Dec 17, Colombo: The Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom and British Conservative Party parliamentarian Dr. Liam Fox has reportedly decided to postpone his visit to Sri Lanka.
According to a report from Channel 4 of UK Dr. Fox has postponed his private visit to Sri Lanka to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture scheduled on December 18 at the invitation by the widow of the late Sri Lankan Foreign Minister who was gunned down by the LTTE in 2005.
"Dr Fox has postponed his private visit to Sri Lanka due to an extension to his scheduled official visit to the Gulf. He intends to carry out an official visit to Sri Lanka next year during which he proposes to fulfill the speaking engagement that he had planned," the Channel 4 reported.
Yesterday's The Guardian said that the British Defence Secretary had been pressured by the Foreign Secretary William Hague to scrap the trip and the Foreign Office was debating whether to appeal to the Prime Minister to prevent Fox from visiting Sri Lanka.
The postponement of Dr. Fox's private visit due to pressure from the UK government in the wake of the debacle with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to UK earlier this month may be seen as a further snag on the already strained relations between the two countries.