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Friday 31 December, 2004

Sri Lanka : The LTTE appeals for international aid

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the rebel faction who control mucu of the Northern part of Sri Lanka today appealed for aid from international agencies for relief work in their regions.

The LTTE's military capital of Mullaitive is situated on the East coast of Sri Lanka and was one of the areas hit by the tsunami. By Thursday afternoon over 3000 bodies had been recovered from the Mullaitive district and had been disposed of by the LTTE. 1800 of them were buried in a single grave about 5 miles outside the town.

At a meeting held this morning in Kilinochchi, the political capital of the LTTE, S P Thamilchelvam, the leader of their political wing, met with over 20 representatives of international NGOs working in the country. The group was headed by the UN's Resident Rep. for Sri Lanka Miguel Bermeo.

Speaking to the press before the meeting Bermeo said that he hoped this tragedy would bring the Government and the LTTE together. He said if that were possibkle then that would be the sole positive outcome of the disaster. The Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE have been maintaining a ceasefire for the past 3 years. Peace talks broke down more than a year ago and since then mistrust between the two groups has been building and the possibility of a return to war was rising.

At the meeting with the donors Thamilchelvam spoke about the LTTE 3 stage plan to deal with the disaster. He said their priority at the moment was to provide the people with their immediate needs. Step two would be to clean the whole region to stop the spread of disease. And finally he said the LTTE would also committ itself to completely rebuidling all the damaged areas.
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