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Sri Lanka Fills Cabinet Posts Vacated by Marxists

  • VOA News

Sri Lanka's president has appointed close allies to cabinet posts left vacant by the former main coalition partner, which quit in protest of a tsunami aid-sharing deal with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed her supporters to five key Cabinet posts, left open after the powerful Marxist People's Liberation Front last month withdrew 39 lawmakers from the ruling coalition.

Under the agreement, the Colombo government and Tamil rebels will jointly handle billions of dollars in foreign aid for reconstruction and the survivors of December 26 tsunami that killed 31,000 people and displaced one million more.

Critics say the deal will raises the rebels' legitimacy in the international community, boosting their separatist agenda and undermining Sri Lanka's sovereignty.
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