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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2956

Danish Government asked not to mix up GSP + as a punitive measure with Human Rights issues

Copenhagen, 17 November, ( Ambassador Ranjith Jayasooriya requested the Former Danish Foreign Minister, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, MP, Social Democrats, not to use the Preferential Trading Mechanism as a punitive mesure to block the extention of the GSP Plus EU Agreement mixing with Human Rights issues.

The Former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, MP has recently asked the present Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Per Stig Moller about the Danish position in regard of the Sri Lankan conflict, asking if the Danish Government, alone or in co-operation with the Nordic countries or EU, intended to make pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to stop the war and to prevent the violation on the human rights. The present Minister of Foreign affairs has in his answer made it clear, that the Danish Government is ready to exert pressure on the EU and if needed to take up the GSP Plus negotiation in this regard to put pressure on the Sri Lankan Government.Sri Lanka's Ambassador Ranjith Jayasooriya Former Danish Foreign Minister, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft and Social Democrat  MPSri Lanka's Ambassador Ranjith Jayasooriya Former Danish Foreign Minister, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft and Social Democrat MP

On Sunday 16 th November, Ambassador Jayasooriya, who is in Denmark to meet the Queen of Denmark to deliver his credentials on Monday, explained Mr. Mogens Lykketoft the present situation in Sri Lanka in detail, and referred to statement made by Sri Lankan President, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has declared that the Government was committed to a negoitiated settlement and urged the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to lay down arms before talks could be held. Ambassador Jayasooriya assured, that all efforts were being made to ensure the safety of civilians and IDPs in conflict areas and food supply to the affected Tamil population was continuing uninterrupted.

He also explained to the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, that the history has shown, that LTTE used ceasefire periods to rearm, restructure and consolidate their positions and regroup to attack Political Leaders, innorcent civilians and Security Forces. This is the reason that the Government will not go in for negotiation with the LTTE unless they accept to lay down their arms and stop the violence against civilians.

Ambassdor Jayasooriya further told, that the Government is aware, that the conflict has to be settled by political decisions, and that the war alone is nessesary to defeat and eliminate the terrorism initiated by the LTTE. It is not a war against the Tamils, but a war against the LTTE initiated terrorism to liberate innocent civilians from their cluthes. The goal is to clear all areas under the control of the LTTE terrorism and introduce a democratic solution and held free elections to the local administration, just as done in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka recently with great success.

Also Ambassador Jayasooriya said that the overall hope is, after more than 25 years with terror, to reach a situation with a sustainable peace in Sri Lanka, where all Srilankans i.e. Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and all other etnic and religious groups, can live in harmony and without fear for their life and their choises in life. In this context, Ambassador Jayasooriya asked Mr. Mogens Lykketoft and the Government of Denmark not to mix up the ongoing GSP Plus extension negotiations with the EU with the Human Rigthts issues.

Ambassador Jayasooriya furthermore informed Mr. Mogens Lykketoft about Sri Lankas interest in cooperation with Denmark regarding environmental and climate issues, promotion of Tourism to Sri Lanka, increase of Trade and Investments, job opportunities for skilled Srilankans in Denmark etc.

Mr. Mogens Lykketoft appreciated very much the information provided by Ambassador Jayasooriya, and responded in a positive way to support in regard of humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka. Also he was very positive about supporting cooperation opportunities between Sri Lanka and Denmark about environmental, energy and climate issues, where he in particular recommended Sri Lanka to agree with Denmark in the same way as the Danish agreements with India, Brazil and Turkey for technology transfer, technical solutions in regard of energy issues for renewable energy, wind mill projects, solar energy, waste to energy, bio-mass energy, energy efficiency etc.

Regarding the ethnical conflict, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft expressed his worries about the present military activities and ongoing conflict and pointed out, that he hoped that the Sri Lankan Government will go for a political solution.

He also said, that so far, he did not have any reason to doubt the critical reports worked out by NGO and INGO organisations about violence of the human rights and recommended the Government of Sri Lanka to give access to the conflict zones for NGOs, INGO, and all others with legitime interests in the situation in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Mogens Lykketoft appealed to the Sri Lankan Government to be open for mediation and political solutions as Sri Lanka in the present situation experience a heavy burden regarding attracting tourists, investments etc. And at the same time Sri Lanka pays a substantial amount of money for the war, which better had to be used in humanitarian and development activities for the people in Sri Lanka.

Both Mr. Mogens Lykketoft and Ambassador Jayasooriya on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, expressed their mutual interest in strenghtening the contacts at political level between Sri Lanka and Denmark as well finding out a way to develop and organize co-operation opportunities in many fields.

- Asian Tribune -

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