Home » Featured, News

Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Cleansing Bonds Touted by StanChart and HSBC, IMF Silence on Vote Is “Policy”

[Inner City Press, Monday, 3 August 2009 08:30 No Comment]

Less than a week after five countries on the International Monetary Fund’s executive board cast rare votes of abstention and did not support the IMF’s $2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka, due to the continued detention of 280,000 people in internment camps in the north, Inner City Press on July 30 asked the IMF to finally confirm the five abstentions or to explain why it refuses to disclose the votes of its executive board.

IMF spokesperson Caroline Atkinson replied that "it’s just a matter of our policy not to… it may even be a matter of our legal requirements… It’s a matter for executive board member to disclose their voting if they wish to. It’s not a matter for IMF staff or management, that’s always our practice." But why?

Later on July 30, Inner City Press asked the UK’s outgoing Ambassador to the UN John Sawers about the IMF loan, on which the UK abstained. Sawers too dodged the question, saying "You’ll have to ask my colleagues in Washington about the situation at the IMF board. The loan has been approved, as you say." Video here, from Minute 5:34. After that, Sawers mentioned the displacement — that is, detentions — and of the "legitimate concerns of minorities, particularly Tamils."

stan1chart UK-based banks HSBC and Standard Chartered both gushed about the IMF loan, without any reference to ongoing internments. The IMF loan "is a significant positive for Sri Lanka’s external liquidity position and should further boost sentiment toward the country," Standard Chartered’s Mumbai-based analyst Priyanka Chakravarty wrote in a research report. "It is noteworthy that the final IMF loan amount is appreciably higher than originally discussed."

Nick Nicolaou, chief executive officer of HSBC Sri Lanka, pitched that "the IMF endorsement provides confidence to overseas investors… Sri Lanka has an excellent story to tell." Fellow UK bank Barclays, along with HSBC and JPMorgan Chase, was involved in the Rajapakse administration’s October 2007 bond sale in the run-up to the final assault on North Sri Lanka.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.