(Alagan Elavalagan, March 9, 2023)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was started in 1944, in theory, to build a framework for international economic cooperation. But the reality is not as honest as it claims to be. The true IMF framework is designed to enhance and extend indirect colonialism or imperialism. IMF has smartly been enforcing paths to economically colonialize the poorer nations of the world by enabling corruption in those places.
Sri Lanka has been going through severe economic hardship since its independence from the British Empire about 75 years ago. In early 2021, Sri Lanka had no more funds to pay for imports of any kind while foreign loan payments and interest payments continued to pile up.
Sri Lanka’s current hardship is caused by several factors; COVID and the war in Ukraine are two of the primary causes. COVID deeply cut two channels of massive revenue; Sri Lanka’s tourism revenue and remittance from the Middle East nosedived to near zero within days of pandemic spread. The Ukraine war increased the prices of everything globally. These two factors affected every single country in the world. However, some of the poorest countries in the world did not go bankrupt, while Sri Lanka did. Why?
Another reason why Sri Lanka went into bankruptcy was extreme corruption! The 2022 Corruption Perception Index, published by Transparency International, placed Sri Lanka in 101st place, out of 180 countries. But who is the biggest enabler of corruption in Sri Lanka and other poor countries? Why, it is the IMF of course.
In poor countries like Sri Lanka, the stolen portion of the governments’ wealth is very big, and the damage is even bigger. Stopping corruption and bringing back the stolen wealth to these poor nations will eliminate the need for funding through the IMF. However, it isn’t in the IMF’s best interests to eliminate corruptions because this would also eliminate their opportunity to control these poorer nations’ economies and eventually their people.
The Panama Papers by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) identified massive fraud by Sri Lankan politicians. Avant Garde Pte Ltd was at the top of the list of the Panama Papers. Even after the Panama Papers gave highly investigated information to Sri Lanka on a silver platter to file a case and recover the money, Sri Lankan politics brushed this information under a rug.
Then came the Pandora Papers which also gave investigated information to Sri Lanka on a silver platter. Did Sri Lanka use this important information to recover the stolen wealth? Again, no. All was ignored.
Additionally, there are white-elephant projects in Sri Lanka that have caused Sri Lank to go bankrupt in foreign loans.
Now the IMF, the corruption enabler, is coming to rescue Sri Lanka with a measly $2.9 billion loan while Sri Lanka has loans upwards of $51 billion. For its carrot, the IMF is forcing Sri Lanka to implement policies that are good for the IMF’s masters for a long time.
Sri Lanka has been pressed by the IMF to increase electricity charges by 66% recently. But in August of 2022 the electricity charges in Sri Lanka were increased by 75%. So, the total increment became 141%.
On January 3rd of 2023, Sri Lanka’s Right Information Commission also disclosed a long list of politicians and entities who haven’t paid their electricity bills for years.
Why didn’t the IMF ask the Sri Lankan government to recover this money before giving any new loans? There are two hidden reasons. One, the wealth stolen by the poor nation politicians always goes to IMF controlled rich nations; those corrupt politicians don’t keep the stolen monies in their countries.
Two, increasing the utility charges in the poor nations confirms a long-term inflated revenue for the rich nations’ multinational enterprises. So, it is double-dipping for the IMF.
On February 22nd of 2023, no surprise to anyone, without any competitive tendering, India’s Adani Group was given the right to build wind power plants in the Mannar and Pooneryan areas of Sri Lanka. Preemptively increasing electricity charges by 141% guaranteed a hefty profit for a foreign company, at the expense of the Sri Lankan people.
Western-based multinational companies like Airbus have been bribing poor nations’ politicians to sell their businesses. In 2020, Airbus signed a plea deal with the US, the UK and France and agreed to pay to those three countries $3.9 billion as fines for bribing Sri Lankan, Columbian, Ghana, and Indonesian politicians. The people of Sri Lanka, the actual victims, received nothing. Even the Western courts knowingly failed to pay retribution to the people of the victimized nations.
In January of this year, the IMF approved $105 million for Haiti. However, according to the 2004 Global Corruption Report, former Haiti dictator Baby Doc (Jean-Claude Duvalier) stole public funds upwards of $800 million. After losing power, Baby Doc ran away to France on a U. S. Air Force aircraft to have a luxury life.
Last December the IMF approved a 46-month $3 billion loan to Egypt. This loan is a drop in the bucket compared to what Hosni Mubarak pocketed from the government. Guardian and ABC News estimated his fortune to be about $70 billion. But the Washington Post estimated his fortune to be $700 billion. The corruption is so big, no one knows the depth of it. Now that he is gone, where are those billions? Not in Egypt.
Accused India’s top-level corruption figures like Nirav Modi (a diamond trader), Vijay Mallya (bankrupt Kingfisher Airlines) etc. are living in the West comfortably. These examples are only for samples.
The IMF, World Bank, and the mother of all, the UN understand the benefits of corruption in poor nations like Sri Lanka. Corruption allows the western multinationals to improperly take away businesses. Bribed money always comes back to the Western nations, and Western courts make sure fines, if caught, also stay in the West. This is a win, win, win proposition.
The IMF knows corruption in poor nations is boon for its owners. If the IMF honestly wants to help the poor nations, it needs to first stop enabling corruptions in those poor countries.