Sri Lanka GSP trade deal dropped from EU resolution

Oct 23, 2009 (LBO) – A European Parliament resolution that was critical of Sri Lanka’s human rights record dropped a reference to the GSP Plus trade deal giving duty free access to the island’s exports to European Union markets. The future of the GSP deal is in doubt after a European Commission report earlier in the week said Sri Lanka was in breach of commitments on human rights required to be eligible for the trade concession.

Fears about the loss of the GSP deal has caused concern among Sri Lankan exporters and was also a reason given for the sharp fall in stock prices this week.

But a European Parliament resolution adopted Thursday only said “Sri Lanka’s economic recovery will depend greatly on foreign direct investment and also on continued EU support”.

The island’s is recovering after ending a 30-year ethnic war with the defeat by government forces of Tamil Tiger separatists in May.

The Members of the European Parliament in their resolution on Sri Lanka said they deplored the fact that over 250,000 Tamil civilians are still held in camps, contrary to undertakings given by the Colombo government.

Sri Lanka has said it is trying to resettle refugees as soon as possible but has been delayed as many v