A mother in the small town of Delgoda, approximately 25 miles northeast of the Sri Lanka capitol of Colombo thought that her 9-year-old daughter had become possessed.
Seeking an exorcism, the mother took her daughter to a neighbor who was known to those in the area for offering such services.
The woman is reported to have begun the exorcism by putting oil on the girl. In order to drive the suspected demon presence from the girl though, she then began to cane her. When the girl fell unconscious, she was taken to a hospital where she was found to have died.
Deputy Inspector General Ajith Rohana, a spokesman for the police stated that "the mother had suspected that her daughter had been possessed by a supernatural existence causing illness. The mother took the child to a neighboring house to perform the shamanic ritual."
Both the mother and the woman performing the ritual have been arrested. They appeared in court yesterday where they were ordered to be held in custody until at least March 12.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine cause of death.
Investigators are seeking information from those in the area, suspecting that there may have been other victims.