Responding to news that Liam Fox has cancelled his trip to Sri Lanka, Shadow Foreign Secretary Yvette Cooper said:
“Chaotic diplomacy like this does no good for the Government’s standing on such a significant issue. It also raises serious questions about the Defence Secretary’s judgement.
“The Sri Lankan Government are failing to produce an independent and transparent investigation into allegations of war crimes. Evidence of summary executions and civilians being used as human shields has never been properly investigated. There must be no mixed messages on an issue of such important humanitarian concern. Governments across the world need to keep up consistent and determined pressure for the Sri Lankan government to agree to an internationally backed investigation.
“Instead the Defence Secretary seems to have been freelancing on his own. What on earth has he been doing holding ‘private’ meetings with the Sri Lankan President while refusing to say if he has pressed for the war crimes investigation we need or supported the Foreign Secretary's position?
“William Hague must be spitting mad. This is a sensitive area of foreign policy. Who is in charge of policy on Sri Lanka, the Foreign Secretary or the Defence Secretary? Every member of the British government should be pressing consistently for the independent war crimes investigation Sri Lanka needs.”