The World

A general strike called by Sinhalese radicals brought nearly all businesses and transportation to a halt in most of Sri Lanka. Despite government efforts to keep everything open on the first day of the weeklong strike, witnesses said almost all shops, hotels, offices and businesses had closed by evening in Colombo, the capital, and most of southern and central Sri Lanka. The strike is the latest in a series of work stoppages called by the People's Liberation Front as part of its violent, two-year-old anti-government campaign, which has claimed at least 5,000 lives. The radicals oppose government concessions to ethnic Tamil rebels and charge it has not done enough to force a pullout of Indian peacekeeping troops.

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