Cameron defends Sri Lanka visit in face of country's poor human rights record

Nigel Morris

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The Independent Online

David Cameron has defended his decision to visit Sri Lanka next week despite the country's poor human rights record.

Labour, and representatives of Britain's Tamil community, have called for a boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo.

But Mr Cameron said: "The right thing to do is to engage … to shine the international spotlight on the lack of progress in the country."

He pledged to raise Sri Lanka's "poor record on human rights and cruel treatment of Tamils" in "frank conversations" with its government.