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For Sri Lankans, 'koththu roti' sounds like freedom and an echo of home

Just as Sri Lanka's civil war exploded in the early 1980s, a new nighttime sound began to spread from odd corners of the country's capital: the rapid beat of steel blades. The rhythms flowed out of the oil-stained, all-night restaurants that catered to Colombo's night crawlers. The drummer was the koththu roti chef at work.

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