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Sri Lanka: Human Rights

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 29 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government plan to take in response to the EU report on Sri Lanka's human rights record. (295476)

I have been asked to reply.

As stated in the joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Department for International Development statement of 20 October, the European Commission's report on Sri Lanka's implementation of international human rights conventions raises serious concerns, which we share. We are continuing at every opportunity to strongly urge the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate action to address the issues outlined in this report.

The report is a precursor to the Commission's recommendation to EU member states on whether Sri Lanka should continue to benefit from the GSP+ trade preference scheme. We expect to receive this recommendation by the end of the year and, once such a recommendation is presented, we will assess it on its merits. We are clear that in order to retain its GSP+ preferences Sri Lanka must respect its international human rights obligations under GSP+.