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Bob Rae calls for conditions on any IMF loan to Lanka

[DailyMirror, Saturday, 18 July 2009 08:50 No Comment]

Canadian opposition Liberal Party MP Bob Rae insists that conditions need to be strictly applied to any potential loan to Sri Lanka from the International Monetary Fund, based on humanitarian concerns.

“We must be responsible in our economic assistance to Sri Lanka,” Rae said in a statement posted on his political party website. “The government of Sri Lanka cannot expect massive economic assistance without paying full attention to their humanitarian obligations.

“The situation in Sri Lanka remains dire and requires international attention. Our efforts must be focused on helping those in need,” he said.

His comments are in line with news that the United States Senate has effectively blocked the Treasury Secretary from authorizing a nearly $2-billion IMF loan to Sri Lanka until the Sri Lankan government has achieved a number of humanitarian conditions.

These conditions include: bringing to justice members of the military who have violated international humanitarian law; agreeing to a UN presence to conduct a full and unimpeded investigation; treating internally displaced persons in accordance with international standards; reinstating freedom of movement and access for humanitarian organizations and journalists; and implementing policies to promote reconciliation and justice, including devolution of powers.

The move follows a clear line of U.S. policy of delaying IMF funding in an effort to persuade the Sri Lankan government to return peace and stability to their country. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has stated a similar position, saying that any use of IMF money must be in an appropriate and responsible manner.

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