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Last updated: 29 March, 2007 - Published 18:33 GMT
 
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Mahinda 'gave money' to LTTE
 
Rajapaksa assuming office as new President
UNP says President's camp offered money to LTTE in an attempt to win elections
The main opposition in Sri Lanka has accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa's administration of offering a lump sum to arch rival Tamil Tigers.

The United National Party (UNP) said Rajapaksa offered Rs.1500 million to LTTE before and after November 2005 presidential elections.

"Rs. 700 million was offered before the lections and another Rs. 800 million was offered after the elections," UNP media spokesman Gayantha Karunathilake told BBC Sandeshaya.

The LTTE forced Tamils under their control to boycott the elections as a result, he alleged.

Government denies

But the government categorically denied the allegation.

Media minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told BBC Elmo Fernando that the government had no intention of responding to "nonsense".

 It is the government's responsibility to prove if the allegations are wrong
 
UNP MP Karunathilake

"We shouldn't bother too much on UNP statements as the UNP is in real trouble now," he said.

Minister Yapa added that the UNP has to prove their allegation as a responsible political party.

Prime minister Rajapaksa won the presidential elections with a thin majority over main rival, UNP leader, Ranil Wickramasinghe.

Former ministers

The secret payment is yet another prove that the Rajapaksa camp had a secret deal with the LTTE, according to the UNP.

Parliamentarian Karunathilake said it was Rajapaksa's own campaign manager who first raised the issue.

 We shouldn't bother too much on UNP statements as the UNP is in real trouble now
 
Media minister

Former Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, and Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi have called upon the speaker to appoint a parliamentary select committee to probe alleged secret deals between Rajapaksa administration and the LTTE.

"It is the government's responsibility to prove if the allegations are wrong," Karunathilake told bbcsinhala.com.

 
 
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