EU raises delayed LG polls, wants govt. to do away with import restrictions



The European Union has raised the issue with Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane.

According to a joint EU and Sri Lanka press communiqué issued by the latter, following the 25th session of the Joint Commission, held in Colombo, the Sri Lankan delegation has briefed the EU of the cases before the Supreme Court in this regard.

Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service of the EU, led their delegation.

They reviewed bilateral relations, ranging from reconciliation, human rights, trade, development cooperation, climate change and environment, sectoral cooperation, international security cooperation and cooperation in multilateral fora.

The EU has welcomed the 21st Amendment, which would further enhance democratic governance.

On the new Anti-Terrorism Bill, Sri Lanka informed that the Ministry of Justice was seeking the observations of the public and other stakeholders with a view to amending the gazetted Bill before submitting it to Parliament. Sri Lanka’s ongoing consultation process, with all relevant stakeholders, is aimed at adopting a legislation in line with international standards, which could soon replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The EU appreciated the commitment of Sri Lanka to further release PTA detainees and urged Sri Lanka to refrain from using the PTA.

The EU has urged Sri Lanka to lift the import restrictions, preventing many European products from entering its market. The EU welcomed Sri Lanka’s intention to present a plan for the lifting of the import restrictions, by June 2023.

Sri Lanka expressed its intention to phase out restrictions, factoring in the current economic situation. The EU and Sri Lanka agreed that the EU-Sri Lanka Investor Dialogue may take place at an early date, in Sri Lanka. The EU presented the new EU GSP Regulation, which is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2024, for the next 10-year cycle. The EU informed that the report of the last EU GSP+ monitoring cycle 2020-2022 is expected to be released in the coming months.


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