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December 21, 1987

Sri Lankan President Junius R. Jayewardene vowed to take drastic measures against Sinhalese extremists who have been assassinating his supporters in an effort to thwart the government's attempt to make peace with Tamil rebels. Speaking to members of his United National Party, Jayewardene said law enforcement officers will be given immunity for any "wrongdoings" against Sinhalese terrorists, whom he blames for 150 killings. "Can we allow terrorists to kill political supporters and officials of this government? We will have to kill these terrorists," the president said. Jayewardene's efforts to end a four-year-old guerrilla war by Tamil separatists have triggered a backlash within his own Sinhalese majority.

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