Scuttle It

Sri Lankan nationalists Friday warned they will step up protests against a proposed government deal with Tamil rebels for the distribution of tsunami aid amid fears for the shaky ruling coalition. Sri Lankan nationalists Friday warned they will step up protests against a proposed government deal with Tamil rebels for the distribution of tsunami aid amid fears for the shaky ruling coalition. The Patriotic National Movement (NPM) said nationwide demonstrations will be held within the next 10 days to try to stop President Chandrika Kumaratunga from setting up a joint mechanism with Tiger rebels to disburse aid.

“Over 30 religious and civil society organisations have expressed support for our campaign,” NPM spokesman and Buddhist monk Elle Gunawansa said, adding that they had been conducting small-scale “awareness campaigns”.

The hard-line NPM draws its support from the Marxist JVP, or People’s Liberation Front, whose 39 MPs support Kumaratunga’s coalition, and Buddhist monks.

Some of her own party men are also members of the Sinhalese nationalist NPM.

The JVP is holding a separate protest rally on Tuesday to oppose the “joint mechanism” with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil