Do not approve IMF loan, Senators tell Clinton

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 June 2009, 12:55 GMT]
"With the [Sri Lanka] government still refusing to address any of the major concerns that you [Secretary of State Clinton] and others have raised, we believe it would send the wrong signal to approve the IMF loan. It would suggest that to gain international support, the Sri Lankan government did not need to heed the world community's concerns; it merely need to win the war. Before receiving major financial support, the government should first take at least some steps to reassure the world that it is adjusting its policies, by allowing access to the conflict area and international monitoring of the screening process...," said Senators Patrick Leahy and Robert Casey in a letter to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday.

The Government should further assure the world by "placing the IDP camps under civilian control, releasing IDPs and reuniting them with their families, and pursuing reconciliation with critics rather than squashing dissent," the Senators added.

Senator Robert Casey, chairman of Foreign Relations Subcommittee
Senator Robert Casey, chairman of Foreign Relations Subcommittee
Senator Patrick Leahy, current chairman of the Judiciary Committee
Senator Patrick Leahy, current chairman of the Judiciary Committee
"Sri Lanka was the first humanitarian and human rights crisis to emerge on the Obama administration's watch, and your response and the President's have been strong and principled," the Senators said, in what appears as an indirect response to an earlier Time Magazine article which said that Obama was failing the test on dealing with the first humanitarian disaster his administration faced.

"As you know, the final months of the conflict in Sri Lanka took a terrrible toll on civilians, in part because the LTTE unconsciounably held hundreds of thousands of civilians as human shields, but also because government forces indiscriminately shelled the area where these civilians were concentrated. Despite repeated appeals from President Obama, as well as from the United Nations and many other governments, the Sri Lankan government continued to target these civilians, and to prevent humanitarian groups from helping those who managed to flee. To this day, against all evidence, the government denies that its actions caused any harm to Tamil civilians - a position that will make reconciliation even more difficult to achieve," the Senators said.


Chronology:


External Links:
Time: Sri Lanka Puts Obama to the Test — and He's Failing

 

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