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Lanka has backup for GSP

24 June 2010 06:13 am - 51     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Sandun A. Jayasekera


Sri Lanka says it has a backup mechanism in place in the event the European Union (EU) withdraws the GSP plus trade benefits for the country over its failure to adhere to the conditions set by the 27 member block.

Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters a short while ago that the conditions put forward by the EU in order for Sri Lanka to continue to benefit from GSP are similar to conditions raised by the opposition including Ranil Wickramasingha, Karu Jayasuriya, Rauff Hakeem and Mano Ganeshan.

He noted that no citizen of Sri Lanka can agree to the conditions of the EU as it violates the integrity and sovereignty of the country.

Meanwhile speaking at a seperate press briefing in Colombo a short while ago, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris confirmed that the cabinet which convened under President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday 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 ammendment.

However the Minister stated that the government position was that since the implementation of the 17th ammendment was a domestic matter, no foreign country could intervene.

"If we are to comply with the EU conditions we have to overhaul the consitution. We are not prepared to do that," Minister Peiris said.

The Minister further said that the government will not continue dialogue with the EU on this specific matter of the GSP+ trade benefits.

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  Comments - 51

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  • AShamed Thursday, 24 June 2010 09:02 AM

    Does anybody know what these conditions are ?? why cannot these be shown to all us citizens so that we can judge for ourselves if they are fair or unfair........

    Gayan Samarasekara Thursday, 24 June 2010 09:11 AM

    It seems like the government is preparing the background to openly announce that the EU banned GSP+..

    mahinda Thursday, 24 June 2010 09:22 AM

    Good point. Anyway didn't MR promise to implement the 17th amendment and abolish the Executive Presidency as a part of his Presidential Campaign?
    Any why do we need a state of emergency? The only emergency I see is the rising cost of living.
    As for the prevention of terrorism act, with it's sweeping powers, we don't really need that anymore, do we? We "defeated terrorism", right? we even had a 1st anniversary "V Day" celebration to commemorate this, right?
    So what's the problem? Do these things, get GSP+ back and help our garment exporters. We need all the foreign exchange we can get.

    Dheen Thursday, 24 June 2010 10:41 AM

    There appears to be no straight forward statement from the government and it looks like "Too many cooks spoil the soup".

    Kaduru Thursday, 24 June 2010 10:48 AM

    under value the rupee against the euro, exports orders will follow.
    that's what asean and china are doing bump up exports.

    Malin Thursday, 24 June 2010 11:26 AM

    Some of the comments made by some are unpatriotic. This is not UPFA or UNP poltics. It's about the Country. GSP came into being after Tsunami. We should manage the way we had it Pre-Tsunami. What happens tomorrow if the SAARC countries come in support of (we should bargain for it) Sri Lanka and stop exporting apparels to EU countries? EU ppopulation will have to go NUDE. Majority EU population can't afford to pay high prices for their clothes manufactured in the developed world.

    SUMINA Thursday, 24 June 2010 06:27 AM

    BRAVO ! GOOD FOR EXPORTERS IF THEY STILL RETAIN THE EUROPEAN MARKET.

    Kumar Wijayasekara Thursday, 24 June 2010 06:33 AM

    If you have a back up, then why did you send a begging delegation to EU by wasting public money?

    KABAB Thursday, 24 June 2010 06:35 AM

    Hon. Minister. Implement the so-called backup mechanism immediately and see the cotcome. Don't wait till the last minute. Because the tongue is boneless.

    rushanHAMEED Thursday, 24 June 2010 06:35 AM

    WELL DONE SIR.

    THARMA U K Thursday, 24 June 2010 06:36 AM

    End of the day SRILANKA HAVE TO GO AND BEG.

    Kamalanath Thursday, 24 June 2010 06:47 AM

    Exactly correct. Why waste time? We need action, not mere talking.

    shane Friday, 25 June 2010 02:55 AM

    You mean "Back Up " vehicles for ministers? Peiris sir?

    malkanthi Thursday, 24 June 2010 06:58 AM

    Exactly, wonder whether they have other options in order to retain the market share that bring revenue to our country. Agreeing to such conditions is far better than facing a rapid decline of economy that will lead to a disaster. Government must consult the business community not the politicos that know nothing about Eonomy.

    Bhell Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:08 AM

    We certainly need to show Sri Lanka can live without GSP+ . Benificiary of this scheme is not only Sri Lanka, whole EU bacause they get cheap products. Selling price of one garment can exceed one month pay of a garment worker. Is this fair?

    Truth Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:08 AM

    How long are these politicians going to hoodwink the people? just bravado talk is not going to help our exporters. already ordinary people suffering from the price hike of bread and milk.

    Upul Thursday, 24 June 2010 01:06 PM

    All big talk only!!!

    Rak1234 Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:16 AM

    Yes, no foreign country can intervene in domestic matters, but then why is S.Lanka letting India to get involed so much?

    Thambi Thursday, 24 June 2010 01:27 PM

    Malin from which orifice are you talking ?????

