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Deadline ends, EU for talks

1 July 2010 12:00 pm - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Jamila Najmuddin

The European Union (EU) is attempting to establish contact with the Sri Lankan government over the GSP+ trade benefits to the country after the deadline by the EU for the government to respond to its conditions ended today.

EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Bernard Savage speaking to Daily Mirror online said that the government had not met the deadline which was issued in order to enable the Commission to revise its recommendations on the status of the GSP plus.

However the Ambassador said that it was not a fixed deadline and the Commission would continue to seek dialogue with the Sri Lankan government.

“We still hope that we will be able to reach a dialogue with the Sri Lankan government. We issued the deadline simply because of the fact that if the Council did not meet in August it would enable us then to engage in the administrative process of providing that recommendation if we did have a positive response. So it is not a fixed deadline,” Ambassador Savage told Daily Mirror online.

He added that the EU still remained hopeful that the government would respond to the Commissions proposals in writing.

Meanwhile a spokesman for the EU in Brussels also said that the EU was still seeking contact with the Sri Lankan authorities and it may take a few more days before contact could be established between the two sides.

The EU official also clarified that the offer to address outstanding issues through a six month extension was made in good faith but it was an option the EU could pursue only if the Sri Lankan government was ready to continue engagement.

“It normally takes at least 4 to 6 weeks to get a political proposal through EU decision-making, hence the invitation for a response by 1 July. The 15 February council decision could be reversed only through a new proposal,” the EU spokesman in Brussels told Daily Mirror online.

The EU had written to the government putting down 15 conditions to be addressed in order for a recommendation to be put forward for the EU to temporarily extend the GSP plus trade benefits to Sri Lanka which ends next month.

The government has so far rejected the conditions and said it will also not formally respond to the EU letter. (Daily Mirror online)

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  Comments - 26

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  • Mendis Aiya Thursday, 01 July 2010 03:48 PM

    All U's should know that SL is now headed by a strong head.

    kingasanga Thursday, 01 July 2010 03:48 PM

    EU better realise we are (SL) no more begaers any more. We are the nation looking generating our lose pride.

    Rohan Friday, 02 July 2010 05:59 AM

    S/L Government gets major support from China,Russia & India. EU must understand that SLG will not beg anymore from them

    garawi Thursday, 01 July 2010 04:20 PM

    Who wants a GSP+, with strings attached? SL will soon learn to be competitive in the world market and will not require any GSP, in future!

    RajasH Thursday, 01 July 2010 04:59 PM

    The government is busy dealing with another 'more critical' deadline - the 'indecent' hoardings have still not been removed! The poor masses can well 'afford' to lose their jobs, but they cannot be exposed to indecent hoardings, at any cost!

    Roma Thursday, 01 July 2010 06:18 PM

    Looks like all responding here are 'hard-liners,' just like those in government. If you knew how hard the garment sector is trying to get GSP+ extended, you'd understand why the EU is trying to get the government of Sri Lanka to comply.

    arcticvgr Thursday, 01 July 2010 06:28 PM

    Both parties should be flexible and have their facts straight.

    rayJ Thursday, 01 July 2010 06:44 PM

    Sri Lanka should not accept GSP+ and should look into some other way of improving the economy.

    kanish Thursday, 01 July 2010 06:59 PM

    Savage, Savage, pack your baggage!

    Sena2 Thursday, 01 July 2010 07:45 PM

    Do they lack brains to understand that refusal to abide by the deadline IS a response?

    Ariya Thursday, 01 July 2010 08:08 PM

    The GSP+ concession came in as a relief measure, in the wake of the Tsunami. The garment industry was generally doing well, prior to this concession. It is absurd for one to asssume that the garment sector would collapse, with the removal of this facility, although some temporary setbacks will be inevitable!

    Sinhala European Thursday, 01 July 2010 09:09 PM

    Why does the EU keep 'knocking at our door'?

    DR ANURA WEERERATE Friday, 02 July 2010 10:16 AM

    IT IS VERY GOOD THAT SRI LANKA IS NOT BEGGING FOR TRADE CONCESSIONS IN EXCHANGE FOR OUR RIGHT TO ACT AS A FREE NATION.. THE EUROPEAN UNION SPECIALLY UK MUST ALSO REALISE THAT THEY SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO PUSH SRI LANKA. UK HAS A SIZEABLE INVESTMENT IN SRI LANKA . MOST OF THEIR INVESTMENTS ARE IN AREAS WHERE SRI LANKAN BUSINESS COULD OPERATE. UNILEVER SHOULD ADVISE THE UK GOVERNMENT NOT TO PUSH SRI LANKA.

    SL Thursday, 01 July 2010 01:18 PM

    Why do they want to give the GSP+ so bad? it is just a temporary extension. TH SL Gov said no, htne the EU should accept that and move on.

    Lanka Atapattu Thursday, 01 July 2010 01:25 PM

    Sri Lanka is not a colony of EU.... Please request but don't pursue us unnecessarily .....

    anura Friday, 02 July 2010 04:13 AM

    Is EU begging from Sri Lanka now?

    Andy Thursday, 01 July 2010 01:38 PM

    My word! Is it just me or does it look as if the EU is desperate?

    The Judge Thursday, 01 July 2010 01:41 PM

    Only the POOR GARMENT workers are worried about the out come of GSP+, rest of the politicians are sure of their pocketful by the time the 6 year term ends.

    Roshan Friday, 02 July 2010 04:26 AM

    They are not desperate, instead they are worried about the poor workers who will loose their jobs, where as the Govt is not worried.

    Naga Thursday, 01 July 2010 01:57 PM

    Thank You Sir Mr. Savage. We were there before you set up EU and we will be there long after your organization collapses.

    Mindful Friday, 02 July 2010 04:50 AM

    Trade consessions like GSP+ are against the free market economy you westeners advocate. there is no free market or there is no fair trade. all are your tools to exert power on others. Remember..the world is turning.. you EU will see in near future

    MagodisThuma Thursday, 01 July 2010 02:24 PM

    An endless Joke !.

    Nuwan Warawita Thursday, 01 July 2010 02:41 PM

    Hoo hooo poor (Mr) Savage now seeks chance for dialogue. If government rejected why do they coming like this? Do they feel sorrow about poor Sri Lankan garment workers?????????????

    Perera Thursday, 01 July 2010 03:17 PM

    Well played Sri Lanka

    malkanthi Friday, 02 July 2010 05:18 AM

    sadly we are becoming a colony of china, usa, india, basically all the countries helping us without conditions!!

    Ani Dias Thursday, 01 July 2010 03:35 PM

    If you are giving GSP+ please give it. If you don't want to give, keep it with you. We don't want your deadlines. This is what our great man tod. That's it.


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