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EU will not dictate to Lanka

30 April 2010 09:26 am - 31     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Sandun A. Jayasekera


The European Union (EU) is concerned about the continuation of the imposition of Emergency Regulations and the detention of DNA leader General Sarath Fonseka under military custody, but not in a position to dictate to Sri Lanka on its domestic affairs, Head of the delegation of the EU Commission, Bernard Savage said.
 

“It is up to Sri Lanka to meet the conditions expected by the EU. A firm decision has been taken by the EU to withdraw the GSP+ facility from August. If Sri Lanka keeps its house in order pertaining to the issues like human and labor rights and media freedom, the EU will positively review the situation in a later date and it will be helpful to regain the trade facility,” Mr. Savage in an exclusive interview with Daily Mirror.
 

 When suggested that there was a public perception in Sri Lanka that the EU has a negative attitude towards Sri Lanka like the US, Mr. Savage said “It was a business like relationship”.
 

‘I can’t comment on the public perception. However, the attitude of the EU towards Sri Lanka at large and President Mahinda Rajapaksa administration is clearly reflected on the statement by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the EU on April 13 on Sri Lanka’s Parliamentary Elections results.
 

"In the statement she has congratulated President Rajapaksa on his electoral success and expressed hopes to work with the newly elected Sri Lankan government in addition to looking forward to the implementation of Sri Lanka’s ambitious political agenda including the national reconciliation", Mr. Savage stressed.   
 

A dialogue between Brussels and Sri Lankan authorities has been initiated to review the EU recommendations. The discussions held in Brussels with the first official delegation   have been fruitful.     
 

The Government in March sent a high powered official delegation headed by Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B.Jayasundara to Brussels to discuss the GSP+ and other related matters in order to get a more active support from the EU for the reconstruction and reconciliation in post conflict Sri Lanka.
 

Mr. Savage said the March talks were positive and another team of top officials is scheduled to pay a visit to the EU in May but declined to elaborate.
 

He expressed hopes to arrive at a mutual agreement on the GSP+ issue on the common objectives of the two sides enabling the EU to re-visit the situation. This will also give Sri Lanka another opportunity to meet the conditions laid down by the EU.
 

Commenting on the reported moves by the government to introduce constitutional amendments to make way for President Rajapaksa to contest in the Presidential election for the third time, Mr. Savage said as long as it does not violate the Constitution and fulfills the aspirations of the people in the country there was not issue there.
 

“It is not proper for me to comment on this issue. What is most important is the desire of the people. Besides, the government is capable of introducing any changes to the Constitution if it enjoys a 2/3 majority in Parliament. But the basic law must be respected and safeguarded", Mr. Savage emphasized.

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  Comments - 31

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  • Saturday, 01 May 2010 12:49 AM

    No sweety, we lived before GSP +. it came after tsunami only. u ARE sadly mistaken.

    Saturday, 01 May 2010 02:43 AM

    It is very unfortunate that The EU is not concerned about human rights violations perpetrated by the US in Afhghanistan, in killing innocent civilians, bombarding hospitals and so on. These are double standards adopted by the so called super powers in trying to force their will on the so called developing nations.

    Saturday, 01 May 2010 02:48 AM

    why need EU or GSP when we have russia,China,India

    Friday, 30 April 2010 09:51 AM

    Nobody can dictate us...we are the Chandiya in the Indian Ocean !

    Friday, 30 April 2010 09:58 AM

    Bernard, bottom line is you too don't have a backborne like UN Secretay General. You all should have the guts to say what you have to say and to implement things in the right way, so that the GOSL knows what there position is, in the International Community and what International Community means..

    Friday, 30 April 2010 10:03 AM

    GSP plus was given purely due to the Tsunami. We lived before the Tsunami without GSP plus. Even though GSP plus is removed, we will still have standard GSP. Only 18 countries in the world have GSP plus. EU expects us to give Eelam in order to get GSP plus!

    Saturday, 01 May 2010 04:55 AM

    Thomas, China and India are NOT under the influence of any country. In fact, very recently, China was even contemplating bringing in sanctions against US. That is how strong China is today. READ MY FRIEND!!!

    Friday, 30 April 2010 10:26 AM

    We are also "CONCERNED" that EU is supporting the LTTE savages who still try to create EELAM in Sri Lanka !

    Friday, 30 April 2010 10:26 AM

    This is a concern of most of sri lanken who admire democracy. I feel this time EU cancerns are correct. When you enjoy democracy you will realize how importanat that is but when you never know what is excalty that you dont want democracy.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 10:28 AM

    Well it is time to realise that SF's case has nothing to do with human rights but different. Quite rightly so that it has nothing to do with EU.
    The sad part is they cannot recognise the wrongs EU members have done and what action have they taken? What about Britain who went to war with Iraq on false charges and still killing innocent people in Afghanistan? Why are they deaf and dumb about these issues.I hope SL will find a way of dealing with trade among other countries.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 10:39 AM

    How many will die in Sri Lanka after August without GSP+?
    Keep on counting from 1st September.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 10:45 AM

    The hands of some EU memberts are not clean

    Sunday, 02 May 2010 10:03 PM

    EU doesn't "dictate"; but will cancel all contracts and dole money.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 11:23 AM

    Any country giving Aid or GSP+ is concerned about the saftey, freedom and well being of the aid receiving country. I don't think it is dictating, is only a right of asking to comply.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 11:23 AM

    Lanka is protected by two giants, and no one, EU or USA, can dictate anything to it.

    Saturday, 01 May 2010 08:39 AM

    This is European Democracy ...and European civil rights ...
    Why we should depend on them ?

    Friday, 30 April 2010 11:59 AM

    Why EU not think about Trade Matters before grant GSP+

    Friday, 30 April 2010 12:00 PM

    Looks like some comentors are well off and not affected by GSP. They are not worried of those who are affected by the loosing of GSP.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 12:08 PM

    The two giants protecting Sri Lanka are 1. the Sri Lankan People and 2. The Sri Lankan Democracy. Nothing in the world can ever topple these two - not even giants of any other form.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 12:49 PM

    who ? china and india ? both countries have 25% of their own people under poverty line :-( means! 25 people out of 100 ... struggling to get food 3 times a day ! now u are depending on these countries

    Friday, 30 April 2010 01:38 PM

    Elections are over. So no point of helping SF or RW any more.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 01:52 PM

    The way Rajapakse conducts GSP will also removed one day.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 03:05 PM

    nobody can dictate Sinhala, we have proven that in the past.
    we will show again in the future!

    Friday, 30 April 2010 03:13 PM

    We have CHINA, WE do not need EU.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 03:51 PM

    POWERLESS:- Who are the GIANTS you are refering to ??????????? India & China are they? Both are under the influence of the EU & USA.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 05:08 PM

    We (ALL) will collect very soon Money for helping to stabilize the EURO...best example is Greece...!?!...It's look like the Euro's END is coming soon...!!??!!

    Friday, 30 April 2010 09:17 PM

    Really? What is reported, suggests the opposite!

    Friday, 30 April 2010 09:56 PM

    Actually, it is both India and China who are hoping to colonize us, in the near future.

    Sunday, 02 May 2010 07:46 AM

    I agree with you fully here.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 10:02 PM

    RELEASE SF & YOU WILL GET GSP+.

    Friday, 30 April 2010 10:03 PM

    Translation: We don't have much choice but to behave democratically, adhere to the laws of the country (starting at the top) and respect basic rights, in order to get our 'begging' privileges back! This is not an unreasonable request.


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