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GSP cannot be terminated arbitrarily

6 February 2010 03:04 pm - 32     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Sri Lankan government, in a statement this evening, said that the termination of trade concessions such as GSP+ is not a mere mechanical process that can be done arbitrarily, but one that  should be decided upon fully cognizant of its associated political and socio-economic ramifications at the time of doing it.

News agencies had reported yesterday that EU diplomats had decided to suspend the GSP trade concession for Sri Lanka and that a formal announcement will be made later this month.

However, Ravinatha Aryasinha, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU said in the statement that no formal decision on “temporary suspension” of GSP+ has been taken by the European Council and that they have time till later this month.

The Sri Lankan envoy said that clearly many of the concerns that had given rise to the European Commission’s psychological impetus to review Sri Lanka’s suitability for the continuance of the GSP+, have already been addressed on the ground and in such context, any “temporary suspension” at this time would amount to, " having taken the temperature of a patient when he has a fever, then pronouncing him dead ten months later after he has recovered and is doing well."

At a time when the EU has shown considerable understanding and willingness to accommodate the practical difficulties faced by some current GSP+ recipient countries at variance from the norm with respect to the 27 UN conventions, Sri Lanka finds it is hard to understand why the same rubric is not being applied in the case of the island nation.

The envoy said in the statement that Sri Lanka values its long-standing relations with the EU, and has, and will continue to engage with the European institutions in order to address the remaining issues of concern, in a manner that does not compromise Sri Lanka’s national interest.

However, such engagement needs to be on terms respectful of one another and with sincerity and purposefulness by both parties. Sri Lanka expects the EU to do the same. There should be no setting of unattainable targets, no shifting of goal posts and no attempt to use Sri Lanka-EU relations to serve domestic political agendas.

At a debate on this issue held on 14 January 2010 at the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee where the above points were made, spokespersons of the EPP, ALDE and the ECR (parties which represent the majority in the European Parliament) also pointed to this unfair manner in which Sri Lanka has been singled out from among GSP+ recipients for unfair treatment and unambiguously urged that the Council refrain from acting hastily against Sri Lanka on this matter, the statement by the Sri Lankan envoy said.

Sri Lanka remains hopeful that better sense will prevail upon member countries of the EU, who themselves have faced  similar situations in their long history and are acutely conscious of the complexity of ‘democracies fighting terrorism’ – a phenomenon Sri Lanka, thankfully, has been able to overcome, the statement added.

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  Comments - 32

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  • Monday, 08 February 2010 06:26 AM

    My Advice to Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

    European Union is an entity that came in to existence only thirty years ago. It was at that time they were contemplating creating an union in Europe that can pose a formidable challenge to United States of America's emerging trade influence in the world. Our new parliament should adopt a resolution reflecting the view of the Sri Lankan state that the country does not recognise EU as an independent sovereign nation compared with the individual member states of the EU. Sri Lanka should declare that it will start negotiations with individual states in Europe for access to their markets based on ther strategies which the EU has not even thought of. Sri Lankan state had relations with countries in Europe for thousands of years compared to its relations with EU which spans only for about 30 years.

    Monday, 08 February 2010 06:44 AM

    As a result remove pluck from EU. Please do anything my great presided to save employee in garment sector.

    Monday, 08 February 2010 07:20 AM

    Stand up for our wrights as professional manner..

    Monday, 08 February 2010 08:57 AM

    The Central has been crowing that we do not need GSP +. So why beg for it now ?

    Saturday, 06 February 2010 04:38 PM

    GSP is a gift. It is not mandatory to renew it. Stop begging for alms.

    Saturday, 06 February 2010 05:10 PM

    EU will make another ultimatum before General Election to Help Ranil.

    Saturday, 06 February 2010 05:27 PM

    Beggars cannot be choosers!

    Saturday, 06 February 2010 05:29 PM

    go to courts.

    Saturday, 06 February 2010 07:08 PM

    THE Ambassdor the Arbitrarily stop GSP is not necessary but westran world can stop for indefinitaly for ever.

    Monday, 08 February 2010 11:08 AM

    at some stage you pay for the sins committed -stop begging -go ahead and give the rebates promised by the loud mouthed treasury big boss

    Monday, 08 February 2010 12:00 PM

    The results of human rights vioaltions are yet visible in the Wanni. That is why EU Monitors should be allowed to go and see for themelves and speak to the affected people. Merely talking in isolation solves nothing.

    Sunday, 07 February 2010 08:34 PM

    GSP+ was given to SL to help recover from the tsunami. Now EU is trying to attach various strings to get the outcomes they desire. They are using GSP+ as both carrot and the stick.

