By Dianne Silva
The Sri Lankan government today reiterated that it will not adhere to a set of regulation put forward by the European Union in order to safeguard the GSP plus facility but at the same time will engage in bilateral relations with Brussels.
“We will not adhere to a set of regulations presented by them, but engage in bilateral relations which are in the domestic interest of Sri Lanka,” Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told reporters in Colombo this evening.
The Minister made these comments at a press briefing to detail the success of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to the Russian Federation.
News agencies had reported last week 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.
News agencies reported on the 5th of this month 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 at the time 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."
(Daily Mirror online)