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* French government supports reconciliation in a united Sri Lanka
Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 12:38 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 14, Colombo: Reconciliation is achievable in a united Sri Lanka by Sri Lankans with the cooperation of partner countries, the French Government said.

Expressing his views at the end of a visit to the conflict-affected Northern Province, the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Jean-Paul Monchau, said in a statement that reconciliation can, in the end, only be carried through by the will of all Sri Lankans themselves.

Monchau, who was on a fact finding official visit to the Northern Province between the 9th and the 11th of March 2014 met the Governor of the Northern Province, G. A. Chandrasiri, who briefed the envoy on the post-conflict progress in the province.

The Governor provided the envoy with detailed information on the changes that have occurred since the end of the war, in particular in terms of advances made in the fields of rehabilitation, reconstruction, and infrastructure as well as about initiatives taken by the government in terms of the economic development of the province.

Monchau also met with the Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council, Mr C. V. K. Sivaghanam and discussed the issues relating to land ownership, the functioning of institutions and the politics of language.

Sivaghanam reiterated the hope of the population to continue to live in peace with dignity and with respect for their identity.

In Kilinochchi, the Ambassador met with the Government's Agent, Ms R. Ketheeswaran and discussed the situation of the district's population, including the construction of housing for the vulnerable populations, efforts made to improve the situation of women, especially that of widows as well as all measures taken with regards to children’s schooling.

He visited the office of the Uthayan newspaper and congratulated the editor-in-chief, Mr. Kanamailnathan, for winning the International Press Freedom award given by the French organization "Reporters without Borders" and discussed press freedom.

The Ambassador also visited the University of Jaffna (Faculty of Arts), where he had the opportunity to hold discussions about France with a group of 40 students.

The visit to the Northern Province ended with a guided tour of the Jaffna Public Library.

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