British Defense Secretary meets Sri Lankan President

July 09, Colombo: The Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom and British Conservative Party parliamentarian Dr. Liam Fox met Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today at the Temple Trees in Colombo.

The British Defence Minister arrived in Sri Lanka to deliver the annual Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture in memory of the Sri Lankan foreign minister who was assassinated by the LTTE in 2005.


Dr. Fox and President Rajapaksa have discussed the post-war developments in the country including concerns raised in Britain over alleged human rights allegations committed by Sri Lankan forces during the last stage of the war against Tamil Tigers.

The British minister also had discussions with the External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris.

The Defence Minister’s visit comes after a stern call by the British Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt last month urging Sri Lanka to investigate the alleged war crimes or face an international inquiry following a documentary aired by the British television Channel 4.

The documentary, titled ”Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” depicting war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan Army, has raised concerns in Britain where a strong Tamil diaspora lives.

He postponed an earlier visit to Sri Lanka last year to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture that was scheduled on December 18. He attributed the cancellation to an extension to his scheduled official visit to the Gulf at the time.

(Photo by Nalin Hewapathirana)

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