IMF completes the fourth review of the Sri Lanka Stand-by Arrangement (SBA); Sri Lanka’s inflation rate rose to 5.8 per cent; Government report: 89,000 women were widowed due to war; ICJ questions the continued state of emergency in Sri Lanka;
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  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has successfully completed the fourth review of the Sri Lanka Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) and disbursed the fifth tranche to the value of SDR 137.8 million (approximately US $ 212.5 million) on September 24. With this disbursement, a total of US $ 1,275 million has been received thus far by Sri Lanka on account of the SBA facility that was approved in July 2009.1

    Reports noted that Sri Lanka's inflation rate, on a year-on-year basis, rose to 5.8 percent in September 2010 for the second month in a row as consumer spending in the country has increased with rising prices.2 According to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs report, about 89,000 females were widowed due to the war and had no means of income to support them and their family.3

    According to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Sri Lanka has failed to adhere to international law in detaining suspected LTTE cadres. It suggested Sri Lanka’s donors and the UN to urge Colombo to improve its human rights situation. It also questions the reasons for continuing the state of emergency. The ICJ however has recognised the progress made in terms of releasing displaced people from camps and in releasing 565 former child soldiers after rehabilitation.4

    The routine biannual International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting between Sri Lanka and India held on board INS Kurki on September 29. The Navies of Sri Lanka and India had extensive discussion on the issue of strengthening the maritime security in the Palk Strait with a view to stop human smuggling, drug trafficking and other illegal activities.5

    The Sri Lankan government initiated a dialogue with Indian authorities on the Koodan Kulam nuclear power plant that is being set up in Tamil Nadu.6 President Mahinda Rajapaksa held bilateral discussions with Hungarian President Pal Schmitt, Portugal Prime Minister Jose Socrates, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.7 President Rajapaksa requested Portugal PM Socrates to return Sri Lankan archeological finds which were brought to Portugal when the countries had relations in the past. The Portugal PM stated that necessary steps will be taken in this regard.8

    In other developments, according to a delegation of Japanese MPs who met Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratna at his official residence, Sri Lanka is at the forefront of developing countries which has the capability to attract foreign investment.9