By Sandun A Jayesekera
The government says Sri Lanka lost the GSP+ facility not because of alleged violations of labour rights but due to the disinformation campaign carried out by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mangala Samaraweera and a section of the Tamil Diaspora.
Addressing a news conference at the SLFP headquarters today, Government Minister Dallus Alahapperuma said the EU granted GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka after the tsunami in 2005 and it continued for 5 years.
“The EU started questioning about labour rights, human rights and good governance after the mud slinging campaign against the government by Raniil, Mangala and certain Tamil groups who are dreaming to establish a Transnational State of Tamil Eelam. The EU intensified pressure on Sri Lanka and decided to withdraw the trade facility after Fonseka’s white flag story that tarnished the image of our security forces and the government,” Minister Alaghapperuma stressed.
He said only a few impotent members of the opposition and the Tamil diaspora are glad for the loss of GSP+ for Sri Lanka. Those who take negative impact of the GSP+ loss are rural youth who found employment in the garment and apparel sector.
“This government is not ready to exchange the sovereignty, self respect and integrity of the country for a few millions of euros. Does the EU withdraw the GSP+ facility if the war continued up to now? No. Why, they thrive on national calamities and envious of Sri Lanka because we have done something extra ordinary by defeating the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world,” Minister Alahapperuma emphasized.