Editorial

EU mixes up trade and human rights

Summary

The EU’s latest statement on Sri Lanka’s domestic policies is a declaration of hybrid war.

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The Delegation of the European Union and the Embassies of France, Germany, Italy Netherlands, and Romania issued a statement yesterday slamming the government’s trade policy, with an obligatory non-sequitur to human rights.

 “The EU is a crucial partner for Sri Lanka,” they said. “Thanks to the EU’s special Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+), Sri Lanka enjoys competitive, predominantly duty- and quota-free access to the EU market,” they said.

But, “trade is not a one-way street,” and “a prolonged import ban is not in line with World Trade Organization regulations”. And, a friendly reminder, the government’s withdrawal from the (treacherous) Resolution 30/1 is “a source of concern”.

This is a declaration of hybrid war. If any sleepwalking human rightist needed one last wake up call as to the true agenda of white devils feigning concern for human rights: this is it.

The last time Sri Lanka lost GSP plus was in 2010, supposedly due to war-time human rights violations. The government’s protectionism, anti-privatization, and the schock of the recession surely had nothing to do with it!

The hypocrisy of Europe crying foul over human rights needs no explanation. But the invocation of WTO laws does. Just last year Indonesia complained to the WTO over EU restrictions on palm oil imports. Both Germany and France blocked their own exports of crucial personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government has a mandate to revive the national economy, and put the country on a path of production. If the EU resorts to sanction and sabotage, that should be taken as an opportunity to ditch the export economy, and rebuild according to the needs of our own home market.

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