Breaking Off the Battle

For the past five years, Sri Lanka has been divided at the humble village of Piramanalankulam. To the south was Sri Lanka proper, to the north territory controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, one of the world's toughest, most terroristic separatist groups. In between lay 100 yards of no-man's-land, seeded with land mines by both sides. Last week, with startling speed and ease, the battlements came down. Sri Lankan soldiers pushed aside heavy logs blocking the narrow street, and Padmavati Mahalingam, a 37-year-old mother of five, strolled tentatively from rebel territory. "This is wonderful," she said, with...

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