Posts Tagged ‘EU’

Britain sold weapons to help Sri Lankan army defeat Tamil Tigers

Monday, June 1st, 2009

[The Times]

Britain and other EU countries sold military equipment worth millions of pounds to the Sri Lankan Government in the last three years of its bloody civil war with the Tamil Tigers, The Times has learnt. Britain approved commercial sales of more than £13.6 million of equipment including armoured vehicles, machinegun components and semiautomatic pistols, according to official records. Slovakia provided 10,000 rockets worth £1.1 million, while Bulgaria approved sales of guns and ammunition worth £1.75 million, according to EU documents and officials.

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Sri Lanka says EU diplomats may visit war-torn north

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

[AFP]

Sri Lanka said on Wednesday it would open up its war-torn north to international scrutiny, days after the UN said it suspected war crimes were being committed in the fight against Tamil rebels. A foreign ministry official said talks were under way to give a European Union fact-finding mission access to the area, which has been almost totally off-limits to diplomats, aid workers and journalists. “We are in the process of finalising the dates and the agenda,” Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona told AFP.

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EU calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Sri Lanka

Friday, February 20th, 2009

[AFP]

EU foreign ministers are set to make a joint call next week for an immediate ceasefire between Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels to allow aid in and civilians out of the conflict zone.

“The EU is deeply concerned about the evolving humanitarian crisis and vast number of internally displaced people,” according to a draft agreement prepared for European foreign ministers to endorse when they meet in Brussels Monday.

“The EU calls for an immediate ceasefire thereby providing for the establishment of full and unrestricted access” to allow humanitarian aid in and traumatised civilians out of the narrow strip of coastal jungle area in northern Sri Lanka.

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EU calls for humanitarian ceasefire in Sri Lanka

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

[AFP]
EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel on Thursday called for a ceasfire between Sri Lankan forces and Tamil rebels to allow trapped civilians to flee the combat zone. “This is an escalating humanitarian catastrophe. We are extremely worried about the terrible situation facing people trapped in the fighting,” in the combat zone in the northeast of the island, Michel said in a statement. “Everything must be done to prevent the suffering of the population and stop further bloodshed and I therefore urge that a window of cessation of hostilities be agreed by the parties to allow civilians to leave the combat zone,” he urged.

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EU officials voice concern at ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Sri Lanka

Monday, January 26th, 2009

[AFP]

EU officials told Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama of their concern at the “humanitarian crisis” in the north of the country, especially “the rising civilian casualties in the conflict zone.” EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner underlined that “international standards must be respected” and that unrestricted access be provided for the UN and humanitarian agencies, the EU Commission said in a statement. She said the Sri Lankan government should “now give priority to outlining and implementing an ambitious and sustainable political solution which can put Sri Lanka on the path towards peace and reconciliation between communities.”

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Sri Lanka gets temporary reprieve on EU trade scheme

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

[ Reuters ]

A trade scheme that boosted Sri Lanka’s top export, garments, will remain in place while the European bloc completes a human rights probe that could lead to withdrawal of concessionary terms, Sri Lanka said on Tuesday. “We will enjoy the facility until the investigation is over,” S. Ranugge, secretary at the ministry of export development and international trade, told Reuters.The Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP Plus) had been due to expire at the end of the year, and the European Union said the rules governing its extension required a certification that Sri Lanka meets certain human rights standards.

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RIGHTS-SRI LANKA: War May See EU Duty Concessions Cut

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008


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[ IPS ]

Sri Lankas garment industry is worried that the duty free access it enjoys to European markets will soon be cut as a result of alleged human rights violations related to the governments pursuit of a military solution to a long-standing ethnic conflict. EU trade concessions, known as GSP+, end this year and will come up for review in October. Already EU has indicated that continuance of the GSP+ depends on how well the Sri Lankan government is seen to be implementing 27 international conventions on human rights, labor rights and environmental standards. “It is totally based on fulfilling these conventions.

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EU warns Sri Lanka rights abuses threaten trade concessions

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

[AFP]

The European Union threatened on Tuesday to withhold trade concessions from Sri Lanka due to the island’s worsening human rights record. Colombo has come under fire for its rights record, with Human Rights Watch saying recently at least 1,500 people “disappeared” between 2006 and 2007 — mostly ethnic Tamils living in the island’s restive north and east. The New York-based rights group said Sri Lanka was one of the world’s worst perpetrators of “disappearances” and abductions and described the situation as a “national crisis”.

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