Sri Lanka says to study EU report on trade deal

Oct 20, 2009 (LBO) – The Sri Lankan government said it will study a report by the European Union that said it was in breach of commitments on human rights that might cause it to lose a trade deal. The EC report said the Commission will now decide whether to propose a temporary withdrawal of the GSP Plus trade deal. The government has time till November 6, 2009 to respond to the report by the EU on Sri Lanka’s commitments under the GSP Plus trade deal giving duty free access to EU markets, according to the report.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it will “closely study” the European Commission report.

The European Commission (EC) on Monday handed over to the government of Sri Lanka its report on Sri Lanka’s implementation of three of the 27 UN Conventions relevant to its GSP+ benefits that were of concern to the EC.

The EU has hinted at withdrawing the trade deal over concern about alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka’s war against Tamil Tiger separatists.

The government has rejected the allegations and its security forces defeated the Tigers in May, ending the 30-year war.