Sri Lanka rules out direct tsunami aid to Tiger rebels

Sri Lanka has ruled out Tamil Tiger rebels receiving direct foreign aid to be distributed among tsunami survivors and said all external help must go through Colombo. Sri Lanka has ruled out Tamil Tiger rebels receiving direct foreign aid to be distributed among tsunami survivors and said all external help must go through Colombo. President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s spokesman Harim Peiris said there was no question of aid going directly to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which has accused the government of blocking aid to areas held by them.

“No foreign government will deal with a non-governmental actor,” Peiris told reporters on Wednesday when asked if Colombo agreed to rebel demands to receive foreign aid directly.

Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said there had been no response yet from the Tamil Tigers to a government invitation to work together in delivering tsunami aid to people in affected areas of the island’s north-east.

The remarks came a day after aid donors appealed to Colombo and Tamil Tiger rebels to forge a united front in their response to last month’s tsunami disaster which killed 30,957 people by official count.