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* Former CJ says government should put HR on track to retain GSP+ concessions
Thu, Mar 25, 2010, 11:54 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka's former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said if the government wants to retain the European Union's GSP+ trade concession it should put its human rights perspectives and freedom of expression in place.

Referring to the last month's warning by the EU to withdraw the tariff facility which mostly benefits the country's garment industry, the former Chief Justice said the remedial measures the government must take to keep the GSP + is simple.

"All what the EU wants of the government is for it to show respect towards human rights and freedom of expression in the country," he said.

"What is required is therefore not 'chandi talks' and then going after the EU with 'nondi walks' begging for the GSP+ later," Justice Silva remarked.

"The EU is only underlining the importance of Democracy in the country by insisting on the fulfillment of these conditions. If the government is truly democratic as it says the administration should realize that it is in the best interests of the people and the country to fall in line with the stipulations the EU is insisting upon," the former CJ pointed out.

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