The meeting follows news that the EU Will produce an assessment on the progress made on Sri Lanka’s commitments for the 500 million US dollar GSP+ trade concession “very soon”. The report is due either later this year or early next year.
In August, an EU delegation met with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe where they stressed the need for “concrete steps” and protect civil and human rights as well as freedom of expression. The meeting followed a violent crackdown on demonstrators by the Wickremesinghe administration.
During Sampanthan’s meeting with the EU delegation, they discussed the need to repeal Sri Lanka’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act of 1979. Despite repeated pledges to repeal the legislation, which has been linked to abduction, torture and sexual violence, no Sri Lankan administration has done so. The Sri Lankan government is yet to release a list of all detainees being held under the PTA.
Talk of provincial council elections follows sustained demand across the North-East for greater devolution and to go beyond the 13th amendment.