Sri Lanka hits back at Cameron over inquiry ultimatum
Prime Minister David Cameron meets Tamils at the Sabapathi Pillay Welfare Centre in Jaffna (Reuters)

Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa and other top functionaries in the country have heaped scorn on David Cameron after the British prime minister proposed a March 2014 deadline for conducting a credible inquiry into allegations of human rights violations during the civil war.

"People in glass houses must not throw stones," said Rajapaksa, telling Britain not to behave like a dictator.

He added: "Pressure won't do anything. It's much better to wait rather than demand or dictate."

Cameron had earlier warned the Sri Lankan government that it will face strong UN action if the government fails to undertake an independent probe into alleged war crimes during the 26-year-long civil war, which ended in 2009.

"So we have done what we can. It's just four years after the war," said Rajapaksa, adding that Sri Lanka will "take its own time and investigate [the allegations]".

Cameron had earlier held talks with Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the Commonwealth summit. While the prime minister described the talks as "frank" as "very strong views" were exchanged, Rajapaksa said the discussions were "cordial and friendly".

Those in the upper echelons of the Sri Lankan government have responded with stronger words to Cameron's remarks.

"Premier Cameron was speaking as if we were still a British colony. Don't forget the March 2003 invasion of Iraq wasn't sanctioned by the UN. Premier Cameron is preaching to us on accountability issues thinking we are unaware of its duplicity," said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

He added that Cameron was attempting to pacify remaining Tamil extremists in Sri Lanka.

He continued: "Some former members of the [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] LTTE responsible for atrocities committed here are now living in the UK and other EU countries. Today they are British passport holders. One-time British High Commission employee, LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham's wife, Adele, now lives in the UK. Her role in recruiting teenage girls into the ranks of the LTTE is well documented. In spite of us bringing the presence of LTTE personnel to the notice of the British government, the administration is yet to take action."