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sri Lanka taking steps to keep security forces in the north

The government announced Thursday a series of emergency regulations aimed at countering alleged plans by Tamil separatists to push security forces out of northern Sri Lanka by year's end and declare a separate state on Jan. 14.

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A security zone has been established covering the entire northern end of the island nation and the prohibitive zone encompassing the coast and six islands. Other measures include restrictions on travel and the use of private vehicles.

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