    Danushke Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:20 AM

    Its a part of diplomacy to seek solutions within the existing framework. Means, SL govt tried its best to retain the GSP. Thats not a waste of public money. Since to retain the GSP, we need to seel the country's soul, they are now looking for alternative plans.

    As a Sri Lankan support the nation rather than barking

    Danushke Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:21 AM

    very true.. Its a win win situation for both.

    To get the same high product standards from another country will require additional funds and time. Thats not something EU currently have.

    Wasantha Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:22 AM

    First make the general public aware what are the proposed conditions. EU is not unwise to put conditions that cannot be implemented. Definitely such conditions would not be a threat to our sovereignty. However , the governmenet has already neglected Human Rights despite repeated request.

    Shevon Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:22 AM

    The GSP+ has no relevance with the fact that the products are cheap. If we dont have GSP+ we will not be able to compete with the others such as China etc. Although EU does get cheap products, it is as a result of strong competition among manufacturers. GSP+ is a concession and by giving it to Sri Lanka they actually lose out on revenues. The requests made by them are very fair. People of Sri Lanka have suffered as a result of the unreasonable extensions of the emergency laws even after the war.

    Aadil Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:23 AM

    Wat are the conditions put forward by the EU, we are sure everything cannot be met, but some can be (depends). And what is the other mechanism is KR talking about! Put those forward as business community have the right to know what is the govt. planning to do for the country & its citizens' future!

    faizalsamsu Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:24 AM

    As always this is what will happen in the end...

    lankanlion Thursday, 24 June 2010 01:49 PM

    These are nothing other than mere hot air from Mr.Peries. Utlimately we have to suffer as a result of these stupidity demonstrated by our politicians.

    JEM D Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:25 AM

    It is high time we stop taking hand outs from Europe and USA. For nothing comes for nothing.
    I would like some of the above pundits who find fault with the Govt: to know that of all Garments manufactured in SL 90 % of the material are ikported. So they have much to lose more than us. I see this as a bullying or hand twisting tactic by the EU who will give in subsequently. Or else they should have cancelled it by now.

    00000 Thursday, 24 June 2010 01:53 PM

    We will export to China with out the made label and China will buy and put made in China label and re-export the merchandise. 10% commision payable

    Calistus Jayatilleke Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:32 AM

    This attitude of the government will only take the country into an abyss from which there will be no recovery. The back-up plan for sure is to heap more and more burdens on the citizens who have so far been taking everything on the stride on account of the war but one wonders for how long and how much more burdens can be heaped on the unsuspecting public

    Jitterson Thursday, 24 June 2010 01:59 PM

    These hard talks to hoodwink the Sihala community. Politician will turn around and say yes,, yes after the dust settle down. Tong is boneless it can turn around any time.

    Lal Hannadige Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:35 AM

    These are the results of arrogance and push part, this could have resolved at the beginning diplomatically. Fighting is good only in a war not in business and governing. Mr. Minister you talk about your back up plan. Only back up plan we can see now and in future is so many garment employees loosing jobs and closing factories indefinitely.

    RajasH Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:38 AM

    I quote "He noted that no citizen of Sri Lanka can agree to the conditions of the EU as it violates the integrity and sovereignty of the country."

    Does every citizen of Sri Lanka agree with all the recent price increases and other activities of the government.

    I quote "Sri Lanka says it has a backup mechanism in place in the event the European Union (EU) withdraws "

    back plan only if.....why not kick EU out and intoduce your back plan as future plan. Or do you really have one?

    R.Dias Thursday, 24 June 2010 02:20 PM

    THE EU CONDITIONS ARE WHAT THE PRESIDENT PROMISED TO IMPLEMENT AT THE LAST ELECTIONS HE CLAIMED HAVE OBTAINED THE 57% ????? BESIDES THE CONDITIONS ARE PEOPLE ORIENTED AND IF THEY ARE IMPLEMENTED IT IS THE NATION THAT WILL BENEFIT. MR. RAMBUKWELLA YOU ARE RIGHT ON THE ISSUE OF EU- TRESPASSING THE INDEPENDANCY OF THE GOVERNMENT. BUT YOU HAVE FAILED TO REALIZE THAT OUR COUNTRY DO NOT BELONG TO FEW INDIVIDUALS THIS COUNTRY BELONGS TO THE ENTIRE POPULATIONS THERE FORE WHEN WRONG DECISIONS ARE MADE THE MASSES SUFFER. YOU ARE NOT FEEDING US FROM YOUR PERSONAL MONEY. IF THE GOVT IS SO PATRIOTIC FIRST REFRAIN FROM TAKING SALARIES OR OTHER BENEFITS. THE PEOPLE HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH.

    respect Thursday, 24 June 2010 02:30 PM

    good call kumar

    silava Thursday, 24 June 2010 02:32 PM

    Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters a short while ago that the conditions put forward by the EU in order for Sri Lanka to continue to benefit from GSP are similar to conditions raised by the opposition including Ranil Wickramasingha, Karu Jayasuriya, Rauff Hakeem and Mano Ganeshan.

