280,000 displaced civilians living in detention camps in Sri Lanka

If it were shocking that there was little done to stop the war in Sri Lanka before, it is almost astonishing how quickly the messy realities left over have receded into oblivion.  An excerpt from the CNN article:

Human Rights Watch said the displaced Sri Lankans were already victims of a protracted and bloody civil war. Now they are victims again, confined against their will, like criminals, the global watchdog group said.

"Keeping several hundred thousand civilians who had been caught in the middle of a war penned in these camps is outrageous," said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Right Watch. "Haven't they been through enough?"

But a Sri Lankan Defense Ministry spokesman said the Human Rights Watch report is overstated, and he defended the government's handling of the displaced.

"Those are not detention camps," said the spokesman, Lakshman Hulugalle. "They are relief villages. All the basic facilities are being given to the people."

In related news, BBC reports that the IMF has approved a $2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka:

The International Monetary Fund has approved a $2.6bn (£1.6bn) loan to help Sri Lanka weather the global economic crisis and rebuild war-torn regions.


The first $322m tranche of the 20-month loan is available immediately, with the rest subject to quarterly reviews.

Britain and the US abstained from the vote, citing humanitarian concerns during the government's recent fighting against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Colombo says the money will be used to start the country's "healing process".

Sri Lanka's Enterprise Minister, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, said the money would pay for post-war reconstruction work in the north and east of the island - areas previously controlled by the rebels.


"We have completely destroyed one of the worst terrorist outfits in the world and it is time to start the reconciling and healing process in our country," Mr Yapa told Reuters news agency on Friday.

The markets, however, are happy as always, reports Bloomberg...

Sri Lanka’s rupee may rise 1.2 percent by June 2010 as a $2.6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund bolsters the country’s finances, Standard Chartered Plc said.

The Washington-based lender last week approved the 20-month arrangement that immediately provided $322 million to help the island-nation rebuild its war-ravaged economy and replenish foreign-exchange reserves that more than halved in six months. The local currency has rallied more than 5 percent from a record low reached on April 23 after President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared victory against the separatist Tamil rebels in May.

The 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 dated yesterday. “It is noteworthy that the final IMF loan amount is appreciably higher than originally discussed.”

The Sri Lankan rupee will appreciate to 113.50 a dollar by the end of June next year, after reaching 114.7 by end- September, 114.5 by end-2009 and 114 by end-March, Standard Chartered predicted. The bank had earlier forecast 118 by end- September and 116.5 by end-June.


By: on 29 Jul 2009


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Good for Sri Lanka!

Good for Sri Lanka!

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