British Defence Minister visits Sri Lanka
Colombo: British Defence Minister Liam
Fox has arrived here on a visit amidst mounting pressure from
the UK to investigate alleged war crimes committed during the
last stages of the ethnic war in Sri Lanka that ended in May
Fox is here to deliver the annual Lakshman Kadirgamar
memorial lecture in memory of the Sri Lankan foreign minister
who was assassinated by the LTTE.
He is scheduled to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa
and External Affairs Minister GL Peiris, officials said.
He is the first ever British defence minister to visit
the country since Sri Lanka gained independence from Britain
His visit comes amidst concerns raised by the British
government over allegations of human rights abuses being
committed in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the
British Foreign Office Minister for South Asia
Alistair Burt last month had asked the Sri Lankan government
to evolve a mechanism to investigate the alleged rights abuses
following the airing of a documentary titled 'Sri Lanka
Killing Fields' by UK's Channel 4 television.
The channel had showed a documentary containing
graphic images of purported extra-judicial killings of Tamil
rebels by the Sri Lankan military in the north-east in 2009.