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France sees signs of communal tensions in northern Sri Lanka

English.news.cn   2013-01-17 20:11:07            

COLOMBO, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- France said Thursday that there are signs of communal tensions in northern Sri Lanka, particularly in the town of Mannar.

French Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Christine Robichon, in a statement said that she had toured the areas where both the Tamil and Muslim communities displaced by the war, are being resettled including recently reopened part of the former high security zone in Jaffna.

The purpose of the tour was to see the progress in development activities conducted by the Sri Lankan government and to have a better understanding of the needs and the aspirations of the people, with a specific focus on the fishermen.

She said the briefings of the commander of the northern naval area, representatives of the government and of fishing societies and cooperatives, enabled her to assess the damages of the trespassing of Indian trawlers on the livelihoods of local fishermen, and the consequences of the use of banned methods of fishing on the environment and natural resources.

The fishermen underlined other difficulties they are facing, particularly restrictions imposed by the navy, the embassy statement said.

"It is encouraging to see that Tamil and Muslim work together to provide support to all the war affected people in some organizations but it is worrying to perceive signs of communal tensions particularly in Mannar," the statement quoted the ambassador as saying.

The Sri Lanka army defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels four years ago after 30 years of war. Tens of thousands of Tamils and Muslims were displaced in the fighting.

Editor: Lu Hui
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