Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers say aid plan may revive peace talks

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers say a plan to share international tsunami aid could help to revive peace talks.

The talks broke down in 2003, a year after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government agreed on a ceasefire ending two decades of civil war.

Government officials say they will formalise an agreement to share US$3 billion in tsunami relief aid with the LTTE within days.

S.P. Thamilselvan, the leader of the LTTE's political wing, says the government must also agree to discuss the Tamils' long-standing demands for interim self-rule in the north and east.

"Just signing the agreement is not going to pave the way for peace talks. Implementation is the most important aspect," he said.

Last week, the government's Marxist coalition partner quit in protest at the aid pact.

Six months after a tsunami devastated much of Sri Lanka's south and east coast, tens of thousands of people are still living in tents and shacks and surviving on food handouts.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation