Note:  This article is from the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph:

(Jan. 17, 2008, from – Sri Lanka’s civil war was reignited yesterday when suspected Tamil Tiger rebels bombed a civilian bus, gunned down fleeing passengers and attacked farmers as they retreated into the bush, killing 31 people and leaving 62 injured.

The attack, which took place in Buttala, about 150 miles south east of the capital, Colombo, came on the final day of a six-year ceasefire, which had largely broken down before yesterday’s attacks.

Doctors from Colombo were flown to the area by emergency helicopters to treat the wounded, and national health services made an emergency appeal for blood donations. Authorities announced a three-day closure of all schools in the province.

Soon after, a second roadside bomb struck an armoured military vehicle in the same region, injuring three soldiers.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa condemned the attack as “unmitigated brutality”.

“This is a brazen demonstration to the whole world of its unchanged commitment to terrorism and the absolute rejection of democracy and all norms of civilised behaviour in the pursuit of its unacceptable goal of separation,” Mr Rajapaksa said.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent state for Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil minority, who they say have been marginalised by Sinhalese-dominated governments. The fighting has killed more than 70,000 people and senior government officials have vowed to destroy the rebel group by the end of the year.

Amnesty International yesterday called for both sides to return to the truce, saying the end of the ceasefire agreement would increase indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population.

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1.  What is the capital of Sri Lanka?

2.  Who is the president of Sri Lanka?

3.  Describe the attack on civilians in Sri Lanka yesterday, believed to be carried out by Tamil Tiger rebels.

4.  For what reason have the Tamil Tigers been fighting against the government and civilians?

5.  How many people have been killed since the Tamil Tigers began fighting in 1983? 

6.  What have government officials said they would do about the Tamil Tigers?


For background information on Sri Lanka, go to the CIA World FactBook here.

Read about the Tamil Tigers at

Read about the conflict in Sri Lanka at

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