Parliament discusses EU conditions for GSP +

Parliament discusses EU conditions for GSP +


The appointment of a UN panel and the conditions laid down by EU to secure GSP+ conditions dominated the parliamentary debates in June 2010 despite the Appropriation Bill 2010 being presented to Parliament, according to the monthly report issued under ‘Parliament Watch-Sri Lanka’.

The three- member UN panel is to advise the UN Secretary General on alleged war crimes and human rights violations during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka.

Legislative discussions paid much attention to the EU conditions for the renewal of the GSP + such as vital constitutional amendments, enhanced focus on human rights, achieving the key objectives of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, repeal of the 2005 Emergency Regulations, the report said.

This focus drew the government’s ire while the opposition continued to question the government’s credibility and commitment by leveling allegations that constitutional amendments were being discussed only as a means to perpetuate family rule as opposed to social democratization, the report added.

Meanwhile, there has been a conscious effort to promote Sri Lanka as a safe place in the eyes of the international community with the intention of rebuilding the war-devastated tourism industry to its past glory. Hence there was significant focus on the government sponsored International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards held in Colombo in June at an estimated cost of Rs. 1 billion to promote tourism in Sri Lanka with the Indian market. The opposition raised the issue that the extension of the state of emergency two days after the IIFA Awards proved  counterproductive as it sent out a signal that Sri Lanka is yet to  experience normalcy and required restrictive regulations to maintain law and order report further said.

The monthly report is published by South Asians for Human Rights based on research carried out and assistance provided by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL).

The opposition MPs continue to protest that the proposed abolition of the Constitutional Council (CC)  is aimed at further concentration of political power. Meanwhile, Minister Wimal Weerawansa who recently staged a fast unto death to protest against the appointment of the UN panel, defended the government’s approach by claiming that the people have mandated President Rajapakse as well as the government to introduce the necessary constitutional changes.

You can now download the full report by clicking on: June 2010 Report

May Report:

April Report :

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