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Ranil assures Sri Lankan traders that GSP+ will return

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assured garment traders that Sri Lanka will regain the GSP+ trade concessions from the European Union, at a meeting at Temple Trees on Tuesday.

Mr Wickremesinghe made the assurance as he called on the traders to increase wages for workers once the GSP+ was restored.

Earlier this year the prime minster had also pledged that the concessions would be restored after the upcoming UN Human Rights Council session in September, where a report on mass atrocities committed during the final stages of the armed conflict is due to be released.

The previous government had blamed Mr Wickremesinghe for the concessions being withdrawn, after the EU stated it was concerned over human rights abuses.

In 2010, then government Minister Dallus Alahapperuma said “the EU started questioning about labour rights, human rights and good governance after the mud-slinging campaign against the government by Ranil, Mangala and certain Tamil groups who are dreaming to establish a Transnational State of Tamil Eelam”, adding “the EU intensified pressure on Sri Lanka and decided to withdraw the trade facility after Fonseka’s white flag story that tarnished the image of our security forces and the government”.

See our earlier posts:

EU trade concessions will be regained after HRC session in Sept – Ranil (22 Jun 2015)

Sri Lanka confident in restoring GSP+ trade concessions (03 June 2015)

 ‘An awful lot remains to be done’ on human rights in Sri Lanka says EU envoy (10 May 2015)

Rights issues crucial to granting GSP+ in Sri Lanka, says EU Ambassador (31 March 2015)

Sri Lanka seeks to regain GSP+ (28 March 2015)

EU parliament's 'Friends of Sri Lanka' in visit to help remove fishing ban (08 March 2015)

EU suspends fish imports from Sri Lanka (16 January 2015)