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Sri Lanka names first Tamil navy chief since 1970

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday appointed an officer from the island's Tamil minority to head the navy for the first time since a separatist war erupted 45 years ago. Rear Admiral Travis Sinniah is the first Tamil to head a wing of the military since 1970, even though Tamils make up around 15 percent of Sri Lanka's population. In 1972, the separatist Tamil Tigers took up arms and launched a bloody guerrilla war for a separate state for the ethnic minority that only ended in May 2009 when they were crushed in a no-holds barred military offensive.
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