Tiger Tamer

Soon after taking over as Prime Minister in December 2001, Ranil Wickremesinghe lifted a long-standing government embargo that had impoverished the LTTE-controlled north and east. Opponents accused him of endangering national security, but the gamble paid off. Three months later, the rebels, in part encouraged by his gesture, signed a formal cease-fire. TIME's Aravind Adiga met with the PM at his official residence in Colombo.

TIME: The peace talks have been stalled since April. Is the LTTE serious about ending the bloodshed?
Wickremesinghe: The fact that they have given a detailed set of proposals—for the first time...

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