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12 November 2009 

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As many as 100,000 people may have been killed in a civil war that raged for a quarter-century in Sri Lanka. The Tamil Tiger rebels, known as the LTTE, were defeated fighting for an independent homeland for ethnic Tamils. The rebel group said Tamils have been discriminated and marginalized by the government, which is dominated by a Sinhalese majority. The conflict escalated in January, when the Sri Lankan government pulled out of a cease-fire with the Tamil Tigers. The LTTE, considered a terrorist organization by Sri Lanka, the U.S. and many other countries,  waged a campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations as part of its violent quest for a Tamil homeland.

President Rajapaksa shakes hands with Army Chief, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka (May 2009 file photo)
Sri Lanka Military Chief Resigns  Audio Clip Available
Army General Sarath Fonseka is poised to challenge president in upcoming election
Sri Lanka Minister of Public Administration & Home Affairs, Sarath Amunugama, at World Economic Forum's India summit, 09 Nov 2009
Sri Lanka to Boost Investment in Tamil Provinces Devastated by Civil War  Audio Clip Available
Group of island's top business leaders is visiting New Delhi to entice more of their Indian counterparts to invest in Sri Lanka
General Sarath Fonseka
Sri Lanka Objects to US Plan to Interview Army Chief  Audio Clip Available
Government expects General Sarath Fonseka to be questioned about alleged war crimes committed during civil war
Photo shows Sri Lankan asylum seekers who were caught in Indonesian waters while trying to sail to Australia, 26 Oct 2009
Asylum Seekers Adrift on Australian Boat  Audio Clip Available
Governor of Indonesia's Riau Islands has refused to allow a boatload of Sri Lankan refugees to land in the province
Former Judge Richard Goldstone, left, Head of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights South African Nava Pillay in Geneva, Switzerland (File)
UN Calls for War Crimes Investigation in Sri Lanka  Audio Clip Available
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay calls again for an investigation
Sri Lanka to Release Thousands of Tamil Refugees  Audio Clip Available
Nearly 40,000 ethnic Tamils confined in military-run refugee camps
The first aerial view of the coastal strip, a former war zone where the Tamil rebels made their last stand, videotaped by VOA
US Calls on Sri Lanka to Investigate Alleged War Crimes in Tamil Conflict  Audio Clip Available
State Department report lists 'credible allegations' of abuses by both sides in conflict
Sri Lankan asylum seekers disembark from wooden vessel for medical treatment at Merak seaport on Indonesia's Java island, 19 Oct 2009
Sri Lankan Refugees Refuse to Leave Boat in Indonesia
Sri Lankans are demanding guarantees they will be granted refugee status and resettled in country other than Indonesia
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Australia, Indonesia Increase Cooperation on Boat People Issue  Audio Clip Available
Australian PM Kevin Rudd makes phone call to Indonesian counterpart in effort to prevent asylum seekers from setting sail for his country
UN: Millions of Children Victims of Abuse, Exploitation
UNICEF report says many millions of 2.2 billion children are subject to sexual abuse and exploitation around the world
UN Security Council Calls for Appointment of Special Representative on Sexual Violence
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired Wednesday's meeting, which came on last day of US's presidency of council
UN Urges Release of Displaced Civilians in Sri Lankan Camps
Hman rights envoy Walter Kalin says release of Tamil civilians in northern camps becoming matter of urgency
Map of Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Troops Fire on Fleeing War Refugees
Military says troops fired in self-defense after Tamil civilians threw stones at guards of refugee camp
S. Asian Leaders Highlight Issues at UN General Assembly
Sri Lanka's PM Ratnasiri Wickramanayake  brushed aside international criticism that his government has been too slow to release displaced Tamils from camps 
 
Victory Celebrations in Colombo: VOA Correspondent Steve Herman  photographed images of Sri Lanka as it prepared for a major national celebration following the defeat of the LTTE.

Vesak Poya Festival Slideshow:  VOA Correspondent Steve Herman shot images of a street festival commemorating the Birth, Enlightenment & Death of the Buddha in Colombo, Sri Lanka in May.  The photographs are accompanied by enchanting Sri Lankan music.

War Zone Images:  Steve Herman was also given rare access, under Sri Lankan military escort, to a coastal strip recently seized from the rebels.  He photographed these on-scene images.