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Capital punishment in Sri Lanka could lead to loss of GSP-Plus trade concession

The decision by the Sri Lankan government to resume implementation of the death penalty on the island could lead to the loss of GSP-Plus preferential trade concession, reports AFP this week.

The report comes after heads of delegations of several Western states, including the European Union, wrote to Sri Lanka’s president expressing their opposition to the reported resumption of capital punishment.

"If Sri Lanka resumes capital punishment, Colombo will immediately lose the GSP-Plus status," an EU diplomatic source told AFP.

The joint letter said that “they strongly and unequivocally oppose capital punishment in all circumstances and in all cases” and that “the death penalty is incompatible with human dignity, does not have any proven deterrent effect, and allows judicial errors to become fatal and irreversible”.

Earlier this year a delegation of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) highlighted the need for Sri Lanka to make progress in implementing international human rights conventions relevant to the GSP+ trade concession.