Donors postpone talks with Sri Lankan rebels ahead of aid-sharing deal

International donors said Thursday they had postponed a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels amid moves by Colombo to enter into a controversial aid-sharing deal with the guerrillas. International donors said Thursday they had postponed a meeting with Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels amid moves by Colombo to enter into a controversial aid-sharing deal with the guerrillas. Representatives of the World Bank and other lending institutions cancelled a planned visit Friday to the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi, where they had been expected to discuss disbursement of tsunami relief.

Donors have insisted on a joint mechanism between Colombo and the rebels to ensure a fair distribution of aid in rebel-held areas.

A diplomatic source close to the donor community said a new date for the talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) would be fixed shortly.

“It was felt the timing was not right, given the fact the government is moving towards entering into a mechanism with the Tigers to jointly disburse aid,” the diplomatic source said.

News of the postponement came as Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga travelled to neighbouring India for discussions expecte