A European Parliamentary group has tabled a resolution in the EU Parliament against granting the GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka for its exports to the 28- member bloc, citing concern over Colombos “worryingly slow” progress on key issues like human rights, the PTI reported.
The motion if approved by 376 out of 751 members would see the non granting of the concession which would have made Sri Lankan exports to the European Union (EU) cheaper and contributed to its export growth vital to boost external reserves.
The resolution will be taken up at the plenary session to be held next week.
The resolution contends “existing breaches of Human Rights in Sri Lanka raise concerns about the appropriateness of granting the GSP+ status while there is inadequate real progress. “
The process of repealing and replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has not yet been accomplished.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has noted a number of shortcomings in the ILO conventions.
“Sri Lankan government is suspect of not adequately tackling the culture of impunity by rewarding military officials accused of human rights violation with government positions,” the resolution says.
The Sri Lankan government sources said they were working on meeting the EU conditions on replacing the PTA with new legislation to meet international standards.
However, the EU resolution says the progress has been “worryingly slow. “
The current government was keen to restore the facility after it was stopped by the EU in 2010 citing grave human rights abuses and violations related to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Sri Lanka was granted 18 months by a UNHRC resolution in October 2015 to initiate a credible investigation into the nearly three-decades long civil war with the LTTE.
It has sought two more years from the UN Human Rights Council to probe the alleged war crimes committed during the conflict with the LTTE.