By Jamila Najmuddin
The Sri Lankan government says it has taken the necessary measures to mitigate the impact created by the loss of GSP plus from the EU and added that there will not be any change in the government position regarding the EU conditions.
“We will not accept the conditions put forward by the EU. We are very clear on that. The Sri Lankan government has made alternative arrangements to mitigate the impact. The GSP loss is only around 85 Million Euros and we are also looking at other markets to meet our needs,” Minister Rambukwella told Daily mirror online.
The EU has expressed regret over Sri Lanka’s decision to remain silent on the proposals by the EU for Sri Lanka to obtain a temporary extension of the GSP plus benefits by meeting some conditions.
"We very much regret the choice of Sri Lanka not to take up an offer made in good faith and in line with the EU commitment to a global human rights agenda. We will however keep the door open for Sri Lanka to return to talks," EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton said in a statement today. "Our precedent-setting offer sought to recognise some tangible progress yielded during these last months of dialogue," added EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht. "We hope that these results, however partial, will be sustained, in line with the incentivising characteristics of GSP+."
Based on dialogue with the Sri Lankan authorities on shortcomings in its implementation of three UN human rights conventions, the EU in June offered to delay the entry into force of the Council decision by a further six months. In exchange, it asked for tangible and sustainable progress on a number of outstanding issues. In the absence of a reply from the authorities in Colombo by 1 July, the Commission is not in a position to table a proposal with a view to delaying the Council Decision, the EU said. (Daily Mirror online)