Marxists Quit

COLOMBO (AFP) – The main Marxist coalition partner quit Sri Lanka’s government in protest against President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s plans to share tsunami aid with Tamil Tiger rebels, a party spokesman said. COLOMBO (AFP) – The main Marxist coalition partner quit Sri Lanka’s government in protest against President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s plans to share tsunami aid with Tamil Tiger rebels, a party spokesman said. The JVP or people’s Liberation Front said its decision to leave the government on June 16 went into effect at midnight because there was no response from the president to their demand that she cancel plans for the aid deal.

“We will function as an independent entity within the opposition,” the spokesman said, adding that it will resign from its four cabinet ministries and four junior ministries on Thursday.

The withdrawal of the JVP turns the government into a minority administration, but will not lead to the administration’s collapse because it has secured the support of others in the 225-member parliament to push crucial legislation.

Kumaratunga’s Freedom Alliance held a slender five-seat majority before the defection of the JVP’s 39 legislators.

The JVP carried out its threat to