Sri Lanka's Enterprise Minister, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, said the money would pay for post-war reconstruction work in the north and east of the island - areas previously controlled by the rebels.The UK and the U.S. chose to refrain from voting in favour or against the loan. That however had little impact on the decision.
The British abstention was more symbolic than practical in that the IMF loan will go ahead in any case. It was approved by the IMF executive board in Washington last night, with $322 million to be made available to the Sri Lanka immediately and the rest flowing subject to quarterly reviews by the fund.The approval of the loan also comes as a crushing blow to overseas remnants of the Tamil extremist group, the Tamil Tigers.
The Tamil Diaspora sympathetic to the Tigers made every attempt to block the loan in an attempt to hurt Sri Lanka's economy and any positive growth after the defeat inflicted on their movement.
The British media and several Human Rights organisations published allegations of abuses in the camps for the displaced just in time for the IMF vote on the 24th of July. Again it played no part in the IMF decision just as similar allegations by un-accountable organisations played no part at the U.N. Human Rights Council on the 27th of May.
New York-based Human Rights Watch has voiced concern that Sri Lanka is holding 280,000 people displaced by the fighting in camps, following the defeat of the ethnic Tamil rebellion, and is not investigating attacks on journalists and civil society groups. Police say investigations are ongoing.Has Brad Adams ever visited Sri Lanka? Everything he knows of the island appears to be based on what he reads in the British press. How is confining 260,000 people, till you weed out former combatants, and complete de-mining and clearing of the combat zone, after the end of a catastrophic war which lasted 30 years, considered "bad behaviour" again?
Brad Adams, the group's Asia director, Thursday called the loan "a reward for bad behavior, not an incentive to improve."
Aid groups and foreign diplomats fear that the camps are military-run internment camps where people could be held indefinitely. The government has promised to resettle 80 percent of the displaced people by the end of this year.
Has any other nation been faced with a similar crisis handled things any better? We all know how the United States of America handled Hurrican Katrina? Many residents of New Orleans, Louisiana, are still homeless after Hurricane Katrina which occurred 4 years ago.
Sri Lanka, however, had the support of it's Asian neighbours, and as Sri Lankans we must never forget that.
Wall Street Journal
IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn generally won't push a loan deal that has significant opposition. But in this case, IMF officials said a "clear majority" of the membership backed the loan, particularly Asian countries. A number of IMF members were worried that scrapping the loan, or delaying it much longer, could provoke a financial crisis in Sri Lanka.Click here for the official IMF Press Release.