    Monday, 08 February 2010 01:15 PM

    The SL Government, can arrest and detain innocent people arbitrarily . Therefore, why cant the GSP be terminated arbitrarily? I think only now the fools are opening their brains saying about GSP. The goons can do, but when somebody else do it, then it sems to be an offence. What a country are we in.

    Sunday, 07 February 2010 09:09 PM

    the Ambassdor you are telling something but Prof GL Peries wanted to file case againsed the EU.. foreign nministers statment told against you. the big three jokers are wasting tax money.. srilanka failed to good friend relation with westran countries, the president and ministers are not worth for this country. enough is enough..

    Sunday, 07 February 2010 03:13 AM

    So, get GLP to take legal action against the EU!

    Sunday, 07 February 2010 09:51 PM

    Respect for human rights is a condition of the GSP ststus. When the Government of Sri Lanka is blatantly violating human rights will EU agree to extend GSP status? The Ambasodor is trying to safehuard his position by playing favour with the SL Government

    Sunday, 07 February 2010 10:30 PM

    No worries, Basil can fix this, and he has the enormous negotiation skills, one way or the other.

    Sunday, 07 February 2010 04:24 AM

    EU should cancel GSP to SL. Present marshal Govt. should respect Humanrights. Where is Judgment for innocent tamils and 15 Journalist killed by the Govt.

    Sunday, 07 February 2010 11:55 PM

    absolutely true!! Which is also why it is retarded of GL Peiris to have said Sri Lanka would sue!

    Monday, 08 February 2010 12:21 AM

    These profoserirs- must go back to primary school-
    ; Punchi Paha tram Happana nowa"s

    Monday, 08 February 2010 12:28 AM

    The problem is the GOSl has no guts to go infront of EU and answer these issues. We need a government who will not shiver infront of western forces and at the same time who will preserve the HR of our people. The govt lacks both these and is going to lose GSP+. Finally 300000 people will be unemployed. Iknow the GOSL is not bothered about it.

    Monday, 08 February 2010 12:38 AM

    Yes he threatened to do that for public consumption before the polls - hope not bravado only.

    Sunday, 07 February 2010 04:57 AM

    So ten months ago we had a fever. Who said we have gotten better? And if sl government can be arbitary and sounding their gongs about other countries invading abot sovereignity they can be arbitary as well. Now it sounds that we are begging.

    Monday, 08 February 2010 01:19 AM

    Don't talk crap Ravinatha !

    Monday, 08 February 2010 01:27 AM

    It can, as long as arbitrary arrests of innocent civilians go on.

    Monday, 08 February 2010 02:41 AM

    Many of us, commonsense neutral people could be better ambassadors than these MR family licking abbettosorcerers who eat our public money. GSP+ is given on sympathy after 2004 tsunami to Sri Lankan people. GSP+ was not like giving a fish to a hungry man rather it was a rare privilege given to Sri Lankan people to develop industries and export 7200 odd items to sell to 27 EU countries at a price that encourage more Export to EU countries while EU taking a loss as a result of this concession to Sri Lanka to export duty free to EU these megalomaniac goons in the most undemocratic regime is Sri Lankan history cannot keep the GSP+ that served our rural youths and to uplift Sri Lanka beyond poverty, then I want to see these goons stop buying and driving in western cars and other expensive luxuries from the west as a protest at least.

    Monday, 08 February 2010 03:23 AM

    Who appointed Ariyasinghe as the decision maker for EU and when? So are we to believe EU or Ariyasinghe?

    Monday, 08 February 2010 03:42 AM

    SL
    you say, Just for 15 journalist and some Tamil people, nearly 1 million garment jobos are going to be at risk. people like should be hung.
    dperera

    Monday, 08 February 2010 03:27 PM

    "D Perera 2010-02-08 09:12
    SL
    you say, Just for 15 journalist and some Tamil people, nearly 1 million garment jobos are going to be at risk. people like should be hung."

    Yes well your comments show exactly why GSP+ should be withdrawn...its all about human rights stupid. I suggest that you have a look at the current work being carried out by the GOSL HR Commission...The answer is ziltch; now Yapa is muttering about having a Report to have a new HR Commission. I rest my case

    Monday, 08 February 2010 05:07 AM

    Already done ............... nothing to beg again ....................

    Monday, 08 February 2010 05:09 AM

    Jokers!

    Monday, 08 February 2010 05:54 AM

    GSP is not a donation to Sri lanka alone, its a donation of our goods to EU citizens too at a lower price to pay by consumer as well. Sri lankans are not beggars in this business so pls. do not call ourselves beggars. EU thinks GSP is a magic wand to get us to agree to their terms. wrong again.


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