22 July, 2017

EU Grants GSP Plus Despite Conditions Not Being Met

The EU has announced today that Sri Lanka will receive GSP Plus from 19th May, 2017

This is despite the Government not conforming to two conditions that the EU had earlier said, should be demonstrated before the suspension of GSP Plus was lifted. These two conditions related to the public releasing of an internationally compliant draft Counter-Terrorism Act (CTA) and a draft Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, both of which had to be tabled before Parliament.   

In both these cases, the leaked versions of the drafts revealed significant problems with their contents. In the case of the draft CTA, the leaked version by the Sunday Times recently indicated that the offence of espionage had been surreptitiously slipped in while omitting the term ‘espionage.’

The draft CTA terrorizes the ‘gathering of confidential information’ if it adversely affects public security and contradicts the Right to Information Act of 2016. Sri Lanka’s RTI Act, hailed as the third best in the world, has several restrictions on giving of information including national security but leaves out ‘public security’ as a ground on which a denial can be based due to the unclear meaning of that term.  In addition the CTA terrorizes any person who writes or speaks in a way that harms ‘unity’ despite this term also being unclear as legal experts have pointed out. 

Where the CCP amendment is concerned, this still leaves discretion in the hands of the police to refuse immediate legal counsel to suspects.   

Former Secretary to the Ministry of Justice Nihal Jayawickrama called the draft ‘horrendous’ saying that he felt sick after reading it. He professed doubt that this draft could have had the involvement of Sri Lankan experts. Prominent legal analyst and a member of Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Commission Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena fiercely critiqued the Cabinet approved CTA to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), pointing out that this proposed a ‘cure that was far worse than the disease.’

The CTA’s clauses that give the power to issue detention orders to ‘common or garden path Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGs) advised by the Officer-in-Charge (OIC)’ was pointed to be a clear incentive to torture of detainees. Blisteringly critical of ‘blinkered negotiations’ so far,  Pinto-Jayawardena asked as to how any faith could be placed in effective ‘monitoring’ to ensure revisions to the draft even though this had been promised by the EU through a Working Committee after the additional tariff preference was granted.

GSP Plus was suspended in 2010 under the Rajapaksa Presidency after an Experts Report castigated Sri Lanka’s Rule of Law record. For example, the report found that though a domestic law prohibiting torture was enacted in 1994, this has had little impact due to bad investigations, lackadaisical prosecutions and a legal system plagued with delays and other failures.

It was also concluded that the judicial and administrative infrastructure was neither adequate nor effective in regard to providing a remedy for violations of rights. The suspension had adverse consequences as the EU had been Sri Lanka’s biggest export market accounting for nearly one-third of the country’s global exports with apparel being key.

Announcing the lifting of the suspension today, the EU stated in a press release that ‘this is also a vote of confidence from the European Union that the Sri Lankan Government will maintain the progress it has made in implementing the international conventions. At the same time, no one is pretending that the situation is perfect. The process of replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Act still needs to be completed.’

Meanwhile the Government has come under severe criticism by the public for its ‘cutting and pasting’ laws from other countries without adequate local vetting and public consultations. However, local civil interest groups, including the Friday Forum and Colombo non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been noticeably silent. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has stated that it had not been consulted on the CTA despite the consultation being required by the HRCSL law.     

Related posts:

‘Lies And Deception’ In The Cabinet Approved Counter-Terror Draft

Counter-Terror Draft: We Are Shocked – TNA

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Latest comments

  • 6
    2

    Patchwork Gravy Train European Union grants the Patchwork Culture Graft Nation future life before 3D printing wraps the world .

  • 1
    2

    RE: EU Grants GSP Plus Despite Conditions Not Being Met

    EU becomes suckers.

    Would you pay for delivery of goods, before the delivery of goods?

    Now Sri Lanka occupied by the Paras from India will not deliver the goods.!

  • 1
    2

    Hope the existing Govt; will give up it’s prevailing lackadaisical & slumber attitude exhibited in so many vital fields and whilst buckling down to expeditious prompt action & take measures to preserve and protect this God sent facility!!!

  • 6
    6

    Colombo Telegraph (CT) with a new look continues to depict it’s old anti-Sri Lankan stance. The head line shows it well! “EU Grants GSP Plus Despite Conditions Not Being Met”
    If it is the EU’s decision what does it matter to CT? Is CT looking for the welfare of the EU??

    • 1
      1

      What is wrong with the Title? Human rights is fundamental for healthy governance. Yes, it is EU’s decision based on the expectations that Sri Lanka meet the assurances made on human rights which is good the people of Sri Lanka, not for the EU. I assume it is in the best interest of Sri Lanka to meet human rights obligations.

      • 4
        0

        Ajit
        Don’t be a fool. No western gov care about human rights of Tamils or any other race. Stupid people think we should act to satisfy their fake concerns. EU support for Tamils is only to get Tamil votes for those politicians. EU gave GSP to SL because they can supply goods to their citizens at cheaper prices.

    • 1
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      CT is Tribal Tamils. So, no name articles.

      The reality is Sri lanka exports goods worth of $ 1.3 billion. On ghe other hand, EY exports mostle cars and machinary worth 4 2.6 billion. If both sides stops, who will lose ?

