Sri Lanka candidates trade barbs

Rivals target each other as island-country prepares to elect new president on Tuesday.

    With Sri Lankans set to elect a new president on Tuesday, the country's political temperature is rising.

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      Profile: Mahinda Rajapaksa
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      Blogs: Sri Lanka prepares to vote
      Video: Tensions grow over Sri Lanka vote

    It is for the first time in decades that the country is holding a vote free from the spectre of a long civil war, which ended last year with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a separatist group fighting for an independent state for minority Tamils.

    But the election campaign has been vicious and often violent, with several activitists drawn from rival political camps being killed.

    Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent president, has accused Sareth Fonseka, the opposition candidate and the former army general, of being a traitor.

    And Fonseka has accused Rajapaksa of corruption and abusing power.  

    From Colombo, Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna reports on how the people of Sri Lanka are split ahead of a tight presidential race.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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