Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

US Senate Proposes Freeze on All Military Aid to Sri Lanka

by The Sunday Leader, July 29, 2007

This proposal is made due to Sri Lanka's deteriorating human rights record, according to the Bill.

The United States Senate has proposed freezing all funds to Sri Lanka under the Foreign Military Financing Programme in its Appropriation Bill for 2008, commencing October 1, 2007.

This proposal is made due to Sri Lanka's deteriorating human rights record, according to the Bill.

In the Senate version of the State Department's Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2008, starting October 1, 2007, special reference has been made to Sri Lanka in section 690 of the Bill. The Bill states none of the funds appropriated by this act under the heading Foreign Military Financing Programme may be made available for assistance to Sri Lanka.

The Bill, The Sunday Leader learns, is to be taken up in the Senate in September. The section further states that no defence export licence may be issued and no military equipment or technology shall be sold or transferred to Sri Lanka pursuant to the authorities contained in the Act or any other Act.

However the Bill states an exception could be made if Secretary of State certifies and reports to the Committee on Appropriations that the Sri Lankan military is suspending and the Sri Lankan government is bringing to justice members of the military who have been credibly alleged to have committed gross violations of human rights including extra judicial executions and the recruitment of child soldiers.

This tough action follows repeated calls by a large number of Congressmen both from the Senate and the House of Representatives for Sri Lanka to address the human rights concerns raised.