The motion to deny Sri Lanka access to GSP+ on the grounds of delayed human rights reforms was quashed by a vote in Brussels – where 436 voted against the motion and 119 voted in favor.
An EU Parliamentary Group brought forward the motion due to concerns regarding the lack of progress in the context of transitional justice – citing recent UN Human Rights Council reports. Further, members of the European Parliament told Sri Lanka that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) must be replaced prior to granting GSP+ trade concessions.
A leaked copy said to be the proposed amendment has surfaced online – with much controversy surrounding the lack of transparency regarding the amendment process.
“While we cannot guarantee that this leaked version is the same as that which was presented to the European Union before the crucial GSP+ vote today, it does speak to the quality of almost absolute secrecy and skulduggery over legislative reform around human rights by a government that came into power promising the opposite,” Groundviews said in an article.