Friday, May 1, 2009

U.N. council sees no need to punish Sri Lanka

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The members of the U.N. Security Council agree there is no point in punishing Sri Lanka by withholding a $1.9 billion (1.3 billion pound) International Monetary Fund loan or other steps, the council's president said on Thursday.

"I have not heard anyone suggesting that," Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, president of the 15-nation council, told reporters after an informal session on Sri Lanka.

Asked if all members of the council agreed that penalties such as withholding the loan were unnecessary, Heller said, "Absolutely."

U.S. officials said on Wednesday Washington was trying to delay the loan to pressure the government to do more to help tens of thousands of civilians caught in the fighting between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels.

>> Full Story: Reuters