Should Sri Lanka start to listen ? EU flexes its GSP Plus muscle.
GSP Plus explicitly obliges Sri Lanka and other beneficiary countries to comply with 27 international agreements on human rights issues. The country last year refused to let an EU team investigate alleged abuses so the EU used independent consultants to examine whether Sri Lanka had violated the UN Convention Against Torture, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. They described a culture of “complete or virtually complete impunity in Sri Lanka”, citing police torture, abductions of journalists and uninvestigated disappearances. They also criticised the detention of almost 300,000 ethnic Tamils in internment camps.
Sri Lanka has limited time to respond to EU to keep the GSP plus.
If the EU stood its stance on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, most likely than not, GSP plus advantage will be gone for Sri Lanka.
It will be a devastating hit for the garments industry in Sri Lanka and the industry indirectly support growth of other sectors in Sri Lanka.