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Lanka, LTTE move closer to deal on tsunami aid

LTTE and the Lankan Govt are close to agreement on cooperation in the distribution of relief aid to tsunami survivors.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Colombo
UPDATED ON JAN 28, 2005 04:20 PM IST

Tamil Tiger rebels and the Sri Lankan government are close to agreement on cooperation in the distribution of relief aid to tsunami survivors, sources close to the rebels said on Wednesday.

A decision could be announced before a top Tiger rebel peace negotiator returns to his base in London at the weekend, the sources said adding there was intense international pressure on both parties to work together.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief negotiator Anton Balasingham is expected at the country's only international airport near Colombo on Saturday before heading back to London, the sources said.

This could provide an opportunity for a meeting with government officials or Norwegian negotiators.

"There could be some sort of an agreement soon," one source said.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga's spokesman Harim Peiris told reporters here yesterday discussions had been held between the two parties on a working arrangement for relief distribution.

But he said there was no question of aid going directly to the LTTE, which has accused the government of blocking relief to areas held by them.

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