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US Tamils protest against IMF loan to Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 21 March 2009 15:14 One Comment]

Dozens of American Tamils on Friday staged a protest rally in front of the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, urging the IMF to deny funding to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s request for $1.8 billion in loans is under consideration by the IMF. Tamil community fears that the Sri Lankan government would use the funds to perpetuate Tamil genocide while entrenching mass displacement of Tamils confining them to institutionalized internment camps, organizers of the rally said.


Protesters carried pictures of the victims of cluster bombs and phosphorous incendiary bombs used by the Sri Lankan government forces against Tamil civilians and chanted, ”IMF: Stop the funding; Sri Lanka: Stop the killing”.
A leaked UN memo said that 2800 Tamil civilians were killed and over 7,000 injured in 5 weeeks since January 20th of this year. A placard carried in the rally said: “IMF- don’t lend blood money to help Sri Lanka’s Tamil Genocide.”

 

The Deputy Division Chief of the IMF’s external relations department, Mr. Jeremy Mark, received a memorandum prepared by Tamils Against Genocide. Mr. Mark listened to the protesters’ concerns of the ongoing genocide in the NorthEast Sri Lanka, expressed his shared concerns for the conditions of Tamil civilians and assured that he will hand over the memorandum to the Executive Directors of the International Monetary Fund for consideration.

The protesters then marched to the Department of State office and held a silent vigil for two hours. Appreciating the concern shown by Secretary of State they displayed placards that read, “Thank you Secretary Clinton for calling (Sri Lanka’s President) Rajapaksa to hold the fire. Has he complied?”

 

The organizers said this is the third such rally within 5 weeks and they will continue the rallies at regular intervals until the US addresses the genocidal situation and bring about a ceasefire, relief to the civilians and peace talks leading to resolution of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

[Full Coverage]

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One Comment »

  • S.V.Ramanan said:

    SriLankan Govt. seems to be taking the international community for a ride by harping on its demand that LTTE must lay down arms before the Govt.will consider a cease fire,conveniently sidestepping the issue of Civilians trapped in the war zone.If reports of independent agencies like BBC, Reuters are to be believed, civilians are undergoing extreme hardship in so called Temporary shelters, which have no electricity , water , medicine or basic amenities.SriLankan Govt. has taken funds from abroad assuring that it will build temporary homes and nothing has been heard of since.Agreed that LTTE is a terrorist organisation that has to be wiped out, it does not stand to reason as to why the Govt. is reluctant to ameliorate the sufferings of the trapped Tamils.There has to be no link between saving the trapped and dealing with LTTE.
    Under the circumstances, if SriLankan Govt.is to be made to realise that it has to take care of Tamils in the war zone,which it says are anti-LTTE and citizens of SriLanka,one should hurt SriLanka where it hurts most,viz. withholding IMF loan or better still, link it with International presence to monitor the safe passage of Tamils.This is the least the world body should do.