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EU ready for dialogue

25 June 2010 04:30 pm - 19     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Easwaran Rutnam


Despite the government saying it will not have further dialogue with the European Union (EU) to seek an extension of the GSP plus trade benefits, the EU says it is willing to hold further talks on the matter if the Sri Lankan government so wishes.

The Brussels based European Commission press officer for Trade Marie Antonie Kerwien speaking to Daily Mirror online said that so far, the government of Sri Lanka has made its views known only to the media and so the EU would therefore prefer to attend the official answer of Sri Lanka before communicating its next step.

However the press officer noted that the European Commission remains committed to support Sri Lanka in its efforts to tackle the challenges it faces in terms of human rights, reconstruction and reconciliation and if Sri Lanka so wishes, is ready to continue the dialogue on the necessary steps to bring the country into compliance with the relevant international conventions and to become again eligible for GSP+ benefits in the future.

The spokesperson stressed that so far discussions with high-level Sri Lankan officials have been held in a constructive atmosphere with a view to agreeing a set of rapid, verifiable and sustainable measures to address failings identified in the European Commission investigation.

In their letter EU High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton and Commissioner De Gucht invited the Government of Sri Lanka to respond to the concerns by 1st of July and give a written commitment to implement some recommendations in order to obtain a temporary extension of the GSP for the country which ends in August this year.

However External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris told reporters this week that the cabinet which convened under President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday had strongly rejected the conditions put forward by the EU.

Minister Peiris said that among the conditions put forward by the EU was for the government to remove the emergency regulations, repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the implementation of the 17th amendment.

The Minister further said that the government will not continue dialogue with the EU on the specific matter of the GSP plus trade benefits.  (Daily Mirror online)
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  Comments - 19

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  • MaPer Saturday, 26 June 2010 07:50 AM

    I thought we dont need the GSP+ - the government should tell them straight - without procrastinating.

    KD Saturday, 26 June 2010 07:54 AM

    Carrot and stick won't work if you remove any of the two.

    Hari Saturday, 26 June 2010 08:10 AM

    I think EU should keep their carrot. We should concentrate more on harvesting more of our own carrots in our own lands.

    Dhamsen Saturday, 26 June 2010 08:19 AM

    If without political conditions it is OK.Otherwise no need for further discussions.

    samisa Friday, 25 June 2010 05:06 PM

    Just because Sri Lanka is behaving like an elephant on a rampage, other countries shouldn’t just ignore it.

    piripaharan Saturday, 26 June 2010 08:52 AM

    Wasn't that what GL just said?

    Jix Friday, 25 June 2010 06:35 PM

    The EU seems to be persistently dangling the 'carrot' that is GSP+, in front of us. This entire exercise is very intriguing.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Saturday, 26 June 2010 09:26 AM

    At the moment, Sri Lankan government is acting like a coy maiden who does not want to say "yes" or "no" to a marriage proposal!

    Ellepola Friday, 25 June 2010 07:06 PM

    This could be 'a blessing in disguise.' Let them keep the GSP+. Let's be an independent nation and develop an alternative industry!

    saambrani Friday, 25 June 2010 07:47 PM

    The 'elephant' is Sri Lanka, and EU is the 'mahout.'

    steve Saturday, 26 June 2010 12:00 PM

    GOSL asking for a dowry without a marriage.

    Village lad Saturday, 26 June 2010 01:42 PM

    Govenment says they can manage without GSP+...If so G.L pieris must come out with proper answer.

    EW Golding Saturday, 26 June 2010 01:49 PM

    Why don't both sides say NO, NO, once and for all and close the matter?

    Dheen Saturday, 26 June 2010 05:06 AM

    One has to strike the balance at some point because in the context of the Global village we need each other.

    Sri Minnal Saturday, 26 June 2010 10:36 PM

    Time ans time again Sri Lankan government said they don't need GSP. What is the big fuss? Tell EU once and for all that we don't need GSP. Matter is closed.

    ajith Saturday, 26 June 2010 06:53 AM

    Elephant is a wise mammal.Once he is provoked he is dangerous.EU on is a "White Elephant" who tries to bully and blackmail the poor elephant.Elephants never forget the enemy even after many years.

    BUGGER Saturday, 26 June 2010 06:57 AM

    What the EU wants is what all of us want,GOOD GOVERNANCE

    Tikiri Saturday, 26 June 2010 07:03 AM

    Sri Lanka, don’t kneel down in front of European fundamentalist racists. Follow Fidel Castro, Che, Mao, Ho Chi Ming, Kim Il Sung. Viva Sri Lanka.

    Canadian Sinhalaya Saturday, 26 June 2010 07:39 AM

    WELL DONE MR,,,TELL EU TO JUMP IN THE LAKE LET EU TO COME BEHIND YOU...


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