Sri Lankan Muslim party threatens to resign over tsunami aid deal

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

A key Muslim party threatened Sunday to resign from the Sri Lankan government over a controversial tsunami aid-sharing deal with Tamil Tiger rebels. A key Muslim party threatened Sunday to resign from the Sri Lankan government over a controversial tsunami aid-sharing deal with Tamil Tiger rebels. The National Unity Alliance, a member of President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s ruling coalition, said it will quit in two days unless she drops a deal clinched with the Tigers on Friday to distribute billions of dollars in tsunami aid from international donors.

“We have decided to give the government 48 hours’ notice and thereafter we will leave,” deputy leader M.L.M. Hizbullah said, adding that as a first step he quit the politically-appointed post of chief of airports.

Following the withdrawal of support by Marxist allies earlier this month, Kumaratunga lost a majority in parliament.

The influential Muslim Council of Sri Lanka joined the growing opposition to the aid deal. It decided at a meeting Sunday to ask the international community to press the government to include it as equal partners with the rebels.

Kumaratunga has already los