Written by Tharushan Fernando
25 Nov, 2015 | 7:54 pm
Speaking at at the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association in Colombo on Tuesday, Ambassador and Head of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, David Daly said that it is essential that Sri Lanka complies with human rights conventions, in order to come to an agreement over the GSP Plus issue.
The Ambassador and Head of the EU to Sri Lanka and the Maldives speaking on the issue said:
I do think that it is useful to think of the GSP Plus issue as a tale of three cities – Geneva, Colombo and Brussels. However, it is true to say that because of the position of the government under President Sirisena, and its commitment to improving the human rights situation here in Sri Lanka, that the time is now more propitious than it used to be, to have a conversation between Sri Lanka and the European Union on the GSP Plus issue.
Compliance with these conventions is about concrete situations on the ground and it is not only about sincere commitments from the government. That is why it is neither easy nor quick.
He went on to question:
When the police reacted violently against the students recently here in Colombo, what is the government doing about it? What type of investigations…
He also stated that the Working Group, amongst other things, reported that some of the people with whom they met were subsequently questioned in relation to their visit. Is this sort of thing still happening? Because these examples raise obvious questions. And these are the sorts of issues, which we are discussing with the government in terms of our joint preparatory work on GSP Plus.
Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, Malik Samarawickrama meanwhile stated:
As you are aware, we are working hard to eliminate the EU fisheries ban and restore GSP Plus as soon as we can. And I believe, within the next six to nine months there will be results. Because a lot of actions are being taken in this regard with the assistance of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Justice, Minister of Commerce and of course with the assistance added by Ambassador Daly
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