Sri Lanka Marxists warn tsunami aid deal could split island

A key member of Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition Tuesday warned that a proposed deal with Tamil rebels to jointly handle tsunami aid with the government would lead to the creation of an ethnic homeland. A key member of Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition Tuesday warned that a proposed deal with Tamil rebels to jointly handle tsunami aid with the government would lead to the creation of an ethnic homeland. The Marxist JVP, or People’s Liberation Front, said they were against the “joint mechanism” proposed by peace broker Norway to handle millions of dollars in foreign aid for tsunami survivors in the island’s rebel-held areas.

JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe told reporters here that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had not given up the idea of a separate state in the island’s northeast and would use a tsunami aid deal to achieve that goal.

“This joint mechanism is only a bridge to the ISGA (interim self-governing authority),” Amarasinghe said, referring to the LTTE’s self-rule plan which was unveiled in October 2003 but rejected by the current ruling party.

The JVP had earlier warned President Chandrika Kumaratunga that they will pull out of the coalition government if she agreed to