      IF Sri lanka has politicians with backbone, we can demand from EU.

  • 3
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    The PTA was formulated in the late 70s/early 80s to prevent Terrorism but in the process was used against so many other Tamils who had nothing to do with Terrorism-That was JRs notion of Dharmishta!
    The CTA presumably has been formulated to target all Sinhala,Tamil, and Muslim. Perhaps,the Govt: thinks by this way bringing all communities under one Umbrella,they are being FAIR by all! From the PTA to the CTA is from the frying pan into the fire!
    I am glad that two emminent Jurists Nihal.J. and Kishali Pinto-J. have voiced their utter horror at this piece of legislation. I wonder who drafted this?

    • 0
      1

      “I wonder who drafted this?”

      A bunch of utter scoundrels, no doubt.

    • 0
      1

      PTA drafted in 1977 to control Tamils. Sinhalese always protected by Sinhala Jury Cases and Rapist Army, CTA is purely only to Tamils.

      This is trying to take care if in case by international agitation North-East is given any rights, by this act all ordinary cases will be handled with Sinhala Only Jury, minimum lifetime for the suspects on stealing in neighbour house. This increase the importance to paramilitary. This is very foresighted bill to deal with Tamils in future who try to get International Attention.

      The problem is Politicians are well controlled by 6A so they will not talk by the fear of their security. When American Congressman ask Northern Province CM CV what he wants, CM did not tell that diplomat that all what we want is American Troops or UN troops to provide us the basic security so that they can start to go out take care of daily economic need. If CM didn’t want who is going to tell this to IC? Why they are not talking about International Protection even after PTA is doubled in the name of CTA? Are they such babies to think their moms will protect them still?

      Even ICG has released a report saying Appe Anduwa has technically destroyed TNA by splitting its base. Will Sumanthiran and Sampanthar spit out the Putto Katti out of their mouth and start to talk? The ultra idiots still keep saying the secret solution coming today, tomorrow, day after tomorrow……… TNA is taken over by bloody fools.

  • 3
    1

    “EU Grants GSP Plus Despite Conditions Not Being Met”. Not quite. The caveat is “Meet conditions in 2 years or else…….” . PTA was used to oppress a section of Lankans while CTA will be used to provide security to the power holders – the new version of white-vans if you like.
    By the way only MS is in comfortable tropical cloths. All the others are in expensive suits. Of course they travel in AC vehicles to AC offices then to AC homes and night haunts. Those slaving in MidEast pay for this.

    • 0
      1

      K.Pillai

      “By the way only MS is in comfortable tropical cloths. All the others are in expensive suits. Of course they travel in AC vehicles to AC offices then to AC homes and night haunts. Those slaving in MidEast pay for this.”

      That is the advantage of electing a Gamarala, a Farmer, as the President. He still thinks that he is in the field and comfortable with the outdoors.

  • 1
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    By the way CT.
    This new format does not show the time when a comment is made. In the earlier format readers have been up in the weehours of the morning typing away like hell!

    • 0
      0

      why are you dreaming of formula 1 when you can’t dream of entering?

    • 0
      1

      “By the way CT. This new format does not show the time when a comment is made.”

      I also would like to see the time comments were made and dislike the new CT page.

  • 1
    0

    CT – this new format is rubbish

  • 2
    1

    WOW… Now UNP suckers can export 6000 different items to EU, as Dr Ranil prmised the other day…Wonder whether Dr Ranil counted Palmyrah Toddy , Jaffna Curry Powder, Mild, Medium , Hot, Palm Juggery and Kottakelangul for the Diaspora as individual items to make up his 6000..

    • 1
      5

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera —————— Since the day you started aping like a Brown Sahib, demanding bacon, chips, sausages on your dining table and malt on rocks or neat somebody has to create the necessary demand for dalit made local products for their survival.

      I am told the Indian and Sri Lankan middle classes (brown sahibs) are going back to their indigenous obese free, …… food from Corn Flakes, Oats, Sausages, Bacon to millets and grains, kurakkan, … So there is an expanding market for grain and millets too.

      How about you?

      Let Ranil put some money in to Dalit Durawes’s pockets.

      You go play suddha’s game golf leave the worrying to the majority dalits.

      • 1
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        Dear Native, You got a point…… Your idol, Dr Ranil has to add all that too to make it up to 6G.,,,. And Dr Ranil thinks our Dalits will be happy to be on Punnakku…

  • 0
    0

    You can always create a good thing and piss all your readers with this shit layout!
    Who gave you this rope?
    More add revenue?
    Mobile ?

    Keep simple things simple dudes!

    Anyway It is funny this GSP,
    It is the same shitty laws in the country, no change!
    But Mahinda = No GSP
    UNP = GSP

    Nice policy making in EU!
    May be Brexshit is the right choice,
    Now it is only Theresa May eat my tax money!
    Not the EU hal paruwo!

    • 0
      0

      Why not you guys, cant learn to give respect where it is due ?

      Had barbaric leader been the leader, would GSP or any other concessions have been nearer to the country ?

      Never. Please get it LET alone today. You should learn good things from UK. That can then help your poor folks down there.

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