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* Sri Lankan government accuses media movement of petitioning to cancel GSP+ facility
Wed, Jan 11, 2012, 01:42 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 10, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government Tuesday said that its Intelligence Unit has uncovered information on a campaign carried out by the members of the media rights group, Free Media Movement (FMM) requesting the termination of the GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka.

The government said FMM personnel who have fled the country have sent 700 petitions calling for the suspension of the European Union's Generalized System of Preferences plus (GSP+) facility to Sri Lanka.

The European Union, citing Sri Lanka's failure to meet human rights conventions relevant for benefits under the scheme, in August 2010 suspended the GSP+ tariff concession for Sri Lanka that provided tax free access to European markets for the country's products, especially for garment exports.

Reportedly former head of the FMM Sunanda Desapriya, journalists Podala Jayantha and Uvidu Kurukulasuriya have used financial resources of FMM to carry out the campaign.

Further, the Intelligence Unit has found that a convener of the FMM has discretely gathered information for the petition together with an opposition United National Party politician.

According to the government media note these alleged activities have been carried out at a house of the Media Village, the media research company.

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