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Lanka radio row

Colombo, Dec. 13 (PTI): The Sri Lankan Opposition today accused the government of violating the Indo-Sri Lanka accord of 1987 by sending broadcasting equipment to the LTTE and enabling it to beam transmissions to South India.

The government should have sought India’s approval before allowing communications facilities in the rebel-controlled northeast, People's Alliance spokesman Sanath Amunugama said. “It violates the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement, which says the government of Sri Lanka should not set up facilities of this nature without clearance by India,” he said. The provision in the 1987 accord pertained to the establishment of facilities by the Voice of America, but the alliance said the principle behind it was that facilities for transmission beyond Sri Lanka’s borders should not be allowed without India’s consent.

Media reports here said last week that the government sent broadcasting equipment under armed escort to LTTE-controlled territory on November 26. It was imported by the Norwegian embassy here and given a duty waiver. The LTTE was planning to expand its “Voice of Tigers” radio transmission to cover South India and Singapore.

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