Nor Miliband or Megaband could stop the IMF Loan

There’s wide spread speculation that IMF could withhold the US$1.9 billion loan to Sri Lanka, after the British Foreign Minister David Miliband hinted at such to punish the Sri Lankan government. Along with his chaperone Bernard Kouchner, the twosome called for a ceasefire which would have enabled the foreign forces to “airlift” the LTTE leadership out of the last remaining couple of miles of their dreamland. Miliband also met with Hillary Clinton, but there would not be any substantial support from the US on this private agenda.

The reason is simple: IMF has no option but to proceed with the loan to Sri Lanka.

Why? For two good reasons, amongst many other.

The UN Security Council has very clearly demonstrated its position against Sri Lanka. All 15 members unanimously agree that they are not in a job of penalising Sri Lankan government and that they want to help the government of Sri Lanka address the problem. Russia and China have very clearly stated that the problems in Sri Lanka are not a global threat and that there is no need for the UN to interfere since there is no mass genocide or bloodbath. US cannot afford to utter a word – with ghosts of Abu Ghraib and such coming out of their closet these days. Recent occurrences in the Swat Valley where 500,000 civilians are rendered homeless doesn’t work in their favour either.

Secondly, but most importantly, the West is afraid of the “friends” Mahinda Rajapakse has made in the hour of our need. Cuba, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan... all the top-rankers of the “friendly” nations in the eyes of the West. If the IMF refuses the loan, China would be glad to extend their helping hand, with a big smile on its face. Iran and Russia also would pitch in, they are in need of “friends” around the world. China has vested interests in exploring oil in Sri Lankan offshore, they are already in Hambantota. Surely but slowly, China is expanding its global presence: Sub-Saharan Africa is a good example of the Chinese dominance in areas where the West thought was “too insignificant” for them to bother. Besides, Mahinda Rajapakse did not clear the Western Coast for nothing – what lies beneath the “humanitarian mission” are also means to our economic advantage.

If Miliband thinks he can withhold the loan, he must be day-dreaming. In case, by any fluke chance if his dream comes true, he is going to wake up to a worse nightmare – in seeing the world’s first democracy to appoint a female head of the country, partying with the communists and rebels.

Would the West risk it? I don’t think so. So, collect some greenbacks - they are going to hit Rs 150 a piece, I was told.


  1. Yup, I was always amazed with how MR got the things he wanted done.

    Just look at the politics in SL. At the moment there is no opposition, no UNP, no JVP, no JHU, not even a SLFP. It's just Mahinda and his followers. He literally wiped out (and attracted) all the opposing forces in SL so he could do what he wants. We can debate whether its right or wrong, he just got it done.

    Here also, the man acted wisely. Long before this war started, just when he came into power he started strenghteing relationships with the countries like China, Pakistan and Russia. Just in case - he knew that someday it might come to this, and that he'd have to face the forces from the west, so he just made good friends with those countries before the war. And now, seems it's just what happened...

  2. You need to read the news with more critical eye.

    We are only going to the IMF because our friends, Iran, China, Libya and the rest have not doled out the cash.

    Would we be even talking to them if there was any real hope of getting money from somewhere else?

  3. in anycase, on:

    "he is going to wake up to a worse nightmare – in seeing the world’s first democracy to appoint a female head of the country, partying with the communists and rebels."

    what is so new? Happening anyway. Who does the country count as "true" friends? Birds of a feather flock together.

  4. @anon1: My point is MR has a trump-card that leverages the situation in his favour. Ranil wouldn’t have it, Chandrika didn’t.
    @anon2: MR has no true friends. He is a very clever and cunning politician, who “deals” from time to time.
    That’s what I think.