The deputy minister of foreign affairs Harsha De Silva this week sought to allay ongoing rumours that Sri Lanka had agreed to a number of reforms in order to regain GSP+ by reiterating that the country was "under no obligation to any foreign body".
“Sri Lanka will do what we have undertaken to do and we re doing what we are doing for ourselves,” Mr De Silva was quoted by Economy Next as saying.
“We’re under no obligation to any foreign body. We are only under obligation to the people of this country and what we are doing is for the people of this country."
“Be under no illusion we’re forced by anybody – we’re only forced by the people of this country."
“We’ve had some roadblocks, difficulties.. We may be going sideways but those are detours that are required."
“This government follows the law, so we’re do things the way they ought to be done.
Sometimes people protest and governments shoot at people who protest but it’s not happening now.”
Stating that the government was not deterred by protests by opposition parties on this issue, Mr De Silva added however, "sometimes we’re ‘detoured’ towards achieving our aims by these protests."
“If some people say we don’t need GSP+, we have a culture to protect, let them tell us how we can do without it,” De Silva said. “If we don’t export we are dead.”