Says has responsibility to implement 27 international conventions to regain GSP+
By Chamodi Gunawardana
The United National Party (UNP) yesterday insisted that there was no move by the Government to decriminalize homosexuality as such practices were against Sri Lankan culture.
UNP Galle District MP Wijepala Hettiarachchi said even if the European Union (EU) had proposed to decriminalize homosexuality as a condition to restore GSP+, the Government would not accept the condition although the GSP+ was essential at the moment.
“Even if the EU had conditions to reinstall GSP+ to Sri Lanka, the Government will not allow legalization of homosexuality which can destroy the country’s ethics and the Buddhist culture,” he said.
Nevertheless, the Joint Opposition recently claimed that the EU has applied 58 conditions to be implemented if the Government wants to reinstall the facility. They alleged that the Government is going to betray the Country’s sovereignty before the EU.
In response, UNP Gampaha District MP Harshana Rajakaruna stressed that the Government has a responsibility to implement the 27 international conventions which it had signed to regain GSP Plus. The 58 conventions is a fabrication of the JO, he claimed.
“We have signed 27 conventions that every country should have to sign before gaining GSP+ and those conventions are generally about implementing good governance, practicing democracy, ensuring human rights and media freedom,” he said.
Commenting over the positive impacts of regaining GSP Plus, Rajakaruna said it will pave the path to promote export industries, specially the garment sector.
No presidential elections
Maintaining its stance of abolishing the executive presidency through the new Constitution, the United National Party (UNP) yesterday said there was no chance for a Presidential election in 2020, since the executive powers of the presidency will be abolished as soon as possible.
UNP MP Harshana Rajakaruna said the UNP and President Maithripala Sirisena had pledged in their election manifesto to abolish the Executive Presidency during their term in office.
“The UNP has no plans to nominate a candidate for the next presidency, since there will no longer a position called executive presidency,” he said.
When reporters asked then why the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is going to nominate Sirisena again for the portfolio, Rajakaruna said it can be considered as a personal opinion of some SLFPers.