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Inside Violent Worlds

Political conflict and terror look different up close and local

By
6:19pm, April 7, 2003

On the porch of a small house in war-ravaged Sri Lanka, a weary-looking woman known as Saktirani listens to a man's anguished plea. His son has not been heard from for the nearly 3 years, since he and 158 other people were arrested by government soldiers at a nearby Tamil refugee camp. Tamil families in this part of Sri Lanka are caught in the cross-fire of a brutal struggle between Tamil rebels fighting to establish a separate state and government forces representing the Sinhalese majority population.

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