Sri Lanka Blood on the Ballot Box

A savage ethnic rivalry propels the nation toward anarchy

Ominous sounds woke Chandralatha, 28, last week in the remote jungle hamlet of Mahakongaskanda. Sensing danger, "I told my husband to hide under the bed," she later recounted from a hospital bed where she was recovering from bullet wounds. "He kept his body against the door and tried to hold it closed. They shot through the door, killing him." Chandralatha's one-year-old baby was also killed, and two of her other children were wounded. Altogether, 44 residents of Mahakongaskanda, including 18 children, were shot or hacked to death with machetes in the bloody attack on the Sinhalese village.

The massacre bore all...

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