Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said that Sri Lanka won the vote in Brussels with 436 members voting against the motion, 119 in favor and 22 abstentions.
The Government held urgent talks with several EU Members of Parliament (MEP) ahead of the vote at the EU Parliament on the resolution not to grant Sri Lanka the GSP plus trade concession.
Dr. Harsha de Silva said that he met several Members of the European Parliament on issues related to the Sri Lanka GSP+ vote.
An EU fact finding delegation had recently raised concerns over labour rights in Sri Lanka ahead of a decision being taken on Sri Lanka’s application for GSP plus.
The Fact Finding Mission, which included Members of the European Parliament Anne-Marie Mineur and Lola Sánchez Caldentey, visited Sri Lanka to assess the country’s progress on human and labour rights.
Anne-Marie Mineur said that it is the Government´s obligation to effectively guarantee the fundamental rights of workers and their trade unions.
“Collective bargaining and the right to strike should be an integral part of this,” she said, according to the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union.
Lola Sánchez Caldentey said that the European Union will not grant a special trade status to Sri Lanka if the money coming from this advantage remains only in the pockets of a few businessmen.
The European Union will decide next month if Sri Lanka is duly entitled, or not, to be granted GSP plus. This status is a component of the EU policy for developing countries which offers trade incentives to those which implement core international conventions on human and labour rights, sustainable development and good governance. (Colombo Gazette)