IMF Should Not Condone Abuses
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has again asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to not condone the human right abuses committed by the Sri Lankan government by providing the funding.
The Sri Lankan govenrment has blocked all monitoring attempts, barred access to media, and restricted access to aid agencies. The government failed to investigate attacks on journalists and activists, instead accused them of supporting the "terrorists".
Even, after the defeat of the Tigers, Sri Lanka has announced the plan to expand the size of its military force by 50%, from 200,000 to 300,000. And the government policy to confine all the IDPs to detention camps also costs alot. (estimated US$400,000/day by an organization).
This is happening despite the "critical budget shortfalls".
"To approve a loan, especially $600 million more than the government even asked for, while they have hundreds of thousands of people penned up in these camps is a reward for bad behavior, not an incentive to improve," said Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. "The IMF needs to change its approach."
It is to be noted that key IMF members had condemned Sri Lanka and raised concerns about the loan.
Key IMF members have raised concerns about the loan and condemned Sri Lanka's treatment of the displaced people on numerous occasions. In mid-May, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, said that it was "not an appropriate time" to consider an IMF loan to Sri Lanka. The UK foreign secretary, David Miliband, said, also in May, that "it is essential that any government is able to show that it will use any IMF money in a responsible and appropriate way ... I don't think that that's the case here."
HRW suggests IMF board of governors to use the IMF as a bait to improve the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka.
"The IMF board of governors should make the release of each new tranche of funds contingent on tangible human rights progress," said Adams. "Allowing people to choose for themselves whether to stay in the camps and full access for independent monitors should be minimum benchmarks."