    He noted that no citizen of Sri Lanka can agree to the conditions of the EU as it violates the integrity and sovereignty of the country


    ARE THOSE SL CITIZEN

    Wickramasingha, Karu Jayasuriya, Rauff Hakeem and Mano Ganeshan.
    COMPLETE CONTRADICTION

    Karthik Thursday, 24 June 2010 07:57 AM

    Yeah i know the back up you have... India & China. There are 18% poor people in srilanka who does not have money to have meals 2 times a day. 1st plan to give them proper food, after that lets think about other back up plans

    R.Dias Thursday, 24 June 2010 02:47 PM

    THESE ARE AFTER EFFECTS OF THE WAR. IT WAS CERYTAINLY FOUGHT ON A POLITICAL AGENDA WITH ARROGANCE WITH LACK OF RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. WE HAVE COME FORWARD OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS DUE TO THE ASSIATNCE PROVIDED WITH RESPECT TO OUR COUNTRY AND SOCIETY BY THE DONOR COUNTRIES.
    WE AS A NATION HAVE MISERABLY FAILED TO APPRECIATE THE GESTURE OF THE WEST AND GIVE DUE RESPCT TO THEM. LOOK AT THE WAY THE GOVT BASHED THE WEST OVER THE LAST 3 YEARS.
    WE HAVE PROVED THAT WE ARE A BUNCH OF FOOLS THAT BITE THE HANDS THAT FEEDS.
    SEE HOW MUCH WE LOSE WITHOUT THE GSP+ . WE CANNOT LIVE ON ISOLATION.

    smith saudi arabia Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:03 AM

    Bottom lIne.... Poor Garment workers are going to pay a high price for & losing more than 100thousands jobs???? creating alternative jobs will resolve this issue, not going to be easy....

    R.Dias Thursday, 24 June 2010 02:50 PM

    WELL SAID..... FIRST THEY SHOULD GIVE UP ALL THE LUXURIES FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS IF THEY ARE SO PATRIOTIC.

    pjs fernando Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:07 AM

    There is a backup mechanism, if all the members of parliament are to forego their salaries and perks for 6 months there will be enough backup funds to sustain the impact. This is the moment to show their true patriotism at a crucial stage like this.

    tharanga Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:08 AM

    wait and see. Be a sri lankan.. you may be a UNP or SF supporter. but we all are sri lankan. Understand that my friend.
    Country 1st!!!

    Lal Hannadige Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:08 AM

    I’m surprised how some puntits have said that those countries have much more to loose as most of the material are imported from them and we re export them in the form of finish products. Puntih have forgotten that there so many other developing countries are begging with EU and waiting to get GSP facility to create jobs.

    Somapala Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:17 AM

    EU is not asking half of S. It is only asking the Govt to improve on human and constitutional rights of the people, to consider this facility.
    Is it wrong for the people like you and me?

    Mohan Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:21 AM

    Good Stand if you cant give it then stuck it up....
    They will regret it as Sri lanka leans more towrads anti imperilist nations.

    Somapala Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:21 AM

    My friend.

    Do you think that Europe will experience a shortage of garments in absence of ours?
    Ours will be replaced by garments from other developing countries like Indonesia, Vietnam etc.

    Rajith Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:23 AM

    It is a gross violation by any foreign country to ask Sri Lanka to comply with such a demand. These are two seperate issues. I think the government has taken the right step. Sadly we dont have an opposition only a weak one.

    HUD Thursday, 24 June 2010 04:07 PM

    Is GSP+ will be here forever? I don't think so. It is a temporary relief package and it should go away some day. Its true that it is keeping the prices of our products a bit low, but artificially. One day, we like it or not, we have to face the real market competition. When industries are adjusted to intensives like GSP+, gradually they become more vulnerable for the impacts of withdrawing those incentives. In a such situation EU can get the controlling power of our domestic issues very easily, and that is what happening now.
    We have two options. We can always depend on others' kind donations (probably the most favorite option in Sri Lanka, or we can stand on our feet by ourselves. Second option is difficult as we are already on our knees, but still we have the strength. I don't give up. How about you?

    gulfer Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:31 AM

    GSP + applies to over 140 products not just garments or lingerie :)
    Just shows how ignorant everyone is about this whole issue.
    wondr if u have any alternative markets that will but our products if not the EU.

    at the end of the day it will be the poor worker who suffers not because EU bought cheap products from us but because EU stopped buying our products. Simple economics mate :)

    anura Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:33 AM

    Sri Lanka should not bow down to condtions laid down by EU if those conditions violates integrity and sovereingnty of Sri Lanka.

    Well said Sir !!!.Nobody will die in hunger in this land without GSP+

    TRN Thursday, 24 June 2010 04:37 PM

    Yes PJS ,I agree with u. If all the MPs , ministers , president & his family stop wasting state money for thier survival in luxoury we all citizens can live a better life.
    No need to beg or drool to the west if we put things right within our country.

    Corruption and waste and accountability is what we need.

    Yes no need to bend to the west but we need to be straight to survive.

    The poor should not pay the price .


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