King's College London students against the IMF loan to Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan Government is asking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of $2.4 billion dollars.
The government need this money! Their genocidal war has been extremely expensive and the government do not have enough money to pay for all the arms that they have purchased.
In 2008 they spent $1.48 billion on military purposes.
That is $ 1,480,000,000 on their hi-tech tanks, supersonic jets and advanced weaponry.
In 2009 they spent $1.66 billion on military purposes.
That is $ 1,660,000,000 used on arms to destroy our homeland, cripple our children, and murder our brothers and sisters.
They spent so much and now it’s come back to bite them.
This is our chance to make a difference!
At the G20 summit, they decided to triple the IMF budget to $ 1 trillion. That means they have a lot more money.
Make sure that Sri Lanka does not get a single rupee of this money. Make it known that we will not stand for it.
We, students of King’s College London, note that the Sri Lankan State (SS) has commenced negotiations with the IMF for a Stand-by Arrangement for US$ 1.9 Billion. We write to ask you to use every effort to oppose this loan and to exert your influence with your colleagues to oppose the proposed loan, for reasons given below:
The fallacy of the economic case of the SS
The Sri Lankan State is attempting to sell the false thesis that a military victory is imminent and that they would use the proceeds of the IMF loan to develop the North and the East. On the contrary it is widely accepted among the Tamil community and international experts who have followed this conflict for years, that the conflict is moving towards a more deadly phase. The idea that 60 years of inequity and gross human rights violations suffered by the Tamils can be resolved by ‘development’ is simply not credible. Reference www.unspeakabletruth.info
The deep seated chauvinistic mindset engendered by the Buddhist Mahavamsa religious theology which holds that the Sinhalese are a superior race and that Sri Lanka is exclusively theirs makes the normalcy that the SS alludes to impossible to achieve without a paradigm shift in approach. This is however unlikely to come about if the IMF continues to fund the policies that have patently failed over the past 60 years.
The East of Sri Lanka is often presented as a success story by the SS. A closer look however will reveal to you a region where there is a total breakdown of the rule of law and a region ruled by lawless paramilitary factions. Suffering an elevated level of human rights violations, this population lives in fear.
Non Compliance of Sri Lankan State with International Law and IMF Conditions
The IMF needs to take into account Sri Lanka’s chequered past in its dealing with international organisations including your own. They have banned international NGOs and media from large sections of the country, rendering any claims they make impossible to verify. This evidences a lack of integrity.
The likelihood of the IMF funds being used for the purposes specified in any loan conditions must be questioned in the light of the three Rajapakse brothers (President, Defence Minister and Advisor) controlling nearly 80% of Sri Lanka’s budget between them, and the allegations of corruption surrounding them, not least the murder of investigative journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.
You may have already noted the Sri Lankan State’s defiance in the face of calls for a ceasefire from the US, UK, EU, Norway, Japan, India and the UN among others. We are concerned that Sri Lankan State is incentivised by the imminent prospect of IMF financing to continue its unlawful military operations.
In a Srebenica-like genocide, Sri Lankan armed forces have continued to bomb the designated no-fire zone where 200,000 thousand civilians are trapped killing several thousands including over a thousand children in the process. There are credible reports of chemical weapons being used to “speed up” the military “victory”, contrary to international law.
Genocide: Sri Lanka’s Dirty Little Secret
You may already be aware of the 1000 page document assembled by the US organisation Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) detailing the systematic genocide that has been taking place in Sri Lanka. The document presents compelling evidence to show that successive Sri Lankan governments since independence have systematically committed genocide on Tamils in Sri Lanka. The worst violations have been during the tenure of the current government. To give you a sense of the extent of the abuse we have attached a document listing the evidence that TAG have catalogued for the period 2005 to 2009. As you will understand the evidence collected is only a small proportion of the overall crimes committed. We will be happy to present to you the entire catalogue of evidence on request.
This 60 year record of genocide of Tamils is not going to be reversed by this IMF loan. Instead, we contend that the approval of the loan and the credit lines that it opens up for Sri Lanka would lead to the most deadly act yet of genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka, fund systematic ethnic cleansing and propagate a non-ending cycle of violence that would impoverish the country even more. Given the track record of Sri Lanka, these are highly predictable events.
An Enlightened Economic Approach
Paradoxically, the IMF withholding the funds may be the best chance Sri Lanka has of getting economic stability. It is only the economic imperative that will convince this hard line government to sue for peace. Encouragingly, the whole of the Tamil population and the moderate Sinhala population in Sri Lanka, the 1.5 million strong Tamil diaspora, the 70million Tamils in the state of Tamil Nadu in India and the LTTE and have called for a ceasefire and a negotiated political solution. Here is a real opportunity for the IMF to influence good economic governance and save thousands of innocent lives in the process.
Contrary to SS’s case, it is the economic profligacy related to the war and the scope for the endemic corruption it provides that has brought the country’s economy to it knees. The global credit crunch has simply highlighted the recklessness of their economic policies.
In conclusion, we contend that the approval of the loan without a permanent end to the war would
- hurt economic stability of Sri Lanka by rewarding the Sri Lankan State for its military excesses, encouraging its militaristic mindset and would thus fuel an unending cycle of violence against the Tamils
- bring the IMF into disrepute by having triggered the worst act of genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka
- break international law on genocide, whereby UN member nations have an obligation to prevent and punish genocide and not finance it.
The Undersigned Petitioners
The King's College London students against the IMF loan to Sri Lanka petition to International Monetary Fund was written by Thusiyan and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.