Sri Lanka: December 29, 2004

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: washed away or battered into rubble. 

Efforts to get relief to the victims of the tidal waves has increased tensions between Tamils and native Sinhalese. The rebels want international relief agencies to treat them as a government and deal directly with them. The government insists that all relief go through them, and they will see that it gets distributed fairly. But on the ground, there were instances were mobs of Sinhalese, or simply Sinhalese officials, were diverting aid from Tamil to Sinhalese areas. Since the LTTE rebels are officially labeled as international terrorists, the foreign aid agencies are reluctant to take on the government over the matter. About 40 percent of the death and destruction is in LTTE areas, which were already suffering malnutrition and disease because of rebel activity. The tidal wave is making the LTTE weaker, but has not had any impact on the core LTTE leadership, who are still determined to carve out an independent Tamil state, no matter what the cost.  

December 26, 2004: A large underwater earthquake off the southwest coast of Indonesia created lethal tidal waves that hit all nations washed by the Indian ocean. Throughout the region, over 60,000 people along the beaches were killed, millions made homeless and billions of dollars in damage. Over 20,000 were killed in Sri Lanka, many in rebel controlled areas along the north and east coast. 

December 23, 2004: The LTTE rebels have refused to resume peace talks, and demand that the current arrangements for rebel rule in the north and east coast areas of the island be formalized. The government sees this as grounds for resuming the war,

 

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