EU ambassadors warned Sri Lanka on Monday against ending its 42-year moratorium on capital punishment and said the island risked losing trade concessions if it went ahead, the Daily Mail reported on Monday quoting the AFP.
"The diplomatic missions have requested the President to maintain the moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty and to uphold Sri Lanka's tradition of opposition to capital punishment," the EU ambassadors said in a joint statement.
Diplomats said they expected Sirisena to roll back the decision, but should the island go ahead it would loose preferential access for its exports to the 28-member EU bloc.
"If Sri Lanka resumes capital punishment, Colombo will immediately lose the GSP-Plus status," an EU diplomatic source has told AFP.
This refers to its GSP Plus restored by the EU in May 2017 after a seven-year hiatus.
Sri Lanka was denied GSP Plus status in 2010 after failing to meet its rights obligations. The Sirisena administration reapplied after coming to power in 2015.
EU diplomats have estimated that Sri Lanka gains an estimated USD 350 million advantage annually thanks to the GSP-Plus system.