One Year Breather

Indonesia and Sri Lanka, devastated by the tsunami disaster in late December, have been given a moratorium until December 31 on repayment of their debt owed to Paris Club members, the Paris Club said Thursday. Indonesia and Sri Lanka, devastated by the tsunami disaster in late December, have been given a moratorium until December 31 on repayment of their debt owed to Paris Club members, the Paris Club said Thursday. Debt repayments will be rescheduled over five years, the so-called Paris Club of creditor nations said.

The Paris Club agreed in principle on a payment freeze on Jan. 12, just over two weeks after the tsunami struck on Dec. 26, but did not set the terms other than offering an initial three-month moratorium.

France said at the time it expected Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles to take up the offer.

Total external debt of the tsunami countries stands at roughly $272 billion, with Indonesia alone owing some $48 billion to the Paris Club.

The statement said the 19-nation group had agreed to the latest offer at talks in Paris on Wednesday after studying an analysis of the situation by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“They offer that the deferred amounts be