Sri Lanka’s president pushes tsunami deal with rebels despite threat

Sri Lanka’s president vowed to reach a deal with Tamil rebels on the distribution of aid after the December tsunamis despite the risk it could see her shaky coalition collapse, state-run media said Wednesday. Sri Lanka’s president vowed to reach a deal with Tamil rebels on the distribution of aid after the December tsunamis despite the risk it could see her shaky coalition collapse, state-run media said Wednesday. The government led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga needs an agreement to distribute foreign aid to rebel-held areas, some of which suffered huge damage in the disaster that killed nearly 31,000 people here.

Foreign donors do not want to direct funds to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) because the group has been listed as a terrorist organisation in many countries, despite entering a peace process with the government in 2002.

Kumaratunga told religious leaders here Tuesday she would press ahead with plans to forge a “joint mechanism” with the rebels to handle the aid, despite risks to her coalition, the state-run Daily News reported.

“In the process, the government may fall… even I might lose the presidency, but those things are not of national interest unlike bringing