Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka main opposition in the dark on joint deal with Tigers

COLOMBO, Jun 9, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lanka's main opposition accused the government of keeping them in the dark on the proposed joint tsunami relief mechanism with the Tamil Tigers.

Karu Jayasuriya, the deputy leader of the United National Party (UNP), told reporters here Thursday "We do not know details of it. "

A joint mechanism for the equitable distribution of tsunami relief assistance was mooted by the international donors following allegations that the Tamil Tiger-held areas were discriminated by the Sri Lankan government.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga's government is in political hotwater on the proposal for the joint deal with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with its main coalition partner the JVP threatening to walk out of the government.

Jayasuriya's UNP, the main mover in the on going Norwegian- backed peace deal with the Tigers, has kept away from expressing its opinion on the Joint Mechanism (JM).

Jayasuriya said his party was unable to make any views known until they were given details of the mechanism.

The UNP, however, is of the opinion that a co-ordinated mechanism is needed for effective distribution of aid into Tamil regions in the war-torn north and east provinces.

Almost two-thirds of coastal line was devastated in the December-26 tsunami killing over 30,000 people.