Govt to sue EU, if GSP+not granted
‘Denial of facility a human rights violation’

The government would institute legal action against the European Union (EU) if the GSP Plus concession was not granted to Sri Lanka, Minister of Export Development and International Trade Prof G. L. Peiris told the media yesterday in Colombo.

"If the EU decides against the granting of GSP plus, it would be a human rights violation," Prof. Peiris said.

The EU was biased in its decision which had been motivated by political factors and it wanted Sri Lanka’s economy to deteriorate; it contravened the World Trade Organisation (WTO) policies, he said.

The Minister said that Sri Lanka did not seek aid from the EU but only wanted it to grant the beneficial trade instrument which provided tax free access to 7,100 Sri Lankan export products to the EU countries.

"If they don’t provide us with the GSP Plus facility, the government will resort to legal action and also look for alternate action," he said. GSP Plus was provided to Sri Lanka for three years from 2005 and it was not renewed thereafter citing alleged human rights violations. But the government totally rejected the EU’s claims, Prof. Peiris said.

"The EU’s External Relations Commissioner Benito Ferroro Waldo repeatedly said that the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka was a futile exercise and urged the government to stop it claiming that it would never be over and threatened the government: "We have a powerful weapon in our hands and will use it without hesitation if the war is not stopped," Minister Peiris quoted Waldo as having said.

"Now that the LTTE is defeated and terrorism wiped out from Sri Lanka, the West wants to take revenge from us," he said.

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