"Sri Lanka began the process of holding elections in the Eastern Province, the region captured by the army from the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam last July after 14 years of fighting."
"President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government is seeking $1.8 billion in aid to meet its pledge to rebuild the Eastern Province and encourage investment and tourism in a region that has a 462-kilometer (287-mile) coastline of white sands. The LTTE's defeat left the group with bases only in the north to continue its fight for a separate homeland in Sri Lanka.
``We can bring democracy and peace to the region,'' Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said at a briefing in Colombo earlier this week."
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