9 August, 2020

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WikiLeaks: We Have Done All That The IMF Asked – Basil To US

“Rajapaksa said that the government has done all that the IMF has asked, highlighting in particular the government’s efforts to raise additional revenue by raising the Nation Building Tax from 1 percent to 3 percent,” the US embassy Colombo informed Washington.

Basil

A leaked cable recounts details of a meeting Charge d’Affaires of the US embassy James R Moor has had with Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa on April 29, 2009.

The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the Charge d’Affaires.

“In a discussion initially concerning other issues, Rajapaksa said that the US is blocking Sri Lanka’s IMF request. Charge and Econ Chief underscored that the US has not threatened publicly or privately to block Sri Lanka’s Stand – by Arrangement (SBA) request, and that Ambassador Blake had confirmed the same to Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal prior to Cabraal’s departure for Fund/Bank meeting in Washington” Moor wrote to Washington.

Moorr further wrote “when asked by Chrage about GSL efforts to secure a USD 500 million loan from Libya, Rajapaksa noted that discussion continue.”

Read the full cable for further details;

R 050545Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9918
C O N F I D E N T I A L COLOMBO 000488

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/04/2019
TAGS: KDEM PREL EFIN ECON PHUM CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND LOAN

REF: A. SECSTATE 41959
     ¶B. MOORE-OWEN EMAILS 5/01/09
     ¶C. COLOMBO 449
     ¶D. COLOMBO 431
     ¶E. COLOMBO 385
     ¶F. COLOMBO 285
     ¶G. COLOMBO 244

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires James R Moore Reasons 1.4 (b)(d)

¶1.  (C) Charge delivered ref a points to Senior Presidential
Advisor Basil Rajapaksa on April 29 when, in a discussion
initially concerning other issues, Rajapaksa said that the
U.S. is blocking Sri Lanka's IMF request.  Charge and Econ
Chief underscored that the U.S. has not threatened publicly
or privately to block Sri Lanka's Stand-by Arrangement (SBA)
request, and that Ambassador Blake had confirmed the same to
Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal prior to Cabraal's
departure for Fund/Bank meetings in Washington.

¶2. (C) Charge went on to ask the status of the IMF loan, and
specifically if the government had submitted its letter of
intent (LOI) to the IMF.  Rajapaksa at first reported that
the government had already done so.  However, when questioned
what day the LOI was sent, he recanted, noting that he
thought it had been submitted.  Still later when Econ Chief
inquired when the President (who also serves as the Finance
Minister) had signed the LOI, he confirmed that the LOI has
not yet been submitted.

¶3. (C) Charge again underscored that the U.S. believes the
IMF program should be delayed until we can have more
confidence that authorities are committed to following
through on key fiscal and exchange rate reforms, also noting
that we shared our concerns with key IMF members.  Rajapaksa
said that the government has done all that the IMF has asked,
highlighting in particular the government's efforts to raise
additional revenue by raising the Nation Building Tax (NBL)
from 1 percent to 3 percent and its promise not to interfere
with the exchange rate.  When asked by Charge about GSL
efforts to secure a USD 500 million loan from Libya,
Rajapaksa noted that discussions continue.  (Note:  It was
later confirmed that CB Governor Cabraal was en route to
Libya to finalize the deal.  End note.)  He also seemed not
to be concerned as to whether or not the GSL eventually
secures an IMF SBA, stating that since the government had
already taken action, such an SBA would no longer be
necessary.

¶4. (C) Charge also shared ref a points with Foreign Secretary
Palitha Kohona on April 30.  Kohona did not provide any
substantive response to Charge.

¶5. (C) Comment:  Rajapaksa's lack of information about the
status of the request could be attributed to his absence from
country; he had just returned from overseas earlier in the
day.  His lack of understanding of the immediate need for IMF
assistance is in line with his limited grasp of
macroeconomics and the government's focus on the situation in
the north.  However, Rajapaksa's inability to point to any
concrete expenditure reductions leaves post with concerns
that the government may not be ready and willing to move
forward with its request to IMF, despite assurances from the
Central Bank that the SBA request is on track.  Post had
planned to reiterate points with Cabraal following his return
to country; however, we will now maintain silence until
further guidance on this issue, per ref b.

MOORE
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    so, it is IMF and US run the Sri Lanka and not the patriotic Rajapaksa brothers. Dr Percy Mr Hyde ;)

    • 0
      0

      exactly!

  • 0
    0

    Talking like Lions ;) :)

  • 0
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    “Rajapaksa’s inability to point to any
    concrete expenditure reductions leaves post with concerns
    that the government may not be ready and willing to move
    forward with its request to IMF, despite assurances from the
    Central Bank that the SBA request is on track.”
    THESE ARE THE PEOPLE RUNS OUR COUNTRY. INABILITY/ INAVBILITY

  • 0
    0

    effort needed to eliminate those rascals

  • 0
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    Moore was trying to say in his cable that all Mr. Basil R. wanted is the IMF to release the funds allocated to Sri Lanka but forgot to do his home works. It was like facing an Engineer’s interview by a Labourer or a Doctor’s interview by a office boy. Chandrika’s description was in line with the R family’s credentials. ;)

    • 0
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      Bugger is are only misleading Sinhala matta’s and doing something else.

  • 0
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    You are correct Dr. MATTEK. CBK is correct I agree.

  • 0
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    Mahinda regime represents the counter revolution and complete sell out to IMF and global powers. But they are hesitant to take bold steps, and to come out of the coalition.

    They believe that the masses who are under the spell of chauvinism of the Mahinda regime can be saved only by compromising with their beliefs and misconceptions. I do not take that view seriously. But if these councillors are prepared to join our democratic campaigns in the coming period then that should be considered seriously.

  • 0
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    How many more helping Hambantota type bank accounts do the uneducated uncultured Rajajapaksas have?

  • 0
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    IMF/WB have an obligation to help the recovery of the economies of developing countries. Problem is most of these countries come to power on populist promises that are totally at variance with the financial health and capacity of their countries. The advise of a-political economists within the country is ignored. Often these
    well-meaning economists are sidelined in favour of yes-men and sycophants. They leave the country shattered their offer to help the Motherland is denied. Sri Lanka has a surfeit of the wrong variety – and they have been running the economy for nearly 2 decades. One of them is back even after the highest court in the land found him guilty of fraud and even fined him. Just about the only thing he hasn’t done in his long career is he has never helped the economy grow.

    Blind and reckless assurances of getting inflation under check and ensuring a better GDP are trotted out at the time of pleading for loans to bridge the budget and keep the economy out of the life-support system. But maximum delays are seen in prescribing the bitter pill. The locals are told a different story and the donors yet another one – all in the hope the passage of time will see the non-performing regime tottering to survive – indefinitely. But the truth eventually comes out – as it did in Greece. As Lincoln said “you can fool some of the people, some of the time. Many people many times. But you cannot fool all the people all of the time”

    May Julian Assange and his colleagues in Wikileaks be praised.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
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    Singhe Nadei – Balu Kendiriya

    (roaring domestically like lions and weeping like street dogs in the international arena).

    Rata peratama Ohoma yanmu

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