities in the south left more than 50 people dead over the weekend, Indians began voting in their 12th general election today.

Car bombs kill 26 as polling day nears

AT least 26 people died and 32 were wounded yesterday by a series of powerful car bombs in southern India as the first phase of election campaigning ended.

Sonia Gandhi keeps India guessing

With an election looming, all eyes are on the Italian-born wife of a former prime minister, writes Peter Popham

Blair spins royal tour into success

The accident-prone royal tour of India took a further turn for the worse yesterday after Tony Blair urged colleagues to tell the "success stories of the visit". Anthony Bevins, Political Editor, reports on a storm in an Indian tea-cup.

Anniversaries of evil in a war without end

Sri Lankan military bogged down in bid to end 14 years of ethnic slaughter
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all