Sri Lanka president in talks to save coalition

Sri Lanka’s president went into talks with opposition parties Monday in a bid to drum up support after a key coalition partner threatened to quit over a tsunami aid deal with Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. Sri Lanka’s president went into talks with opposition parties Monday in a bid to drum up support after a key coalition partner threatened to quit over a tsunami aid deal with Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga was to meet opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe later in the day after discussions with several other political leaders, a spokesman for her office said.

“She is going to discuss the present political climate and the tsunami aid distribution mechanism with political parties to get their support,” the official said.

Kumaratunga is determined to set up a “joint mechanism” with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) despite mounting opposition from the influential Buddhist clergy and a coalition partner, the official said.

The government’s main coalition ally, the Marxist JVP, or People’s Liberation Front, has said it will quit on Thursday if the president does not withdraw the joint mechanism proposal by Wednesday night.

The JVP ha