In 2005, when the EU's generous tariff preferences arrangement, the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+), was under review, Romano Prodi challenged why, of the countries in the region, Sri Lanka should be granted GSP+ status instead of, say, India or Pakistan. The then Sri Lankan prime minister argued that GSP+ benefits would assist in post-tsunami reconstruction. Sri Lanka's case prevailed on the strength of the then peace process and the existence of an internationally sponsored ceasefire agreement of 2002, which position found resonance with the EU but which the government of Sri Lanka unilaterally abrogated in January 2008.
This year, for the first time in Sri Lanka's gory history, the world witnessed the extent of Tamil blood the Sri Lankan state was willing to shed in the name of "liberating" the island. Despite the protests and media coverage, little came of the pleas of the Tamil diaspora and international calls to end the "bloodbath" that prevailed in May 2009. Full story...