Friday, October 02, 2009

Govt. will oppose any EU probe

By Sandun A. Jayasekera - The government yesterday expressed its unconditional opposition to any inquiry by the European Union (EU) on Sri Lanka in connection with further extending the GSP+ facility, stressing any such move would compromise the self esteem, dignity and sovereignty of the country.

Export Development and Internal Trade Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris making a special statement at the weekly cabinet news briefing at the Information Department auditorium stressed that Sri Lanka was ready to reciprocate positively in a dialogue if the EU needed more information but not at any cost.

‘There has been a great deal of misunderstanding and misinterpretation about the extension of the GSP+ facility which was granted in January 2008 for three years. The people who talk negatively about Sri Lanka must understand that the situation is much different from what we have witnessed prior to the end of the conflict. The highest priority of the government right now is to resettle about 250,000 IDPs safely,” Prof. Peiris emphasized.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a high level Cabinet Sub Committee to look into issues pertaining to the extension of the GSP+ and take all necessary steps to obtain it. The committee has already conducted several rounds of talks and has interacted with the EU through Sri Lanka’s EU representative Ravinatha Ariyawansa.

“But we will not agree to an inquiry by any other country. We do not want to withhold any information from the EU. But we refuse in no uncertain terms if the EU demands a probe and we shall not take part or support any such inquiry,’ Prof. Peiris emphasized.

© Daily Mirror

Related Links:
Lanka will not respond to GSP+ investigation expert’s report - Daily Mirror

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