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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2678

Will Sri Lanka Get The IMF Loan?

A comment by L. Jayasooriya

We understand that the government has asked for a loan of 1.9 billion dollars from the IMF and has proudly stated that it will be on no conditions attached. The party giving the loan always lays down conditions. I suppose what the government meant here was that conditions other than purely financial would not be acceptable. I wish the government had stated it explicitly because we soon expect explicit conditions to be implicitly understood.

Does the government remember the days when a 4.5 billion dollar bait was being dangled in front of us like a pendulum and a government minister was actually promoting it on behalf of the so-called "donors"? No angler will ever tell a fish that what is in the hook is a gift for the fish by the angler who has glorified himself by calling himself a "donor". That reminds me of what a former Prime Minister Mr. W. Dhanayake said in parliament He said the spider to the fly "Walk into my parlour’".

The conditions in the 4.5 billion dollar loan most of which we will have to pay back are that we take steps that will eventually lead to the partitioning of the country on an ethnic basis. We did not accept to commit suicide and therefore we did not get it even though Mr. Akashi visited us 14 times and even threatened us to bring in the UN troops. In one of his many visits to Sri Lanka he wanted to go to Kilinocchi to meet Thamilchelvam but the government refused him permission. He then said that he has other means of contacting him. The reader is left to ponder over that statement.

The government should ask the “donors” whether they are at least now prepared to spend 4.5 billion dollars to help develop the East and the North. The answer they give should be written in gold and framed with explanatory notes for generations to see. In the meantime the government is well advised to pursue the 1.9 billion dollar loan from other avenues as well such as China, Russia and Iran.

It is now appropriate to put these billions of dollars in perspective. The estimated cost of the bridge across the Straight of Messina, a suspension cable bridge of 3.3 km span 60 metres wide, carrying two motorway lanes and one emergency lane in each direction catering for 6,000 vehicles per hour, a two-track railway for up to 200 trains a day and two independent lanes for service traffic and pedestrians is estimated to cost 6.1 billion euros which are equal to 8.2 billion US dollars. {Please go to Google and type currency converter and click of XE Universal Currency Converter. For the bridge, type Strait of Messina bridge). So this big bait is almost half of what an IC nation can afford to link up with her offshore island.

When the innocent Tamil civilians lived in a living hell for over two decades in eternal fear of their children being taken by the LTTE did the "donors" ever even think of them? It is they the IC nations who now accuse our government of Tamil genocide and carpet bombing and want us to have a cease-fire to enable the trapped civilians who will never be permitted to escape.

For two decades the IC nations have firmly supported the LTTE against the government of Sri Lanka while the government and the press have tried to reason out with them in the belief that they are impartial, humane and honest and have no ulterior motives. I feel so depressed when Sri Lankans still write to the electronic and print media desperately attempting to prove that a cease-fire will not enable the innocent Tamil civilians to escape while the LTTE are keeping them as a shield.

It has to take absolute contempt for anybody to tell such a thing to another. The biggest mistake and miscalculation the IC nations did was to ask us to have a negotiated settlement with the LTTE even one month after the LTTE closed the Mavil Oya anicut and there was not a drop of water at the bottom of the deepest well. Our president had no choice but to order the army to open the sluice gates. From there our government never looked back and went forward. Do you remember the advice the IC nations gave us against terminating the CFA jointly crafted by the UNP, LTTE and Eric Solheim to totally destroy this country? Nothing has worked for the IC nations since the Mavil Oya anicut. Now who in is sane mind will expect a 1.9 billion dollar loan without agreeing to devolution that will divide the country on ethnic lines?

The government will never agree and there will be no 1.9 billon dollars from IC nations. Other arrangements will take place. Soon there will be a new world order with Iran’s attitude, Russian attitude, China, Africa that seems to understand better than us, Chavez, Brazil and even Mexico flexing her muscles against her mighty neighbour America. The next few months will be very interesting.

-Asian Tribune -

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