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News In Brief

Tamil separatist issue causes new Sri Lankan-Indian strain

A new chill has developed in relations between Sri Lanka and India over a Sri Lankan offensive against Tamil separatists on the island. The offensive began last Friday, after 32 people were killed in a bomb blast at India's Madras Airport which Sri Lankan authorities said was aimed at a Sri Lankan airliner.

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Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is faced with a growing foreign and domestic policy problem, because Sri Lanka's minority Tamils have close religious and cultural links with 50 million Tamils in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu. A year ago at least 40,000 Tamils fled to India after ethnic riots errupted in Sri Lanka, in which about 400 people were killed