Britain to oppose IMF loan to Sri Lanka over plight of Refugees
Britain to oppose IMF loan to Sri Lanka over plight of Tamil refugees
Britain was poised tonight to take an unprecedented stand against a US $2.5 billion loan being extended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to Sri Lanka because of fears over the humanitarian situation in the county.
A British Government source said that that it was “not the right time to go forward” with the loan, because Sri Lanka is forcibly detaining nearly 300,000 mostly Tamil refugees in internment camps and spending a large proportion of its wealth on its military - even though the country’s bloody 26-year civil war ended in May.
The source said: “The current situation on the ground means that we do not believe that an IMF programme is appropriate, or could be delivered effectively.”
The United States, France and Germany were also thought to have serious misgivings about the loan, which is needed by Sri Lanka to stave off a looming balance of payments crisis and for the reconstruction of former war zones. The country’s finances have been battered by the global credit crisis and high military spending.
At this moment, Britain is in turmoil, both financial and political. It seems that Miliband's visit to Sri Lanka and his comments are still carrying some water. It is also understood that the Tamil Diaspora (LTTE Wing) is also pressurizing the British Government to stop the IMF Loan to Sri Lanka.
It is my opinion that the IMF loan will come through. And, when it so happens, the world acceptance of the British will tumble further. Little do the Brits realize that the days when it's former colonies bowed down to them are gone. Even a tiny nation like Sri Lanka has stood up to them.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF managing director, said this week that the lender had agreed preliminary terms with the Sri Lankan Government after four months of talks. The $2.5 billion agreed is $600 million more than Sri Lanka originally asked for.
Today, the Sri Lankan government itself was confident it would receive the funds.
“We have no problem obtaining the loan, I believe,” Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, minister of enterprise development and investment promotion, said.
“There will be a successful conclusion at the meeting...Now is the time for (the IMF) to support us because now we have completely destroyed one of the worst terrorist outfits in the world and it is time to start the reconciling and healing process in our country.”
The anti Sri Lanka drive has also been spearheaded by part of the British media, with Channel 4 TV heading the list.
To discredit Sri Lanka and to further the cause of the remnants of the LTTE, Chanel 4 will go any distance.
Also, at this juncture, one must remember the China option. If the IMF loan does not go through, one can be sure that they will step in. This will further isolate the weaker western countries such as Great Britain amongst other countries of the world.