This may be show to appeal to British Tamil voters but at least a major Western government is keeping some pressure on the murderous regime in Colombo:
Liam Fox, the defence secretary, is planning to defy the Foreign Office by making a personal visit to Sri Lanka this weekend to deliver a speech in honour of a former foreign minister.
The Foreign Office is debating whether to appeal to Downing Street to prevent Fox from visiting Sri Lanka, whose government is facing allegations of war crimes during its final assault on the Tamil Tigers last year.
The row erupted after Fox, who has personal links to Sri Lanka from his time as a Foreign Office minister in the 1990s and who has visited the country twice in the last 13 months, accepted an invitation to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture. The invitation was issued by the widow of the late foreign minister, who was murdered by a Tamil Tiger sniper in 2005.
Whitehall sources said that William Hague, the foreign secretary, is annoyed by Fox’s decision. One Whitehall source said: “It is dreadful. William is appalled. It will take No 10 to haul him in.” Britain wants to maintain pressure on Colombo in light of questions about its assault on the Tamil Tigers.