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Last Updated: Monday, 1 August 2005, 07:22 GMT 08:22 UK
Tamil rebels to launch TV station
A Tamil Tiger supporter with the rebel flag during a rally
The rebels want to present their point of view
Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka say they will launch their own television station on Monday to reach viewers throughout Asia.

Rebel spokesman Daya Master said the station, National Television of Tamileelam (NTT), would help counter "false propaganda" by state-run media.

The Tigers are observing a ceasefire with the government but it is being threatened by an increase in violence.

The rebels have been fighting for autonomy for the Tamils.

The NTT will broadcast two hours of news, commentary, and Tamil history in Sri Lanka daily.

It will also reach India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma and parts of China.

The Tamil Tigers said their lack of television broadcasting had been an obstacle in keeping their people informed about developments in the conflict.

"The ability of the [Sri Lankan] state to spread false propaganda through state-controlled media taught us that building a strong media network to disseminate the Tamil point of view locally and internationally was crucial to our progress," Mr Master is quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Parallel government

The rebels run a virtual parallel government in the area under their control, with their own police force and law courts.

Peace talks between the two sides have been suspended since April 2003.

More than 60,000 people have died since the rebels began their fight for a homeland for minority Tamils in 1983.


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