So, So

Tsunami-battered Sri Lanka on Friday jumped at an offer by the world’s richest creditor nations to freeze its debt payments, but hardest-hit Indonesia was skeptical and said it would be of little help. Tsunami-battered Sri Lanka on Friday jumped at an offer by the world’s richest creditor nations to freeze its debt payments, but hardest-hit Indonesia was skeptical and said it would be of little help. The Paris Club grouping of 19 rich nations has offered to freeze payments of nations pummeled around the Indian Ocean’s rim until the end of 2005 and allow the deferred payments to be repaid over five years, with a one year grace period.

Just after December’s tsunami, which left about 300,000 people dead or missing, France said it expected Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles to take up a debt-freeze offer.

Sri Lanka is the only taker so far, while Indonesia said it would review the offer anyway. Thailand rejected the idea when it was first mooted.

And Sri Lanka, which reckons it will cost $1.8 billion to rebuild its own ravaged coastline and damaged infrastructure, plans to lobby the G8 nations to extend the moratorium for another two years.

“Of course, while we are very grateful for