The End of the Tamil Tigers

| Sun May 17, 2009 9:26 PM EDT

Even after following the increasingly precarious position of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers for the past few months, it's hard to believe that their civil war is finally over.  But apparently it is:

Cornered into a tiny patch of jungle about the size of a football field, the Tamil Tiger rebels — who once operated a shadow state complete with a law school, tax system, navy and even traffic police — vowed Sunday to lay down their weapons for good, in a stunning and unprecedented admission of defeat in Asia's longest-running war.

....In Washington, Sri Lankan ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya credited President Obama's recent public statements with helping to end the crisis. In an e-mailed statement, he said the Tigers "effectively folded shortly after President Barack Obama told the world that the terrorists were holding innocent Tamil civilians as hostages. He was one of the few world leaders to note that fact so forcefully."

And now the hardest part: can the Sinhalese majority bring itself to treat the defeated Tamil minority charitably after a quarter century of brutal war and nearly 100,000 deaths?  Stay tuned.

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