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Response to the IMF regarding HRW letter

Response to the IMF regarding HRW letter

Wick Gankanda
Senior software engineer Los Angeles, California, USA

March 24, 2009

To: Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Managing Director
International Monetary Fund
700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431

Dear Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn,

I am writing regarding the letter by Mr. Brad Adams, the Executive Director of Human Right Watch pertaining to emergency support loan request by Sri Lanka.

As a Sri Lankan American living in the Los Angeles, California who has lived in Sri Lanka for over 20 years, I have studied the situation on the island for the last 26 years. My frequent travels to this beautiful island and my long running friendships with lifelong friends there have kept me informed about the realties on the ground. I also read the letter by HRW of New York to the IMF and found it to be very inaccurate and misleading. Therefore my objective today is to counter many allegations made by HRW and convince you to fully support the Sri Lankan government.

Let me start by discussing a wider view of this nation: Sri Lanka is a thriving democracy with a very compassionate people and full of potential. Unfortunately, this nation has faced the full brunt of the world's most brutal terrorist organization, the LTTE, for the last 25 years. While fighting this internationally funded terror group, Sri Lanka has done its best to develop as a progressive nation and care for all its citizens.

I ask you to ignore the propaganda spread globally by the LTTE and look objectively at the facts. You will see that Sri Lanka has bent over backwards to take serious steps to safeguard the rights of internally displaced persons and ensure an effective humanitarian response. Every single day, we see reports of how civilians are fed, medically cared for and secured. The rights groups never acknowledge that.

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These images prove beyond any doubt the Sri Lankan government's commitment to care for IDPs

Please follow link for more information Security forces conduct medical clinic for Jaffna civilians



(These images prove beyond any doubt the Sri Lankan government's commitment to care for IDPs)

Please follow link for more information
http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20090228_10

Read about how over one thousand Tamil civilians reached government controlled area seeking safety http://www.sinhala.net/LocalNews/SinhalaNet_Full_News.asp?ID=4727#NewsViewBM

The LTTE is holding civilians as a human shield to slow the advancement of the army. Mr. John Thompson, the President of the Mackenzie Institute of Canada states: "… like Hitler or Saddam Hussein; Vellupillai Prabhakaran (the Tamil Hitler) is not above sacrificing anybody his followers can compel into service. As the last guerrilla forces retreated into their final sanctuary, they dragged in every Tamil civilian they could find as a human shield."

The Tamil Tiger Terrorists killed and burned innocent Tamil civilians fleeing the human shield. I quote: "Tigers make sure that those who try to escape into government declared safe zones are mercilessly killed, mostly burnt alive and the corpses are displayed as a deterrent to others who would try to escape. These photos were taken by a brave Tamil who managed to escape to a safe zone only last week."

I have included a couple of pictures here for you:

I have included a couple of pictures here for you:

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Civilians shot and burnt alive by Tamil Tiger Terrorists while trying to reach government areas



(Civilians shot and burnt alive by Tamil Tiger Terrorists while trying to reach government areas)

This link contains GRUESOME images of these atrocities committed by the LTTE:
http://www.spur.asn.au/LTTE_killing_Tamil_Civilians_fleeing_LTTE_Human_Shield_December_2008.asp

As you can see from above, the most obvious threat to civilians and their welfare is the LTTE. If you get rid of it, there will definitely be peace, economic prosperity and opportunities for all. Consider the Eastern Province. Once it was a stronghold of the Tiger Terrorists where the population was brutalized by the LTTE with no elections or democracy. The Sri Lankan government drove the LTTE out of this province and held elections. Next we see are economic opportunities for its residents, hand-in-hand with democratic rights. The LTTE is doing everything in its power to stop that in the North and extend the conflict. Therefore, they do not want the IMF to side with Sri Lanka.

The accusation of the HRW that the government forces continued to fire artillery indiscriminately into areas they have declared to be safe zones is now proven false. We now know that it was the LTTE that fired artillery to make it look like the government forces and used the incidents to spread false propaganda through its global media machine. Even the BBC and United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, Navi Pillay got on the bandwagon by quoting the Tiger terror Web site Tamilnet. This LTTE front Tamilnet is well known to doctor images and invent absolutely non-existent civilian casualties all conveniently blamed on the Sri Lankan government. The so called "More than 2,800 civilians are believed to have been killed and another 7,000 wounded in the past two months alone" mentioned by HRW was generated by these LTTE sources in their terror-held areas and further spread by Tiger terror's network of (mis)information outlets. HRW uses these terror outlets as sources thus clouding the group's real mission of protecting human rights.

