Minister: No. of refugees in government-controlled areas 46,271; Colombo not to agree to any conditions set by the IMF in return for aid; UNP MP’s rebel against Wickremasinghe
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  • Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe stated that the number of civilians who have taken refuge in government-controlled areas has reached 46,271. Even as army operations continued in Sri Lanka, pro-LTTE demonstrations were reported from places as diverse as Geneva, Switzerland, Brussels, Belgium and Toronto1.

    President Rajapakse stated that his government would not agree to any conditions put forth by the IMF in return for any aid they might give. He added that he would not let his country be transformed into “a colony2.” Prime Minister Wickramanayaka on his part claimed that the government would follow a pro-poor strategy and that the medium-term growth target for the current year would be 7-8 percent3. In other domestic developments, reports indicated that the United National Party (UNP) was experiencing a crisis with some members of parliament belonging to the party rebelling against UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe4.

    Myanmar’s Foreign Minister U Nyan Win during his meeting with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama reiterated his country’s desire to maintain close bilateral ties with Colombo. Mr. Win was in Colombo to attend on ECOSOC Regional Ministerial Meeting on Financing Strategies for Healthcare. Mr. Bogollagama sought the support of Myanmar for Sri Lanka's bid to host the BIMSTEC Secretariat in Colombo and support for Sri Lanka's application to become a dialogue partner of ASEAN5.