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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 September 2005, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Police to probe PM tsunami fund
Prime Minister Rajapakse
Rajapakse 'wanted to speed up aid distribution'
Police in Sri Lanka have been authorised to investigate a private relief fund set up to help victims of last December's tsunami.

The fund was set up to help people in the Hambantota constituency of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse.

Reports in Sri Lankan media outlets say that money sent by international donors has been diverted into the fund.

A judge says the police can examine how 83 million rupees ($820,000) came into three private bank accounts.

Mr Rajapakse has told parliament that the cabinet was aware of the existence of the private fund, known as Helping Hambantota.

His secretary says the prime minister had the funds transferred to a private account to speed up aid distribution to tsunami victims, the AFP news agency reports.

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