Contrary to HRW, the Sri Lankan government has no intention of keeping "welfare centers" going forever since they are counterproductive to progress and security. Most supplies to those camps and centers are provided by the government and not by aid groups. Hospitals in the conflict zones, even the ones in the terror-held areas are mostly supplied by Sri Lankan government with taxpayer money. On top of that, the government is responsible for the safety of the civilians in these camps and does its best to prevent these internally displaced persons from been forcibly recruited by the LTTE if they venture outside of their perimeter. The reality on the ground is that the Tamil Tiger Terrorists have been loosing cadres fast and need to replenish their ranks. The IDPs living in the camps are their prime target. HRW conveniently left those facts out of their letter.

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Sir John Holmes toured the civilian shelters in February and said he was very satisfied with the way the Sri Lankan government is handling the humanitarian situation in the IDP centers, including the ones in Vavuniya. You can read the full details here http://www.colombopage.com/archive_09/February2272151RA.html

This is the critical information the human rights groups don't want you to see. The work of Sri Lanka might not be perfect, but as a developing nation, they are getting there fast.

The many were Muslims forced to flee their homes to escape fighting in 1990 as mentioned by HRW is because of the LTTE Terrorists' campaign of ethnic cleansing. These civilians have been forced out of their ancestral land by the Tamils to create the 'Tamil homeland'. Once the LTTE is eliminated and their genocidal drive is extinguished, these Muslims can go back to the land they once inhabited. We have to wonder why the HRW letter left that out.

What is most alarming about the allegations by the HRW is that thanks to its own actions, the Tamil Tiger Terrorists have violated human rights and commited atrocities by the thousands. Mr. Michael Radu of the Foreign Policy Research Institute says: "The latter (Western donors), as usual, are themselves "sensitive" to the enormously effective, and wealthy, pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora and the international "human rights" lobbies-such as AI and HRW. Each of those, over time and for its purposes, acted to prolong the conflict, protect the LTTE, and thus have more Sri Lankans killed…" You may access the entire report 'How to Kill Civilians in the Name of "Human Rights": Lessons from Sri Lanka' here http://www.fpri.org/enotes/200902.radu.killcivilianshumanrightssrilanka.html

Therefore, you cannot evaluate the situation based just on rights group's inaccurate statements. Consider this: it is the LTTE Terrorists who will gain the most if you go only by what the HRW and other LTTE-supporting groups have to say because of the following:

* Tamil Tiger Terrorists have been trying to destroy Sri Lanka including its infrastructure and terrorize the population for the last 25 years. Economic prosperity and the stability are unbearable for terrorists that gain from poverty, resentment for the lack of opportunities and instability.

* The bogus arguments made by HRW are exactly what the Tiger Terrorists will make if they communicated with you.

* A prolong conflict and instability in Sri Lanka is good business for human rights groups such as HRW, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the terrorists. Therefore any loans to rebuild the country will be opposed by them.

Hope I have managed to convince you to see the real facts behind the situation, realize the full potential of this nation and work with the Sri Lankan government by granting this and future loans. If I can be of any assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at the above phone number.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Wick Gankanda
Senior software engineer Los Angeles, California, USA

CC:
Mr. David Hawley, Senior Advisor, External Relations Department

 

IMF Transcripts regarding this issue:

Transcript of a Press Briefing by David Hawley, Senior Advisor, External Relations Department on Thursday, March 12, 2009
Link to the transcript at IMF Web site

QUESTION: I wanted to know what you can say about the conditions—the IMF may be considering on the loan to Sri Lanka, a nearly $2 billion loan and there's some discussion of whether they could use it to support the rupee. I also wanted to know whether there's any consideration by the IMF how funds are using given the current military conflict in the country.

MR. HAWLEY: Thank you. Discussions are still ongoing with Sri Lanka and are expected to continue over the next few weeks. They're focused on achieving the government's—in order words, Sri Lanka's policy goals which include rebuilding reserves, reducing the budget deficit and bringing about balance of payment sustainability.

QUESTION: I guess maybe this is kind of a naïve question, but in countries that are involved in—at the U.N. where I usually report from they had a Security Council meeting about the conflict and humanitarian effects of it. What sort of follow through or restrictions are placed such that it isn't—since money is fungible is not used for—or of support to military action?

MR. HAWLEY: I'm sorry. I haven't understood the question.

QUESTION: Since the country is involved currently in a military offensive in the northern part of the country that's given rise to at least one briefing at the U.N. Security Council, what provisions are in place to make sure that such a loan doesn't indirectly simply support military action?

MR. HAWLEY: Let me say—let me repeat what I just said. Our discussion are still ongoing with the Sri Lankan authorities on a possible program, so let us wait for the outcome of those discussions. Thank you very much—and because you were a late arrival, it's 10:30. Thanks a lot.


 

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