A visiting European Parliament delegation told Sri Lanka it needs to show “tangible progress” in improving human rights conditions to win back the GSP Plus trade deal giving duty free access to the European Union.The four-member delegation, led by Jean Lambert, Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia, also urged Sri Lanka to “seize the moment” for national reconciliation. Progress included the issuing of circulars to military and police about the need to respect the rights of detainees and suspects, improvements in freedom of media, absence of censorship and the ability of civil society to operate more freely.But they said Sri Lanka needs “deeper and faster progress” in areas such as normalisation of life in the former war zone of the North and East and the replacement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act with legislation in line with Sri Lanka’s international human rights commitments. The Members of the European Parliament said they were “pleased and impressed” with the progress that has been made in Sri Lanka on human rights and national reconciliation. The delegation had discussions with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, as well as different civil society organisations. (Courtesy Economy Next) They had meetings in the last two days with representatives of the government, parliament and civil society, an EU statement released at a news conference said. “On GSP+, MEPs stressed that the decision on Sri Lanka’s application will also need the approval of the European Parliament, and that the application’s success is dependent on tangible progress by Sri Lanka in areas of concern,” the statement said.This includes ensuring the Code of Criminal Procedure includes the rights of detainees in keeping with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.“This agreement has real opportunities open up for Sri Lanka, therefore we urge the government to do its best to seize this moment and to make sure that they meet the criteria,” the Chair of the delegation, Jean Lambert, stressed during the meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Footage of a man allegedly shooting dead his ex-wife, mother-in-law and pet dog in an execution-style killing were captured on a security camera.The jury at the double murder trial were shown images of Craig Savage arriving at the house where Michelle Savage and her family were enjoying a Friday night takeaway.Police found the bodies of 32-year-old Mrs Savage, her dog Zeus and her mother Heather Whitbread, 53, in the house on Bexhill Road, St Leonards, East Sussex, on March 16.Mrs Savage had been shot about six times and her mother around seven times, Lewes Crown Court heard. Her pregnant sister Raven Whitbread, 24, and 80-year-old grandmother Patricia Groves hid and escaped unharmed, the trial heard.The recording, made by a camera near the front door, shows the 35-year-old arriving with a bag on his back and carrying something covered in his hand.He smashed a window to enter, the court heard, and less than a minute later the first round of alleged shots can be heard. Thirty seconds later, there is a similar sound. Savage is then seen emerging three minutes later. He appears to drop something metal on the ground outside the front door before picking it up and “calmly” making his way down the busy street holding an assault rifle in his hand. Seconds later, the video picks up armed police arriving as vehicles are forced to screech to a halt to allow the officers to take cover as they scream instructions at the alleged gunman. Savage was arrested about an hour-and-a-half later.Jurors also listened to the sounds captured by the camera when shots were fired. A smashing sound can be heard, followed by screaming, dogs barking and gunshots. The clip’s sound was enhanced for the jury.Benjamin Aina QC, prosecuting, said the audio recording depicts the moment Savage carried out the “execution”-type killing at almost point-blank range.He said: “This is not indiscriminate shooting. This is shooting as you heard, and then gaps and then more shooting, and then gaps.”Savage, a lorry driver, admits stealing the gun prior to the incident but he claims it went off accidentally during a struggle at the house after he tripped.A 999 call made by neighbour Tyler Sergent was also played to the jury in which he reports someone breaking into a nearby house.He told the police operator he could hear “someone screaming” and later adds: “Oh no, he’s leaving the house now. He’s walking out the house with a, a gun, is it a gun or a weapon in his hand. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “Looks like a, could be a gun in his hand, he’s got a gun in his hand. Yeah, got a gun in his hand, he’s going to the car park now, oh the police are here, he’s shooting, he’s shooting at them.”Last week, the jury was played the 999 call made by Raven Whitbread, who had locked herself in the conservatory with her grandmother.In it, she said her sister’s “crazy ex” broke into the house with a gun. Savage, of no fixed address, denies two counts of murder and possessing a firearm with the intent to endanger life, but admits robbery.The trial continues.