Germany has agreed to grant Sri Lanka €11 million in technical assistance through 3 development cooperation projects, despite concerns of Sri Lanka’s human rights record.
According to an official press release, the funds €7 million will be spent on improving vocational training in the country; whilst €3.5 million will be invested in improving the global competitiveness of Sri Lanka’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Sector. A further €0.5 million will be invested in the “Study and Expert Fund”, which is dedicated to financing professional, organizational and process development through technical experts.
The issuing of this grant, agreed on the 10 June 2020, follows international outcry over the establishment of a presidential task force which threatens to silence critics of the government and empower the military to oversee functions previously administered by the public sector. The International Commission of Jurists has described this task force as a threat to the “rule of law”.
The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice has called on the international community push back against Sri Lanka’s push towards authoritarianism. Whilst encouraging a push back against Sri Lanka’s authoritarianism, Sri Lanka Campaign emphasises the need for forms of development assistance such as emergency support to civilian agencies which can help with the threat of the coronavirus and ensure that ordinary Sri Lankans are not penalised.