On Friday, the International Monetary Fund is likely to approve a much awaited $2.5 billion loan to Sri Lanka for post-war reconstruction.
But a top human body, the Human Rights Watch has said that loan should be approved only after the government had rectified human rights abuses allegedly carried out as the 26-year-old war between government troops and the LTTE ended in the third week of May.
The rights body added that the government was holding more than 2,80,000 Tamil civilians displaced by the fighting in camps and failed to investigate attacks on journalists and civil society activists.
The initial loan amount was $1.9 billion but the figure was revised to $ 2.5 billion. Expecting the loan to come through, the government on Thursday readjusted its economic forecast for 2009 from a gloomy 2.2 per cent to 5 per cent.
“To approve a loan, more than the government asked for, while they have thousands of people penned up in these camps is a reward for bad behaviour, not an incentive to improve,” Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director, said, adding: “The IMF needs to change its approach.’’