Colombo, Sept 14 (newsin.asia) – The European Union, on Wednesday raised concerns with the Sri Lankan government about continued discrimination against women and girls and against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Sri Lankans.
The European Union office in Colombo, in a statement said that while the EU praised the Sri Lankan government for its progress made in advancing human rights, labour and environmental standards, there were still many areas where reforms had yet to be delivered.
The statement said that a team of senior officials from Brussels had been in Sri Lanka for the last 10 days on a fact-finding mission and the mission had focused on the status of the implementation of 27 international conventions of which Sri Lanka is a signatory.
Progressive implementation of the conventions is the condition for continued preferential access to the European Union market – the world’s largest and Sri Lanka’s biggest export market – under the GSP Plus facility, the statement said.
“The excellent cooperation by the Government is a reminder of how much the situation has changed in the country over the last two and a half years, including real advances in human rights,” the EU Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Tung-Lai Margue said after a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The new government, which took office in 2015, began talks with the EU to regain GSP Plus and agreed to meet most of the conditions to obtain the facility.