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What will that country look like? It will still have its legendary natural beauty. Mannar's isolation has made it a paradise for birds such as the brilliant blue Indian rollers that skim over the salt marshes. And some are hopeful that with the end of the Tigers, there will be room for a new dialogue between Tamils and Sinhalese, says Ahilan Kadirgamar of the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum, an advocacy group. But for Tamils from LTTE territory, Kadirgamar notes, "their sense of citizenship will be determined by how they are treated." They may re-enter Sri Lankan society only to find themselves subject to security measures that fulfill the worst predictions of the Tigers' relentless propaganda about the persecution of Tamils. Rajapaksa's muscular, nationalist ideology appears to be winning the war. But it may be at the cost of the open, outward-looking, multiethnic character of the nation that Sri Lanka once tried to be.