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* Sri Lankan government rejects the opposition proposal to amend the constitution on GSP+
Wednesday, December 3, 2008, 14:40 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 03, Colombo: Sri Lankan government today rejected the constitutional amendments proposed by the main opposition United National Party (UNP) to retain GSP+ scheme.

Making a special announcement this morning Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe suggested amending the constitution as the country’s legislations were clashing with international principles on this issue.

Wickremasinghe pointed out that if the government does not approve a constitutional amendment it will affect the apparel sector of the country badly.

Rejecting the Opposition Leader's suggestions Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka said that the government is not ready to amend the constitution to please any international entity.

"If the constitution would amend to retain GSP+, the country would lose its sovereignty and become subservient to international law," the Premier said.

With reference to the GSP+ facility, the PM said the conditions required have been met.

“We are required to satisfy the European Commission that in Sri Lanka there is effective implementation of obligations under three international conventions, that on civil and political rights, on the issue of torture and on the rights of children, and this condition has been met,” he said.

The GSP+ trade scheme will remain in place until the European Union completes its probe on human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the government said yesterday.

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