Militia wins majority on local council

From Times Wire Reports

A pro-government militia of former Tamil Tiger rebels won a local election in the turbulent eastern Sri Lankan city of Batticaloa despite allegations that it used child soldiers, extorted money from businessmen and carried out killings, state TV reported today.

The militia, known as the Karuna group, took 53% of the final vote, giving it 11 of the 19 seats on the municipal council, Rupavahini Television announced, citing the country’s elections commissioner.

Hoping to prevent violence -- especially a rebel attack -- during the voting, the government flooded the area with police. Soldiers stood guard every few yards, checking vehicles on the nearly empty road leading into town, while other troops patrolled in armored personnel carriers.