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US support to IMF's Sri Lanka loan illegal – Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Thursday, 19 March 2009, 00:17 GMT]
“Concerning the proposed loan to Sri Lanka by the International Monetary Fund, United States domestic law makes it quite clear that the Obama Administration is obligated to oppose the loan. And given the weighted voting system for the IMF Board of Directors, a United States vote against the loan would be tantamount to a veto,” said Prof. Boyle, Professor at Illinois College of Law, adding, “for the Obama Administration to violate the Statute [22 USC 262d] and vote in favor of the proposed IMF loan to support the GOSL's "policy goals" would render the United States government "complicit" with Sri Lanka's genocide.”

Prof. Francis Boyle
Prof. Francis A. Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
Meg Lundsager who spent several years with the Treasury department in various capacities and also served as a member of the National Security Council staff, was confirmed by the US Senate in April 2007, and is now the official US Executive Director at the IMF. In the weighted voting arrangement of the IMF, US holds 16.77% of votes.

Title 22 of the United States Code, Chapter 7, Section 262d, "Human Rights and United States Assistance policies with international financial institutions" says quite clearly in relevant part:

    "(a) Policy goals

    The United States government, in connection with its voice and vote in...the International Monetary Fund shall advance the cause of human rights, including by seeking to channel assistance towards countries other than those whose governments engage in---

    (1) a pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, such as torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment, or prolonged detention without charges, or other flagrant denial to life, liberty, and the security of person...."
"Most Human Rights Organizations, including and especially Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have determined that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has historically perpetrated "a pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights" against the Tamil population living there, including and especially the 300, 000 Tamils now besieged and subjected to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by the GOSL Army in Vanni," Prof. Boyle asserts.

Furthermore, subsection (f) of the above statute mandates:

    "(f) Opposition by United States Executive Directors of institutions to financial or technical assistance to violating countries

    The United States Executive Directors of the institutions listed in subsection (a) of this section {which includes the IMF} are authorized AND INSTRUCTED to oppose any loan, any extension of financial assistance, or any technical assistance to any country described in subsection (a)(1) or (2) of this section, unless such assistance is directed specifically to programs which serve the basic human needs of the citizens of such country." (emphasis added)


“It is also clear from the IMF's own statement that the proposed IMF loan to GOSL will NOT be used to "serve the basic human needs of the citizens of such country," but in fact will be used to support "the government's policy goals": "IMF spokesman David Hawley said the loan funds would be used for "the government's policy goals."”

“Of course the GOSL "policy goals" currently include waging warfare, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Tamils, including and especially the 300,000 Tamil Civilians now besieged by the GOSL Army in Vanni,” says Prof. Boyle.

UN Rights chief, Navi Pillay recently said that "[c]ertain actions being undertaken by the Sri Lankan military and by the LTTE [Tigers] may constitute violations of international human rights and humanitarian law," and RSF and HRW reports allege that Sri Lanka has committed war crimes.

Prof. Boyle adds: “Consequently the Obama Administration is MANDATED by this law to vote against the proposed IMF loan to Sri Lanka. Indeed, for the Obama Administration to violate this Statute and vote in favor of the proposed IMF loan to support the GOSL's "policy goals" would render the United States government "complicit" with Sri Lanka's genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes against the Tamils, including and especially the 300,000 Tamils currently besieged by the GOSL Army in Vanni, in violation of Genocide Convention Article III (e) and the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as the U.S. Genocide Convention Implementation Act and the U.S. War Crimes Act.

"Therefore we must prevent this from happening by mobilizing as much public pressure as possible upon the Obama Administration to vote against this proposed IMF loan to the GOSL, which would be tantamount to a veto. In addition, for similar legal reasons, all people of good faith and good will around the world must pressure their governments to vote against the proposed IMF loan to Sri Lanka,” appeals Prof. Boyle.

AFP in a report Wednesday on Sri Lanka’s bailout talks with IMF said: “The island turned to the International Monetary Fund after pouring an unprecedented 1.6 billion dollars into financing the military drive against Tamil Tiger rebels that the government says it is close to winning. Economists say the economic woes caused by the high defence spending have been compounded by the global economic meltdown and the government's policy of halting privatisation of state-run enterprises,” further clarifying that the reason for loan request is the expenditure due to the “genocidal” war against the Tamils.


Chronology:


Related Articles:
16.02.09   RSF accuses Colombo of "War Crimes"


External Links:
ICP: On Sri Lanka, IMF Says Its Pending Loan Would "Support Government Policy Goals," To Wait and See
BBC:  UN fears Sri Lanka 'war crimes'
UMN: Human rights and United States assistance policies with international financial institutions, 22 U.S.C. § 262d (1994)

 

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