The European Union has underlined the need for concrete progress on human rights ahead of discussions in Europe over approving GSP + trade concessions to Sri Lanka in May.
“…[T]he EU drew attention to the importance of Sri Lanka making prompt and concrete progress in fulfilling international commitments on human rights and labour rights and environmental protection,” a joint statement released after a meeting of the working group on governance, rule of law and human rights.
The EU said both sides recognized the need for further progress on reconciliation and implementing a UN resolution.
The talks also dealt with freedom of expression and the media, strengthening the civil society, and advancing the rights of women and children.
Also discussed were minority rights, speeding up the return of land to people in former war torn areas and implementing the treaty obligations and the rule of law.
There was also discussion of the progress made and the challenges ahead in maintaining the freedoms of expression and of the media,
Both sides recognised the need for further progress on reconciliation. They agreed that the full implementation of the UN Human Rights Council resolution of October 2015 remains a priority.
The EU reiterated its readiness to continue supporting the Government in its reforms, including with financial assistance.