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Last Updated: Friday, 28 October 2005, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Writers sought for Tamil anthem
A Tamil Tiger supporter with the rebel flag during a rally
The Tamil Tigers have had a flag since 1990
Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka are advertising for "bards and minstrels with patriotic fervour" to write a catchy national anthem.

Aspirants have a month to pen a maximum of 18 stanzas in "immaculate Tamil", the pro-rebel TamilNet website said.

The rebels began fighting for an independent homeland, called Eelam, two decades ago, in a war that has claimed the lives of more than 60,000.

Last year they adopted a national flower, the Gloriosa Lily.

The flower was chosen because it is red and yellow, the colours of the Tamil Tigers.

It is also highly poisonous.

The rebel advert has been posted in local media offices, reported TamilNet.

The anthem should "symbolize the history of our struggle and victories to future generations," the rebel statement says.

The lyrics should extol the "virtues of those who sacrificed their lives in Tamil struggle, celebrate the unique qualities of exclusiveness and resourcefulness of the Tamil homeland, and manifest the resoluteness, dedication and the aspirations of the Tamil people for freedom and dignity."

"It should contain 18 lines - catchy and lively and in immaculate Tamil."

Budding poets have until 27 November, "Tamil Eelam Martyrs Remembrance Day", to come up with a suitable anthem.

Until now, the Tamil Tigers have had to raise their flag (adopted in 1990) to the tune Look the Flag is Rising, Reuters news agency reports.

The Gloriosa Lily flower was adopted in April 2004. Ingesting the vine or the flower is poisonous, and its roots are used to commit suicide.

Tamil Tigers adopt poisonous lily
16 Apr 04 |  South Asia
Tamil rebels to launch TV station
01 Aug 05 |  South Asia

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