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Fight against impunity in Sri Lanka still priority says top French diplomat

Reconciliation and ending impunity in Sri Lanka still remain a top priority, a senior French diplomat has said, despite the country’s decision to withdraw from co-sponsoring UNHRC resolutions on accountability, reconciliation and human rights.

“Sri Lanka's decision to withdraw from the co-sponsorship of the resolution does not mean that the resolution has disappeared. The resolution is still on the table,” said Thierry Mathou, director of Asia and Oceania for the French foreign ministry. "It is legally binding. The objective is still there. Reconciliation has to be a key priority.”

Mathou rubbished the common Sri Lankan protestation that economic development would bring about reconciliation, in place of accountability and justice.

"We have heard and read that economic development will lead to reconciliation [in Sri Lanka],” he said. “I tend to say that in order to reach economic development, you have to get reconciliation. So, the fight against impunity is obviously an important objective."

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