Sri Lanka court blocks tsunami deal, tension mounts in northeast

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Friday blocked a controversial deal with Tiger rebels to share billions of dollars in tsunami aid as a fragile truce came under intense pressure and more killings were reported in the island’s restive east. Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Friday blocked a controversial deal with Tiger rebels to share billions of dollars in tsunami aid as a fragile truce came under intense pressure and more killings were reported in the island’s restive east. Chief Justice Sarath Silva said locating the headquarters of the proposed Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) in a rebel-held area was unacceptable as ordinary citizens would not have access to the region.

The proposed fund to which international donors were expected to contribute was also illegal, the judge held.

The chief justice ordered four crucial clauses in the P-TOMS agreement suspended until the conclusion of a petition against the deal. The next hearing was fixed for September 12.

Both Colombo and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had seen the agreement as a confidence-building measure that could possibly lead to the resumption of peace talks on hold since April 2003.

However, diplomats close to the peace proc