U.N. council sees no need to punish Sri Lanka
This is a major morale boosting diplomatic victory for the country's President Mahinda Rajapakshe who is determined to root out the evil of terrorism infested the small Island nation for more than three decades.
U.N. Security Council members see no point withholding an IMF loan or taking other steps to punish Sri Lanka, the council's president said, the same day Sri Lanka's president rejected international calls for a ceasefire with rebels.
"I have not heard anyone suggesting that," Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, president of the 15-nation council, told reporters on Thursday after an informal session on Sri Lanka.
Colombo has been under fresh pressure this week, from the European Union among others, to allow a truce so civilians trapped in the tiny area the Tamil Tigers still hold can escape.
Asked if all council members agreed penalties such as withholding the $1.9 billion loan were unnecessary, Heller said, "Absolutely."
U.S. officials said this week Washington was trying to delay the loan to pressure Sri Lanka to do more to help civilians caught in the fighting.
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