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EU hails Sri Lanka’s recent progress in implementing Human Rights, labour and environment conventio

17 November 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka received much praise from the EU’s latest council meeting where it has been indicated that the country has been successful in paving the way for greater engagement that would help boot economic prosperity.

“There are new opportunities for the EU to engage with the Sri Lankan government in making further progress in areas, including reconciliation, strengthening good governance and tackling corruption, promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law, and fostering inclusive economic growth and sustainable development,” said Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) issuing a statement after its meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

In what can be said is the council’s first discussions on Sri Lanka in more than six years, the Foreign Ministers welcomed the significant advances made to restore democratic governance and commended the nation’s bold move towards restoring democratic governance, initiating a process of national reconciliation, and re-engage with the UN system.

Lauded were also measures taken by the government to strengthen civilian administration in the North and East.

However, the government was urged to move swiftly to build the confidence of communities, including releasing the identity of detainees and accelerating their prosecution or release, repealing the PTA, calibrating military presence according to identified security needs and returning land sequestered by the military to its rightful owners.

While commending steps taken to comply with the EU rules on fishing, the Foreign Ministers encouraged Sri Lanka to address shortcomings, which would expedite the lifting of the ban on fish exports.

Furthermore, the Council positively noted recent progress in implementing the core international human rights, labour and environmental conventions.
Encouraging Sri Lanka to undertake the remaining necessary preparatory work to enable an application at the appropriate time for GSP+, High Representative and the European Commission was called on to continue to engage with the nation to support its efforts to lay the groundwork for a renewed application for the same.

The Council stated it looks forward to regular updates on future progress and welcomes continued dialogue between the EU and Sri Lanka, including through meetings of the joint bodies established under the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development. 
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