October 25, 2013 (AFP) – Britain’s David Cameron is set to become the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka’s war-torn Tamil heartland during next month’s Commonwealth summit when he will press Colombo on human rights. British High Commissioner (ambassador) in Colombo, John Rankin, made it clear last week that London’s concern was not limited to war crimes, but also rule of law and judicial independence in the former colony.
Rankin said they expected Sri Lanka to demonstrate its willingness to respect Commonwealth values as Colombo takes over as the Chairperson-in-office of the 53-member bloc after the Colombo summit.
Rankin said Sri Lanka must probe allegations by Britain’s Channel 4, which accused the country’s forces of executing surrendering Tamil rebels and shelling civilians in no-fire zones during the civil war.
He said Queen Elizabeth II was staying away from the Colombo meeting because she was unable to undertake long trips, but she would be represented by her son Prince Charles. The British premier is under pressure at home and abroad to boycott the summit over the bloody end to Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict but he vowed in a meeting with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to have some “very tough con