Supreme Court endorses Lanka’s Human Rights commitment
Verdict nullifies attempts to tarnish Lanka’s image:
COLOMBO: The Supreme Court has determined that internationally
accepted human rights conventions have been enshrined in Sri Lanka’s
This verdict has been returned by the Supreme Court on a request by
the President to seek a SC determination on Lanka’s stand vis-a-vis the
legal enshrinement of human rights, Export Promotion and International
Trade Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told the weekly Cabinet press briefing.
He said this determination has nullified attempts by certain elements
here and abroad to tarnish the human rights image of Sri Lanka.
He said these accusations have surfaced mainly in the backdrop of Sri
Lanka reapplying for GSP+ duty free status for apparel and other exports
to the European Union this year. The aim of these elements was to
deprive the EU apparel quotas to Lanka and hurt its economy.
The GSP+ status is reviewed every three years and is applicable to
7,200 categories of goods.
The Minister said President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who realised the
immense loss that some elements were trying to cause to the country,
requested the Supreme Court to determine whether Sri Lanka maintained
and respected an internationally accepted human rights legal framework,
which would satisfy the EU.
The Government’s commitment to human rights has been reinforced by
the Supreme Court verdict, he added.
“The apparel industry is the biggest beneficiary of GSP+. More than
350,000 are directly employed in the apparel sector and more than one
million indirectly benefit. More than three million families depend on
the apparel sector.”
He expressed the hope that the Supreme Court verdict would be an
appropriate answer to those who had attempted to show that Sri Lanka had
no respect for human rights, with the aim of scuttling the GSP+ quota