2ND LEAD (Adds details)

Voluntary dismissal filed in DC court as US contends IMF suit unjusticiable

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 June 2009, 17:30 GMT]
Counsel for Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group that filed a law suit in the Federal Court of District of Columbia to stop the U.S. from voting for the $1.9B IMF loan to Sri Lanka, said his group filed for voluntary dismissal in view of the strong legal position taken by the U.S. that the issue is a nonjusticiable political question, and that the plaintiff has no private right of action because Congress did not create a private right of action expressly and created alternative mechanisms for Congress itself to monitor the Executive Branch’s actions." The decision was taken after careful review of the recent developments on the loan where the U.S. and the U.K. have expressed strong objections to speedy approval without attaching conditions for improving human rights violations of Sri Lanka, TAG officials said.

"Our group is satisfied with statements by the U.S. State Department and Senior Senators, and the British Government on the mistreatment of the 300,000 Tamil civilians currently being held in internment camps, and that approval of the loan will be "conditional" on improvement of the human rights situation," Mr Maynard, a Director of TAG told TamilNet.

"We are currently working with a reputable organization on collecting evidence of war crimes committed by Sri Lanka on unarmed civilians inside the safety zone in Mullaiththeevu. On completion of this, TAG should move its focus to bring war-crime charges against Sri lanka government officials, in countries that support universal jurisdiction," he added.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Sunday Times reported in the latest edition that Sri Lanka's Deputy Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama had accused United States of interfering in Sri Lanka's effort to secure the IMF loan, and quoted Mr Amunugama as saying, "[t]he US has no business obstructing a project that is technically sound on the basis of its misinformation. This is an unacceptable case of the bullies trying to run the World Bank and the IMF."

"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, current chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Robert Casey, chairman of aForeign Relations Subcommittee, in a letter to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton early this month.

UK's Foreign Office minister Lord Malloch-Brown told Inner City Press Thursday that "[a]s far as I'm concerned, it's [the IMF loan] not moving."


External Links:
ICP: On Sri Lanka, UK Says IMF Loan's Not Moving
US: State Department’s Gregg Sullivan Discusses Sri Lank
Reuters: Sri Lanka says critical juncture for IMF loan
ST: IMF loan delayed: Lanka slams US as bully


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